Not long until the gay cowboys.

So the deal is, I’ve been a bit conscious lately about blogging. I know I use this as a forum to discuss and share music, especially recently, and though I discuss things to do with myself and my day-to-day, I’ve been pretty quiet lately on things of a personal nature. Lately, you may have noticed, it’s pretty much been music or nothing at all.

Well, the thing is that I’m still pretty vulnerable, and perhaps a touch emotionally volatile, and though at times I want to disclose things, I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m still fighting something of a depression, and some days are especially bad. Make-me-sick-to-my-stomach bad.

In a genuine effort to make a connection, to share and interact, I’ve decided to branch out just a bit and feature something the likes of which I haven’t in the past, something arbitrary and informative and pure. Well, mostly pure. And coincidentally, I’ve found myself thinking about flip books.

Flip books are a collection of images altered gradually and ordered sequentially, with the premise that when the book is flipped through quickly from one end to the other, the human eye’s natural image retention reflex pieces the still images together to create the illusion of animation. They are not restricted to any milieu, and can be composed of drawings, photographs, or similar static images.

Wikipedia tells me that the first flip book appeared in September 1868 and was patented by John Barnes Linnet. No word exactly on the subject matter, but I have it on good authority that the first flip book porn was patented mere hours later. Oh, and by ‘good authority that,’ I mean ‘I’d wager,’ and by ‘I have it on,’ I mean ‘according to my imagination.’

In 1894, Herman Casler patented what he called the Mutoscope, a device that mounted the photos within a viewer on a wheel. The idea was that someone would come along and insert payment into the device, and then crank a wheel attached to flip quickly through the photos, enjoying a brief show. The Mutoscope was pretty popular, but was eventually crushed by the growing film phenomenon of 1910 and beyond.

Flip books are still around today, although no longer featured as prizes in Cracker Jack or the like. Also, these days they’re aimed more toward children and innocent themes, unlike days gone by when they targeted adults, schilling cars and cigarettes and such. And porn, I can feel it. Ooh, la la!

And now you know just a little more about flip books.

Further reading: Wikipedia |


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  • About

    My name is Bobby.

    I write about random things a lot. I write a lot about random things.

    I write occasionally for Smashing Magazine and the London Community News online, and weekly for Interrobang, the student voice newspaper at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

    I've also been published by the Canadian University Press.
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