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Optical Toys / Long-term Exhibit

January 1 - December 31

optical toys exhibit room

Take a peek at the history of optical toys from Peep Shows through ViewMaster. The first moving picture, shown in 1895, was the result of centuries of experimentation. Artists and scientists began to investigate visual perspective as early as the 15th century. Traveling showmen crossed the continents with optical devices that displayed images of faraway lands. In the early 19th century, scientists invented optical toys to explore how the mind perceives motion and depth. Although simple by today’s standards, optical toys are as wondrous now as they were in the flickering candlelight of the Victorian age.


January 1
December 31
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