21 September 2011
Red Raven magic mirror movies
Lucky boy! Dad bought Ronne another toy—well, not to be played with at the moment but to be reserved as another gift on your fourth birthday.
I bought an interesting item, Red Reven Magic Mirror, from eBay a couple of weeks ago. It's made in the late 1950s by Morgan Development Laboratories in New Canaan, Connecticut (a strange company which also made a multi-functional Lucite letter opener, which is plastic but extremely sharp and thus can be carried onto the plane without sounding the alarm at the security point).
This device is a modern version of the Zoetrope and its successor, the praxinoscope.
This 16-sided mirrored carousel is to be operated with special 'movie records', on which a 16 image cycle is printed on the outer two inches of a large paper label. Placed atop a 'movie record', the 16 mirrors are aligned at an angle to the surface of the record. When the record spins on the turntable of a record player, the quick succession of reflected static images produces a looped animation.
What's more surprising, that the animation comes with music, because a Red Raven movie record is really a vinyl music record. While the magic mirror brings out the animation, the music is delivered through the stylus on the phonograph.
Although once designed as a toy, Red Raven Magic Mirror is now a collectable item, a novel gadget. Lucky Ronne! Dad has prepared you another birthday gift and something to show you future classmates.
As I haven't got time to shoot a video about how it actually operates, refer to the YouTube clip to see how magic the Magic Mirror is.