Phenakistoscope (1831) A phenakistoscope disc by Eadweard Muybridge (1893).The phenakistoscope was an early animation device. It was invented in 1831 simultaneously by the Belgian Joseph Plateau and the Austrian Simon von Stampfer. It consists of a disk with a series of images, drawn on radii evenly spaced around the center of the disk. Slots are cut out of the disk on the same radii as the drawings, but at a different distance from the center. The device would be placed in front of a mirror and spun. As the phenakistoscope is spun, a viewer would look through the slots at the reflection of the drawings which would only become visible when a slot passes by the viewer's eye. This created the illusion of animation.