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Zoetrope History

William Horner Zoetrope History Zoetrope Inventor Zoetrope Kingston

The zoetrope was invented by William George Horner in 1833-1834. William lived in Kingston upon Thames in South West London. His house still stands and there is a blue commemorative plaque on the house to acknowledge his invention. 

The zoetrope means "wheel of life" and was created by William following his interest and study of movement. He was interested in studying the movement of humans and animals, a collection of his drawings can still be found in the Kingston Museum, where there is a whole section dedicated to William Horner and his zoetrope invention.

Whilst William Horner is acknowledged as the inventor of the zoetrope, the phenakistoscope disc had been invented just before and was very similar. You may also find some references to similar zoetrope devices going far back to even 3000BC.

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