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The fantascope, a projector designed by E. G. Robertson (Paris 1798) brought the optical tricks of the magic lanterns to their most spectacular; his evenings of fantasmagoria shocked audiences with fantastic images of spirits and demons.
A simple device within the fantascope, called “l’oeil-de-chat”, hence my title, caused these images to appear and disappear: as the eye closed, the source of light was extinguished; as it opened, it was increased - this could happen both fast and slowly. The whole contraption was mounted on wheels, allowing the projected image to grow larger or smaller as it moved away from or towards the screen. I can imagine the thing was not averse to breaking down.”