Building the Empire State Building - A Flipbook

Optical Toys

  • $8.95


Flipbooks have an amazing history as some of the best selling toys in the late  19th and early 20th centuries. John Barnes Linnett patented the first flip-style animation in 1868 in an object called a kineograph. A few years later, Eadweard Muybridge learned how to make cameras take similar pictures in rapid succession- thus allowing the first film-animation!


The illusion of movement from rapid still images works on a neurological principle called persistence of vision. This phenomenon is a result of your eyes and brain retaining a visual impression for roughly 1/30 of a second. This means that images we see faster than that appear in our minds as one smooth image- blending into the illusion of real movement! This same principle is the foundation for modern animation and film.


This style of art allows us to take vintage photographs of the building process of the Empire State Building and watch it grow before our eyes. 

Construction of the Empire State Building began in 1929 and was completed in 1931 - during the middle of the Great Depression. It cost over 40 million dollars to build! As the tallest building in New York City, is boasts 102 stories climbing to 1,250 feet. It required about 3,400 workers to complete the project, that was designed in only two weeks!

This flipbook includes over 50 pages of actual photographs taken each during the construction of the building, beginning on October 3, 1929 with the demolition of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel to make way for the Empire State Building. 

Share this piece of history and simple yet enticing animated fun with friends and family! This book is the perfect addition to any coffee table, bookshelf or powder room. Relish in the memory of a simpler time, when a stack of paper and some art were entertainment for hours. People of all ages can appreciate this classic toy. 

If you like Building the Empire State: A Flipbook, check out all our Flip Books you'll love our:

Eiffel Tower Flipbook

Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze

Book Size 7"x5"x0.5"