Belgian physicist who made the first step towards making movies by demonstrating the illusion of the moving image with his device, the phenakistoscope. He was also a Professor of experimental physics at Ghent University.
At six years of age he could already read and write, and was considered a child prodigy.
Understanding that images stay on the retina for a short while even after they change, he fashioned a device that used counter rotating disks with repeating drawn images in small increments of motion on one and regularly spaced slits in the other, to demonstrate this.
His father was known locally as a talented painter of flowers.
Thomas Edison employed some of his discoveries in building his moving-picture machine.