Title Index
Blue Ribbon Publishing
Dean and Sons
French Movables
S. Louis Giraud
Viotech Kubasta
McLouglin Brothers
Lothar Meggandorfer
Ernest Nister
S and J Fuller
1965 to present
Raphael Tuck and Sons
Julian Wehr

  Another German to make a name for himself in the world of movable books was Lothar Meggendorfer. Meggendorfer entered into the publishing business in 1866 as a writer and illustrator for the humor magazine Flying Pages, which was similar to England's Punch. In the 1880s he started his long running paper, entitled The Meggendorfer Pages.

His first movable was Living Pictures (1878), which he originally created for his son Adolf as a Christmas present. He went on to illustrate and engineer as many as two hundred movable books. His books were published in both German and English editions, and were adjusted for the separate markets.

Meggendorfer's movables are some of the most complex mechanisms ever created in the genre. A pull of the tab activates a complex array of multiple levers, which in turn animates several features in each illustration. The images, amazing in their complexity and innovation, are equally appealing for their humor and accompanying verses. 

Comic Actors
Comic Actors (animation)
The Sportsman
Comic Actors (animation)
The Lady Singer

Meggendorfer, Lothar. Comic Actors: A New Movable Toybook. London: H. Grevel & Co., [1895]. 

Due to the intricacy of his mechanisms, Meggendorfer's books could easily be damaged by eager children. He introduces Comic Actors with this cautionary poem:

Now Children, dear, pray come with me
And see some comic sights,
You all will laugh with mirth and glee,
Or should do so by rights.

When you to them your hand apply
These figures dance and caper
"'Tis really hard" I hear you cry
"To think them only paper."

The men and creatures here you find
Are lively and amusing,
Your fingers must be slow and kind
And treat them well while using.

But more of them we must not tell,
The pictures would be jealous,
So turn the leaves and use them well
And don't be over zealous.

Meggendorfer's masterpiece was Internationaler Zirkus (ca. 1888). Playing on the popular theme of circuses and menageries, Meggendorfer created a book that features six acts from the circus. It unfolds in an accordian fashion so that it can be seen at once in its entirety. A flap on each panel pulls down to reveal different three-dimensional scenes.


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