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.
Meggendorfer, Lothar. Comic Actors: A New Movable Toybook. London: H. Grevel & Co., .
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:
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.
| Blue Ribbon Publishing | Dean and
Sons | French Movables | S.
Louis Giraud | Voitech Kubasta | McLoughlin
Brothers | Lothar Meggendorfer | Ernest
Nister | S and J Fuller | 1965
to Present |
Raphael Tuck and Sons | Julian Wehr | Title Index | Site Map
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