A brief history on flip books

From the pre-motion picture era to the origins of animation, cinema and modern entertainment, flip books are recognized as one of the earliest forms of what today is referred to as “interactive multimedia” or “interactive motion pictures”.

Flip books, first patented in the U.S. on on May 16, 1882 by Henry Van Hovenbergh of Elizabeth, New Jersey, consisted of simple drawings stacked in a sequence of stages of movement with a single staple binding. When the pages were flipped, they would create the optical illusion of motion or animation. Flip books were then popularized in the early 1900′s by the Cracker Jack Company who gave the flip books away as free in-pack prizes. Other marketers soon followed suit, including manufacturers of breakfast cereals, bubble gum, cigarettes, automobiles and snack foods. The trend continued strong through the 1940′s. Then, in the 1960′s, innovative marketers from Disney, Gillette, McDonald’s, Post Cereals, Canada Dry, Ford (and others) resurrected the flip book trend, creatively using flip books as novelties, interactive brochures and promotional giveaways to promote their products. But unfortunately, that trend ended in the 1970′s as new, more progressive “interactive multimedia” technologies began to take the spotlight away from the old fashioned flip books.

Fast forwarding to the 2000s, over a century after flip books were first introduced, flip books are back and better than ever!

Companies have re-engineered the original flip book concept to create the most engaging, entertaining flip book experience ever. Companies can create and produce flip books from live-action or animated video footage easily and efficiently. The end result is a high quality flip book “keepsake” that plays back crystal clear clips of full motion video with a simple flip of a thumb. If he were still alive today, Henry Van Hovenbergh would be proud of achievements in taking his original flip book concept to a whole new level of sophistication and interactive entertainment.

In this age of high tech interactive multimedia, the simplicity of flip books is not only refreshing, but its illusion is even more captivating than ever. Creative marketers are, once again, beginning to use flip books as interactive brochures and promotional giveaway items for live events, trade shows and other marketing activities.

Custom flip books are the perfect interactive brochure or promotional giveaway. Examples or custom flip books will be forthcoming.

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