Turns out flip books are nothing new. In fact, the flip book much as we know it today appeared in 1868. An English lithograph printer, named John Barnes Linnett, registered a patent for his invention under the name kineograph ("moving picture"). In German, the flip book is known by the name "Daumenkino," which translates to "thumb cinema," which describes the flip book's use rather well. The many pictures, flipped quickly, relies on the persistence of vision, to create the illusion of an ongoing scene. Plateau had pioneered this ground earlier when he developed the phenakistoscope, a predecessor of the flip book, in 1830. However, the flip book marks a significant milestone in the development of animation in making it more accessible and handy (no pun intended).
--post by Erik