Besides Raphael Tuck, another German responsible for producing colorful
movables was Ernest Nister. Nister’s firm was centered in Nuremburg, a
center for toy making in the late nineteenth century. Between 1891 and
1900, Nister’s company produced many children’s books of superior
quality in both illustration and printing. Out of these, Nister
productions included a number of innovative movables. In addition to
being marketed in Germany, the books were also produced especially for
an English audience from Nister’s London headquarters, and also for an
American audience through the publisher Dutton.
One of Nister’s contributions to the history of movable books was
dissolving picture books. Dean had produced similar books based on the
venetian blind principle. “The illustrations in these books had either a
square or an oblong picture divided into four or five equal sections by
corresponding horizontal or vertical slits. When a tab at the side or
bottom of the illustration was pulled, the picture ‘transformed’ into
another picture” (Montanaro xv-xvi). Nister refined this technique. The
company produced dissolving pictures with vertical and horizontal slits,
but also devised a mechanism that would reveal pictures in a circular
form, creating a kaleidoscope effect shown in Magic Windows.
Here are May and her pug in the snow together;
And now you shall see her in sunshiny weather.