Birt Acres was an American born photographic business
owner based in England. He met Robert
Paul and together
Kinetoscope copies. The two parted company and Acres
patented his Kinetic camera and developed a projector
- The Kineopticon. (Go
Name given to a particular genre of film in early cinema
history - usually used to describe films which showed
real life events such as the 'Workers leaving the Lumière
The name adopted by the KMCD Syndicate which was made
up of partners Henry N. Marvin, Herman Casler, W.K.L.
Dickson and Elias Koopman. Their first motion picture
machine was the Mutoscope - a peephole device, followed
by a projector - the Biograph.
Robert Paul's projector, formerly called the Theatroraph,
opened at the Alhambra in London on March 25 1896.
The name given to experiments carried out by Eadweard
A student of the Bliss School of Electricity, who with
Charles Jenkins developed a motion picture projection
device - the Phantoscope Projector which they patented
in May 1895.
Made in 1896 by Louis Lumière, short film 'Arrivee
d'un train en gare a La Ciotat', demonstrates a movement
camera from right to left which became a standard method
for staging action for the next few years. Audience
reaction to the film was great - stories tell of patrons
backing away from the screen to avoid the oncoming
In the years that proceeded the "Birth" of Cinema,
Bamforth was a well established company making and
selling magic lantern
slides and picture postcards in Holmfirth, Yorkshire.
The advent of film turned James Bamforth to filmmaking
with one shot shorts and actualities some of his early
Made around 1901 'The Big Swallow' is an interesting
film which only makes complete sense when accompanied
the original commentary. It shows the inventiveness
of the films made by the Brighton School.
The name given, firstly to the camera used to take
films for the Mutoscope peepshow device and secondly,
name given to the American Mutoscope Company's 'through
the film' projector.
The nickname given to the first movie studio, built
from wood and tar paper in the grounds of Edison's Orange County Studio on the instruction of W.K.L
It was Edison's staff who gave it its name thanks to
its supposed similarity to the police wagons of the
The most notable of all the British filmmakers during
the first few years of cinema. Based in and around
south of England's seaside town the group's principal
members were George A. Smith and James Williamson.
Philadelphia based seller of photographic materials
who introduced celluloid film to Edison and Dickson in 1888.
Designed and built the Mutoscope with Henry Marvin
after speaking to W.K.L Dickson regarding a cheaper
to Edison's Kinetoscope. He co-founded the KMCD Syndicate
which later became the American Mutoscope and Biograph
A popular genre in early motion pictures evident in
Paul's 'The (?) Motorist' of 1906.
The Lumière Brothers' motion picture device.
It was unique thanks to its incorporation of camera,
printer and projecting
capabilites in the same housing. Light and portable,
the Cinématographe could be taken around the
world filming subjects. (Go
The orginal name for Horner's adaption of the Phenakistoscope
until it was renamed the Zoetrope by American William
Lincoln in 1867.
The man responsible for most of the motion picture
experimentation at Edison's Company. He developed
the Kinetograph, Kinetoscope
as well as providing the basis for Casler's Mutoscope.
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In 1988 George Eastman devised a still camera which
could make photographs on rolls of sensitized
In 1889 he introduced celluloid roll film.
American Inventor who developed, among other things
the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and helped
with the development of the kinetoscope peephole viewer.
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Unpopular projector developed by the Lathams, included
a loop system which was to become a significant addition
to motion pictures throughout history to the present
day it became known as the Latham Loop. The Eidoloscope
was also known as the Panoptikon Projector.
Another name for Plateau's Phenakistoscope.
An associate of Cecil Hepworth who worked on many Hepworth
produced films particularly Rescued By Rover in 1905.
Enthusiastic and erratic English experimenter whose
overoptimistic claims that he had solved the problems
of photographing and projecting motion pictures seems
only to have served to add stimulus to others, notably
One half of entreprenueral partnership Raff and Gammon
who organised the marketing for Edison's Kinetoscope
as well as the Vitascope in subsequent years.
Became general manager of Edison's interests in April
1894. A tough, abrasive figure. Frictions developed
between him and Dickson which resulted in Dickson's
resignation from the company.
The location for the first public exhibition of the
Lumière Cinématographe on Paris' Boulevard des Capucines.
Perhaps the greatest film of the first decade of cinema,
directed by Edwin S. Porter and made in 1903 thanks
to its use of sophisticated camerawork and editing.
Discussed ideas of Persistence of Vision.
A showman with a travelling Cinématographe show
touring fairgrounds in Wales and the West of England.
Like many showmen, Haggar
made many films in locations close to where they would
The inventor of the Zoetrope or Daedalum in 1834.
The idea that a sequence of photographs viewed in a
continuous motion would appear blurred without some
sort of intermittent movement device, briefly stopping
one image which is replaced by the next.
Developed a peepshow machine similar to the Kinetoscope which he called the Phantoscope, and along with his
developed a projecting Phantoscope.
The partnership of Elias Koopman, Henry Marvin, Herman,
Casler and W.K.L. Dickson. Developed the mutoscope
the 'through the film' projector the biograph. Also
known as The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
The projector developed by Birt Acres after he parted
company with Robert Paul.
Camera patented by Birt Acres shortly after his split
with Robert Paul.
Dickson for use with the Kinetoscope Peephole viewer.
Floor-standing motion picture viewer. Basically a wooden
box, the Kinetoscope had a eye-hole in the top where
customers could watch the electrically controlled film.
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Small box camera developed by George Eastman.
A businessman and partner in the American Mutoscope
and Biograph Company.
Owners of the Music Hall in New York City where "Edison's"
Vitascope made its debut in an event organised by
Edwin S. Porter.
Woodville Latham and his sons Otway and Gray developed
a projector based on the Kinetoscope's continuous
of film with a synchronised shutter (rather than the
intermittent movement seen elsewhere) but they increased
the film width to two inches and the film running between
two spools rather than in one continous band. Their
Panoptikon projector enjoyed mild success.
The Latham loop first appeared in the Latham's projector
- the Eidoloscope. The loop was implemented to avoid
undue strain on the film as the intermittent movement
pulled it through the heavy spools. A loop of slack
film from which the intermittent movement was supplied
stopped the film from jerking which often caused film
to break or sprocket holes to tear.
Father of the famous Lumière brothers, Antoine introduced
the brothers to the idea of motion pictures after seeing
Edison's Kinetoscope in action.
Often referred to as the fathers of modern film, the
Lumière brothers contributed greatly to motion picture
history. Their motion picture device, the Cinématographe
combined camera, printer and, with the addition of a
lantern, projector in a handy box. (Go
Used successfully from the 17th Century, Magic Lanterns
worked very much like modern slide projectors.
A Bright light from inside the box illuminated hand-painted
glass slides, which were focused by a lens. The
incredibly popular with travelling showmen and vaudeville
French physiologist Marey was, like Muybridge interested
in the study of animal locomotion and had been making
studies by mechanical means when he met Muybridge in
1881. Marey decided to make attempts
at motion capture using photographic means and using
astronomer Pierre-Jules-Cesar Janssen's 'photographic
revolver' idea Marey created a photographic 'gun'
Part of the KMCD Syndicate, Marvin was an engineer and
friends with W.K.L Dickson. It is to Marvin, along with
Herman Casler that Dickson gave advice about a simple
alternative to the Kinetoscope, an alternative which
became the Mutoscope.
French director Méliès, pioneered some of the first
special effects in film history. combining camera trickery
and vaudeville illusions, Méliès created fantasic worlds
a kin to the writings of Jules Verne. (Go
An idea attempted by Dickson and Edison when developing
the Kinetoscope. The microphotographs would be arranged
around a cylinder as tracks were laid on a phonograph
The only surviving film from the cylinder kinetoscope
- laboratory assistant Sacco Albanese dressed up and
"fooled around" for a bonus of $1.50.
A camera designed for taking pictures to be used in
the Mutoscope peephole device. Originally called the
Biograph, this name was later given to the KMCD Syndicate's
through the film projector.
A Peephole device, similar in size to the Kinetoscope.
Instead of using film, the Mutoscope used a flick-book
principle where a sequence of photographs were mounted
on a drum inside the cabinet. When the drum was spun,
the photographs flipped giving the impression of movement.
The Mutoscope needed no electricity or special lighting
and the playback of the film could be controlled by
the handle. (Go
Englishman, Muybridge was a successful photographer
when he was approached by Leland Stanford. Stanford,
Governor of California wanted to take "instantaneous"
photographs of his horse in order to settle a dispute
as to whether all four hooves left the ground at the
He acheived this by setting a battery
of twelve cameras along side the track. The shutter
of each camera was attached to a trip wire which exposed
a frame as the horse ran and tripped the shutter. Muybridge
adapted the phenakistocope to project which he called
the Zoopraxinoscope and travelled giving lectures on
Typically storefront theatres or Kinetoscope parlours,
so-called as they would often charge a nickel for entry.
A worker at Edison's Factory was chosen to be photographed
in "The Sneeze" - one of the first recording made for
Another name for the Latham's Eidoloscope
British Born engineer, who, in 1894 was asked to make
some Kinetoscope copies. Realising he would need
for this device he turned to Birt Acres and together
they began work on a camera based on Marey's chronophotographe
but using 35mm film. The two entered into a ten year
business agreement which lasted just six weeks before
they fell out. Paul developed a projector on his own
- the Theatrograph and gave regular screenings at
Halls around London. (Go
Word used to describe single viewer attractions such
as the Kinetoscope and the Mutoscope - getting its
from the fact you have to peep into a eye-hole to view
The idea that if you run lots of sequential images
past the eye with some sort of intermittent device,
will be fooled into thinking that what you are seeing
his actually moving.
Popular in early cinema - a camera is mounted on the
front or the rear of a train or other vehicle as the
train moves. This can be seen the Lumière's
'Leaving Jerusalem' film.
illustrates the Persistence of Vision principle.
Two disks are mounted on the same axis, the first has
in it around the edge, the second, sequential pictures.
When spun in alternate directions and viewed through
the holes in the mirror - the images appear to move.
Edison's sound recorder - sound is etched into the tinfoil
covering of a cylinder.
Developed by Marey based on ideas by Janssen, it was
used primarily for the study of birds in flight
Taking Farday's wheel as an example Plateau developed
an optical toy - the phenakistoscope.
Filmmaker of such classics as 'The Great Train
Robbery' and 'Life of an American Fireman'. (Go
An optical toy, similar to the Zoetrope, but instead
of viewing the images through the slots the images are
reflected in several mirrors. Developed by Emile Reynaud.
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One half of entreprenueral partnership Raff and Gammon
who organised the marketing for Edison's Kinetoscope
as well as the Vitascope.
The man responsible for the incredibly important (in
terms of cinema history) and extremely popular Praxinoscope.
He adapted his invention, which was similar to Horner's
Zoetrope, allowing the animated shorts to be projected.
A photographic business run by Frank Mottershaw and
based in Norfolk street, Sheffield. Made many celebrated
British films which included "A Daring Daylight Robbery"
which not only thrilled its audiences when shown in
America but also gave American filmmakers notable examples
of fluid editing techniques.
A fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Smith was
already well known for his lantern slide lectures on
scientific subjects. Smith made a major contribution
to the development of early film form and experimented
with many optical effects such as superimposition to
suggest dreams, parallel action, reverse action and
filmic continuity. In 'Mary Jane's Mishap' he uses
two wipes to achieve a transition between a wide shot
a close up.
One of the first films made by Dickson for the Kinetoscope
features Fred Ott, an Edison employee. The film was
made at the request of Harper's Weekly who wanted photographs
to illustrate an article on the Kinetoscope.
Stampfer created an optical toy which was remarkably
similar to William Horner's Zoetrope. Amazingly his
invention was produced independently and almost simultaneously
to Horner in Stampfer's home in Vienna. He called his
toy the Stroboscope.
Railroad chief and Governor of California, Stanford
commissioned Eadweard Muybridge, a noted photographer
to take some photographs of his horse to settle a bet
as to whether all four horse's hooves leave the ground
Almost identical optical toy to the Zoetrope, produced
independently by Simon Stampfer.
One of the first optical toys, the Thaumatrope was
a simple affair invented by John Ayrton Paris
1826. It consisted of a cardboard disc with thread
attached to each side. One either side of the disc
or drawn, simple pictures.
When the disc was spun with the thread,
the two images appeared to superimpose on top of each
other. Examples of such discs include the caged bird
- on one side was a bird sitting on a perch, on the
reverse a cage - when spun the bird appears to be sitting
on its perch inside the cage.
The name given to a form of theatrical entertainment
based around Reynaud's Praxinoscope. Up until 1892,
animated pictures had predominantly been repetitive
cycles. Reynaud's idea was to paint each individual
frame on a glass slide which in turn would be joined
together into a flexible strip. The images were in
turn projected from behind onto a screen. Reynaud's
Optique came remarkably close to something resembling
cinema, all that lacked was the photography.
Robert Paul's projector, which he developed after parting
company with Birt Acres. Details of his invention
first published in February of 1896.
The result of work carried out by Thomas Armat after
his split with Charles Jenkins was originally called
the Phantoscope. A projecting device based on Edison's
Kinetoscope. Armat showed his new invention to entrepreneurs
Raff and Gammon who showed it to Edison with a view
to marketing it. Edison agreed and the name was changed
to 'Edison's Vitascope'. (Go
The owner of a chemist shop and a photographic business
in Hove near Brighton on the South coast of England,
Williamson's first contact with the cinema was through
the processing of other filmmakers films. He began
make films of his own at the end of 1897 with his first
efforts mainly "Actualities". Williamson's films are
recognised as developing the basics of continuity
action, moving from shot to shot in different locations.
His films include, "The Big Swallow" and "Fire".
An optical toy invented by William Horner in 1834 but
which lay undeveloped commercially until 1867 when it
was patented in England by M. Bradley and in America
by William F. Lincoln (it was from him that the device
received its name).
The Zoetrope, or Daedalum was an adaptation
of the principles which existed with the Phenakistoscope.
It was constructed of a drum on a central axis. On the
inner side of the drum was placed a sequence of pictures
on strips of paper. The outside of the drum had slits
cut into the surface. When the drum was spun and the
pictures viewed through the slits - the images appeared
to move. (Go to
A large, projecting phenakistoscope, devised by Eadweard
Muybridge to show hand painted reproductions of his
Animal Locomotion slides. Muybridge used the Zoopraxinoscope
as an accompaniment to his lecture tour of Europe in