Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of Motion Pictures

By Martin Quigley Jr. | Go to book overview

XV
EDISON'S PEEP-SHOW

Edison turns to motion pictures-- Donisthorpe of England works it all out on paper--Eastman manufactures film --Edison perfects a motion picture camera, the Kinetograph, and a peep- hole viewer, the Kinetoscope--World Premiere, New York--April, 1894.

IN THE LABORATORY of Thomas Alva Edison the development of a practicable motion picture camera and viewing apparatus was really achieved. Leadership in the magic shadow art-science came with Edison once again to the United States and it has not left this country since. As a sequel America and motion pictures are linked in the minds of millions throughout the world.

Edison came to the motion picture through his Talking Phonograph, which he had developed not as an entertainment machine but as a device which would be a substitute for the court reporter and in other proceedings requiring exact recording. The motion picture experiments were made rather as a hobby and a diversion from more serious research and invention; the aim was to combine the automatic hearing and speaking of the phonograph with the sight and action of the motion picture.

Curiously enough Plateau, a man who went blind, made the first motion picture possible; Edison who was quite deaf made a great contribution to recording and reproducing sound.

Edison, in November of 1877, sent to his friend Alfred Hopkins, editor of the Scientific American, several sketches of models of his new invention in which "speech was capable of indefinite repetition

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Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of Motion Pictures
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Illustrations 6
  • Foreword 7
  • Introduction 9
  • I It Started with "A" 13
  • II Friar Bacon's Magic 24
  • III Da Vinci's Camera 29
  • IV Porta, First Screen Showman 36
  • V Kepler and the Stars 43
  • VI Kircher's 100th Art 48
  • VII Popularizing Kircher's Projector 62
  • VIII Musschenbroek and Motion 70
  • IX Phantasmagoria 75
  • X Dr. Paris' Toy 80
  • XI Plateau Creates Motion Pictures 85
  • XII The Baron's Projector 98
  • XIII The Langenheims of Philadelphia 106
  • XIV Marey and Movement 115
  • XV Edison's Peep-Show 130
  • XVI First Steps 139
  • XVII World Premieres 149
  • Appendix I MAGIC SHADOWS A Descriptive Chronology 163
  • Appendix II BIBLIOGRAPHY and Acknowledgements 177
  • Index 185
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