Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of Motion Pictures

By Martin Quigley Jr. | Go to book overview

V
KEPLER AND THE STARS

Kepler, German astronomer, develops the scientific principles of the camera obscura and applies magic shadows to the stars of the heavens--Scheiner and D'Aguilon improve image devices.

JOHANNES KEPLER, the great astronomer, advanced the art- science of magic shadows by developing the theory of the projection of images as well as the scientific use of multiple lenses and the camera obscura or "dark chamber". Da Vinci told how the camera could be used; Porta tried it out for entertainment on a considerable scale but there still was need for penetrating attention from a scientist. That Kepler supplied.

Kepler was a precocious child though he suffered from poor health. He had no special interest or inclination towards astronomy until in 1594, at the age of 23, he found himself required to teach a class in that subject. Soon he became an expert and before his death announced the Kepler laws explaining the planetary system. In 1600 Kepler became assistant to Tycho Brahe ( 1546- 1601), the greatest practical astronomer to that date but one who rejected the Copernican theory that the earth and planets revolve around the sun, a theory which was firmly proved by Kepler. Brahe lost the tip of his nose in a duel, so he wore a gold one, carrying with him cement with which to stick on the tip whenever it fell off.

A few years after becoming astronomer to the Emperor, Kepler published, in 1604, Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena-- "Supplement to Witelo"; Witlelo, a Pole called Thuringopolonus,

-43-

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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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