UntiEdison Kinetoscope Films 1894-1896

Edison Kinetoscope Films 1894-1896

The history of the American filmmaking began at the end of the 19th century, and the key event of that time was invention of the Kinetoscope. This device was the first one in the motion picture demonstration area. The invention took place in the laboratory of a famous inventor Thomas Edison who elaborated a new mechanism, but the credit for development and practical implementation of his theories belongs to his worker William Kennedy Laurie Dickson. The Kinetoscope makes it possible to watch short films through an eyehole at the top of the gear. At the beginning of the 1890s Edison organized a series of kinetoscope demonstrations that gained a great success and fame.

But the real success came at the beginning of the 1894, when Edison created a five-second film with one of his employees known as “The Fred Odd’s Sneeze”, which became the first one to get a copyright. Originally it was made to produce a series of images for a magazine article and was not intended to be shown in public, but in the end it became one of the most famous films shot on Edison’s film making studio. This film marked the beginning of a new epoch in the history of Kinetoscope.

The first commercial presentation of Kinetoscope took place in the New York City, where the Holland Brothers company opened the first motion picture house that gave the Kinetoscope fame and financial success. The 10 machines took 25 cents each for the film performance, and despite the high prices the device gave a great profit to its creators. In several months the company opened motion picture houses in such big cities as San Francisco and Chicago. This business was soon spread all over the United States.

The first film program consisted of ten films produced on the Edison’s Black Maria studio: “Sandow”(an athlete), “The Barber Shop”, “Horseshoeing”, “Roosters”, “Bertoldi”(this was a name of a famous acrobat who took part in the film), “Bertoldi” (with the table deformation), “Wrestling”, “Blacksmith”, “Trapeze” and “Highland dance”. All the films were very short and showed simple episodes of life at that period of time.

Sport fighting also drew great attention at that time, and the inventors worked on the idea to film the fight and demonstrate it to the public. The idea was implemented in practice in August 1894 with six Kinetoscopes to show one fight for more that half a dollar. But despite the price, it was another important stage of the development of film making industry.

But there were not only good times in the history of Kinetoscope films. The censorship strictly followed filmmaking from the very beginning of its existence, and the first scandals appeared very quickly. The scandal concerned the film that showed the dance of Carmencita, the famous New York hall dancer, who performed in New Jersey. The founder of the city, James Bradley, was so shocked with the unreserved details that he told the mayor of the city about it. The film was immediately changed to another, and in several months another exhibitor was arrested for the indecent kinetoscope operation.

In spite of that, kinetoscope’s popularity reached its peak and spread outside the United States, gaining first success in Paris and London. Soon it became obvious that the technology needs some innovations, and Kinetoscope was followed by Kinetophone which added sound to the images. It was first introduced to the public in 1985. At that time the necessity of developing a projection system became obvious and soon Edison, who did not consider the projection to be able to survive in the beginning, was forced to develop the projection system. This technology was elaborated and the first devices were created at the end of 1985. The next year, Edison understood that it is necessary to promote this invention and presented the Phantoscope which was developed by his employees, Jenkins and Armat. Soon the term was changed to Vitascope and the authorship was given to Edison. This was a great step forward in the development of film making.

The article was written by professional writer Lola Nickson, more her similar papers on film reviews you can find at https://papers-land.com/