CHAPTER 1 / Part 2

FROM THE MAGIC LANTERN TO THE PROJECTED MOTION PICTURE

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THOMAS EDISON ENTERS THE PICTURE

Thomas_Edison

                         Thomas Edison

As inventor of the quadruplex telegraph, the phonograph, the incandescent light, and dozens of other practical devices, Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was already a world-renowned figure when he announced in 1888 that he was “experimenting upon an instrument which does for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion, and in such a form as to be both [sic] cheap, practical, and convenient. This apparatus I call a Kinetoscope—‘Moving View.’”[27] Edison proceeded to develop plans for a device that would imprint microscopic images on a glass cylinder wrapped with photographic film.[28]

The Kinetoscope Project

WKL_Dickson

                   W.K.L. Dickson

A team of Edison’s assistants, led by W[illiam] K[ennedy] L[aurie] Dickson (1860-1937), a four-year veteran of the Edison labs, was eventually assigned to the project.[29] At first, Dickson’s team applied photographic emulsion to celluloid sheets which were then wrapped around the glass cylinders stipulated by the original design. The results were not wholly satisfactory (see Figure 1.17). In the meantime, however, Edison had been introduced to the work of Étienne-Jules Marey and now realized that he could record his images on “sensitive film . . . in the form of a long band passing from one reel to another in front of a square slit.”[30] Working from this new concept, Dickson and his colleagues soon developed a horizontal-feed motion-picture camera (see Figure 1.18) and, in May 1891, unveiled the prototype of a peephole viewing machine.

By August 1891, Edison was ready to patent both his peephole viewer—the kinetoscope—and his camera—the kinetograph—which made circular images on negatives that were then made into positive filmstrips. Note, by the way, that Edison, pleading excessive costs, did not seek patents outside of North America. Historians widely suspect that he feared challenges to his claims of originality in Europe, where similar work was well under way and widely known.

Dickson, meanwhile, improved both machines, redesigning a vertical-feed system for the camera and adopting the stronger 1½-inch film stock on which today’s 35mm film gauge is based. He then designed and outfitted a studio—actually a 25-by-30-foot enclosed room—in which to make films. The improved kinetoscope (Figure 1.19) premiered in Brooklyn on 9 May 1893, where, after a preparatory lecture, the audience lined up to watch Blacksmith Scene, starring three Edison employees who hammered on an anvil and shared a beer for about 20 seconds (Figure 1.20).

American film historian Charles Musser describes the event as “the first commercial-length modern motion-picture subject to be publicly exhibited.”[31] Other historians have argued (in the words of one) that Edison’s kinetoscope “cannot properly be considered cinema, since it consisted only of a peepshow device through which short films could be viewed by one person at a time.”[32]

DiscksonHeise

                     Dickson and Heise

                Congratulate Themselves

The Motion Picture Goes Commercial
  In 1894, Edison incorporated the Edison Manufacturing Company to produce kinetoscopes and films commercially. In the same year, Dickson and an assistant, William Heise, made more than 75 motion pictures, each shot at approximately 40 frames per second and each, at about 46 feet long, lasting some 20 seconds. All were shot in or near the West Orange, New Jersey, studio, which, because it was protected by a covering of black tar paper, was known as the “Black Maria,” after contemporary parlance for a police “paddy wagon” (Figure 1.21).

Edison’s plan called for both films and the battery-operated viewing machine to be marketed and distributed by outside agents. A consortium called the Kinetoscope Company became the primary sales agent for Edison’s films and viewing machines, with exclusive rights to sell Edison motion-picture products in the United States and Canada. The first kinetoscope parlor (Figure 1.22) opened at 1155 Broadway in New York on 14 April 1894, whereupon, according to Musser, “the history of commercial motion pictures began.”[33]

“A Lyric of the Stockyards” and Other First Attractions

The kinetoscope quickly became a showcase for vaudeville and circus acts, fighting cocks and sparring cats, wrestling and boxing matches, and provocative dancers (see Figure 1.23). Mostly, reports Musser, the Edison catalog was dependent on “material drawn from America’s increasingly vibrant urban popular culture.”[34] Dancer Annabelle Whitford, for example, was the featured attraction in several Edison movies made between 1894 and 1897, performing abbreviated versions of such specialties as her Butterfly Dance and Serpentine Dance in the Black Maria.

See the moving picture

Kiss

            “A Lyric of the Stock Yards”?

Two other stage-inspired Edison subjects are illustrated in Figure 1.24. The famous strongman Eugene Sandow, who first posed for Dickson’s camera in 1894, was presented as a model of masculine physicality at a time when many of the Edison subjects were made by and for men. Similarly, in 1896, when May Irwin and John C. Rice were starring in a Broadway musical comedy called The Widow Jones, the New York World and the Edison Company invited them to be filmed while performing a scene—a kiss—from the popular play. William Heise captured the moment in April, and The May Irwin Kiss was a huge hit for more than a year on the kinetoscope circuit.[35] As a “film,” it’s largely an exercise in (rather questionable) titillation dependent entirely on the novelty of the “closeup.” Even so, romantic contact between two outsized faces isn’t necessarily erotic, and according to one critic, the screen’s first love peck was “no more than a lyric of the Stock Yards.”[36] (In 1999, the U.S. Library of Congress nevertheless declared this 18-second document “culturally significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.)

To be fair, we should note that borrowings from the Broadway, vaudeville, and variety stages weren’t Edison’s only staples. The Barber Shop (1894), for example, is typical of the scenes from everyday life that Edison filmmakers produced in 1894-1895. The “action” consists of a man getting a shave that takes just about as long as the movie; the film “documents” people doing something familiar, and of course there’s the novelty of figures moving about more or less naturally as they behave in realistically contrived ways. The attraction of Feeding the Doves (1896—Figure 1.25) lies in the revelation of the subtle, elegant movement of the birds’ wings. Moreover, this little film was shot out of doors. Because Edison had insisted that it be operated by electricity rather than by a hand crank, his camera was originally bound to the studio. By 1896, however, he had relented, and the kinetograph had become portable.

“LIFE-SIZE PRESENTATIONS THERE ARE AND WILL BE”: THE ADVENT OF PROJECTION

Parlor

            Kinetoscope Parlor, ca. 1894-95

Kinetoscope parlors soon opened in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco, and traveling exhibitions brought moving pictures to other cities as well. In its first year—April 1894 through February 1895—the Edison Manufacturing Company enjoyed healthy profits from sales of kinetoscopes, films, and such “sundries” as batteries. During the next year, however, earnings slumped. By late 1895, they had dropped sharply, never to recover, and as sales of the viewing machine declined, so did film production in West Orange. In April 1895, Edison tried to revive his flagging motion picture business with the kinetophone—a combination kinetoscope and phonograph that allowed the customer to look through the peephole while listening through earphones. The machines, however, were expensive and demand was low, and very few kinetophone movies were made (see Figure 1.26).[37]

Why the sudden downturn in Edison’s fortunes? For one thing, imitation machines were on the market by early 1895, and Edison was already being underpriced by competitors. More importantly, the desire of engineers to improve the technology of moving-picture presentation, coupled with the desire of exhibitors to improve the business of showing moving pictures, made the era of motion-picture projection—the exhibition of enlarged images cast on a screen—both inevitable and imminent. In France, Louis Lumière, a manufacturer of photographic equipment, had already begun building a projection machine as an outgrowth of his efforts to improve the lighting capacity of the kinetoscope. In Britain, an engineer named R.W. Paul, having copied the unpatented kinetoscope and improved upon the motion-picture camera, was at work on what he described as “an ingenious apparatus for projecting moving figures upon a screen.”[38] Thus this chapter in the story, which focuses on developments in the United States, overlaps chapters concerning events occurring simultaneously in the U.S. and Europe. We cover the major events in this part of the story in Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.

The “Magic Lantern Kinetoscope”

In the United States, the Latham family ran the Kinetoscope Exhibition Company, which had begun purchasing kinetoscopes and showing Edison films in mid-1894. The Lathams, however, were dissatisfied with Edison’s product on two counts.[39] First, the films, complained Otway Latham, were “breaking as fast as we put them on.”[40] Second, the limitations of the kinetoscope prevented the Lathams from filming and showing full-length prizefights. At the Lathams’ behest, Dickson had already developed a large-capacity kinetoscope that could hold 150 feet of film and thus increased running time to just over a minute. The solution, however, failed to address the Lathams’ more ambitious needs. Perhaps most importantly, unlike Edison, the Lathams—Otway, his brother Grey, and his father, Major Woodville, a former chemistry teacher—refused to ignore the potential advantages of projected moving pictures:

Lathams

                          The Lathams: Otway, Woodville, Gray

Resolving to build their own motion-picture projector, the Lathams formed the Lambda Company in late 1894. They were joined by W.K.L. Dickson, who was dissatisfied with progress at Edison (although he remained on the payroll), and a French mechanical engineer named Eugène Lauste, who had also worked with Dickson at Edison. The company demonstrated what the New York Sun called a “Magic Lantern Kinetoscope” on 21 April 1895—“the first public demonstration of projected motion pictures in the United States,” according to Charles Musser.[41]

Loop

             The Latham Loop

The Latham Loop
  Like the kinetoscope, the Lathams’ projector featured a continuously moving filmstrip: the film moved without interruption through the projector gate, winding and unwinding from one reel directly on to another. According to Woodville Latham, “the life of a film used in a machine where the film moved continuously is greatly longer than in a machine where the movement is intermittent.”[42] About that fact he was right: in machines that moved the filmstrip intermittently—that is, which momentarily stopped each frame before the lens—the tension exerted on the filmstrip caused it to tear. In fact, even when moved continuously, a reel containing over 140 feet of film was liable to break. This meant that, if the Lathams wanted to show films that lasted longer than one minute, they would have to find some way to ease the tension on the filmstrip regardless of whether it moved continuously or intermittently through the projector gate.

In May 1895, the Lambda Company filmed a prizefight on the roof of Madison Square Garden in New York. Consisting of four rounds lasting one minute each and punctuated by 30-second breaks, the event lasted for about eight minutes. The Lathams recorded the fight in its entirety—rounds plus rest breaks—and projected the film for eight nonstop minutes. Clearly, they’d solved the problem of tension on the filmstrip. The solution was what has long been known as the Latham loop. With this celebrated device, not only could longer filmstrips be run safely through both continuous-movement and intermittent-movement projectors, but the capacity of a camera to shoot continuously was limited only by the amount of unexposed film that could be loaded into it. The function of the Latham loop is explained in Figure 1.27.[43]

“People and Things as They Are”: The Eidoloscope
  The Lathams called their projection machine the eidoloscope (Figure 1.28), and although they managed to build only one machine during the whole year of 1895, its portability enabled them to present shows in such diverse venues as storefronts, vaudeville houses, museums, and fairgrounds. Their portable camera allowed them to film on locations ranging from New York City rooftops to Niagara Falls, and the quality of their films ensured the success of the projection format for motion pictures: “Life-size presentations there are and will be,” proclaimed the New York World at the end of May 1895,

and you won’t have to squint into a little hole to see them. You’ll sit comfortably and see fighters hammering each other, circuses, suicides, hangings, electrocutions, shipwrecks . . ., football games, almost anything, in fact, in which there is action, just as if you were on the spot during the actual events. And you won’t see marionettes. You’ll see people and things as they are.[44]

Unfortunately, the Lambda Company was burdened with debt and running out of cash. The Lathams were forced to sell both newly manufactured projectors and exhibition rights, and by the time they’d reorganized as the Eidoloscope Company, they were facing an influx of superior products from numerous competitors.

The Vitascope: The Moving Picture Becomes Entertainment

When he first learned about the Lathams’ initial public showing, Thomas Edison had scoffed at the prospects for projected motion pictures. On 23 April 1896, however, the first commercial screening of his own projection system, the vitascope, took place at Koster & Bial’s Music Hall in New York (Figure 1.29 [45]). Edison was nearly a year behind the Lathams, but his name ensured the kind of publicity needed to bring the new technology to the attention of investors and buyers of exhibition rights.[46]

Although twelve subjects were promised for the April 23 premiere, only six were shown, including a color version of Annabelle Whitford’s Serpentine Dance (see Figure 1.30). One New York paper complained that “in the Vitascope, the figures of the kinetoscope are projected, enlarged to life-size, upon a screen in much the same manner as ordinary, everyday stereopticon images.”[47] Most spectators, however, liked the novelty of seeing enlarged realistic images in lifelike motion, and by the end of July, vitascope exhibitions had been given in every major U.S. city and in most smaller towns that had sources of electricity. Edison’s vitascope launched the projected motion picture as a source of entertainment in the United States, and on the side of the building that now occupies the site of the vitascope debut, a bronze plaque informs passersby that “Here the motion picture began. At this site, on the night of 23 April, 1896, at Koster & Bial’s Music Hall, Thomas A. Edison’s motion pictures were projected.”

C_Francis_Jenkins

                      C. Francis Jenkins

The Tale of Jenkins and Armat
  Although the vitascope was billed as “Edison’s vitascope,” the celebrated inventor actually had virtually nothing to do with its development and refinement. It had begun life as the phantoscope, the name given it by C. Francis Jenkins (1867-1934), an inventor who’d been working on moving-picture viewing machines since early 1893. In 1895, Jenkins had entered a partnership with Thomas J. Armat (1866-1948), a real-estate speculator, to build “a stereopticon phantoscope” according to a patent-application description that Jenkins had already drawn up. The patent was submitted on 28 August 1895 (one week ahead of the Lumière brothers in France—see Chapter 2.2), and in September, Jenkins and Armat first exhibited the phantoscope in Atlanta (showing films that Edison had made for the kinetoscope). The enterprise was a commercial failure, and the partners soon parted ways.[48]

Thomas_Armat

                       Thomas J. Armat

While Jenkins persisted in demonstrating improved versions of the phantascope, Armat took the jointly developed machine to Norman C. Raff and Frank R. Gammon, who ran the Kinetoscope Company, the chief sales agent for Edison.[49] To Raff and Gammon, Armat’s projection machine promised the salvation of their faltering kinetoscope business. Before contracting with Armat, however, they petitioned Edison, who was also suffering from the downturn in the peephole-viewing business, for the right to attach his name to the project. Edison agreed, and Raff and Gammon wrote Armat that

in order to secure the largest profit in the shortest time, it is necessary that we attach Mr. Edison’s name in some prominent capacity to this new machine. . . . We should, of course, not misrepresent the facts to any inquirer, but we think we can use Mr. Edison’s name in such a manner as to keep within the actual truth, and yet get the benefit of his prestige. The machine might be made with a plate upon which we could inscribe the words “Armat design” or something of that kind . . ., and we are confident that you will . . . eventually receive the credit which is due you.[50]

Armat agreed, and the Vitascope Company was incorporated in May 1896. Edison would manufacture the cameras and projectors and, under Raff and Gammon’s auspices, produce the films.[51]

The Intermittent-Motion Mechanism
  Thus the projector marketed as “Edison’s Vitascope” is in fact a Jenkins phantascope as refined by Armat (Figure 1.31). Armat’s claim as inventor of this machine is inferior to the hapless Jenkins’, but it’s certainly superior to Edison’s—and not without some significance in its own right. Among Armat’s improvements to Jenkins’ original design was an intermittent-motion mechanism for controlling the filmstrip as it passed through the gate of a camera or projector. The problem facing designers of motion-picture apparatus was finding a sufficiently smooth means of transforming the continuous movement of the motor into the intermittent motion needed to hold the filmstrip momentarily as it passed through the gate, and Armat's solution ranks with the Latham loop as one of the two most ingenious technical advances of the era.[52]

See how it works

Loop

 The Maltese (or Geneva) Cross

The Maltese Cross
  Jenkins’ original phantascope, like the Lathams’ original eidoloscope, was hindered by continuous-movement mechanics. In his 1895 patent, however, Armat included a design for an intermittent-motion apparatus, and in 1897, he patented what, according to many historians, is the first projector to feature the Maltese cross (or Geneva cross) mechanism, which is shown and explained in Figure 1.32.[53] Jenkins and Armat’s 1895 demonstration in Atlanta qualifies, according to Musser, as “the first instance of modern commercial cinema—projected moving pictures using an intermittent mechanism—in the United States.”[54] Armat did not, however, introduce the intermittent-motion device into photographic technology: a device for cameras had been patented in 1869, and various mechanisms had been used in projectors since at least the early 1890s. Nor is Armat’s claim to the Maltese cross undisputed: despite his later patent (in 1897), the British inventor R.W. Paul is credited with the development of the device by many researchers (see Chapter 3),[55] and still others regard as crucial its refinement by a German inventor-producer named Oskar Messter.[56]

GLOSSARY

kinetograph  Thomas Edison’s single-lens camera

kinetoscope  Thomas Edison’s peephole viewing machine

Latham loop  Mechanism for moving a filmstrip through a projector while minimizing the tension exerted on it

Maltese (or Geneva) cross   Intermittent-motion mechanism for pulling a filmstrip smoothly through the gate of a projector

vitascope  Projector, marketed by Thomas Edison, featuring both a loop for minimizing tension on the filmstrip and an intermittent-motion mechanism for pulling it smoothly through the gate

REFERENCES

[27] Quoted by Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, p. 64.

[28] This section is based largely on Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, pp. 53-89; see also Musser, Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1991), Ch. 3, at http://publishing.cdlib.org (accessed May 26, 2016). See also History of Edison Motion Pictures, Library of Congress, at http://memory.loc.gov (accessed May 26, 2016); and Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies, Library of Congress, at http://memory.loc.gov (accessed May 26, 2016).

[29] For a comprehensive study of Dickson’s contribution to the development of motion-picture technology, see Paul C. Speher, The Man Who Made Movies: W.K.L. Dickson (Hertsfordshire, UK: John Libbey Publishing, 2008). See also Spehr, “Throwing Pictures on a Screen: The Work of W.K-L. Dickson, Filmmaker,” in The Wonders of the Biograph, special issue of Griffithiana, Nos. 66-70 (2000), ed. Luke McKernan and Mark van den Tempel.

For easily accessible biographical material, see the following: Richard Brown, “William Kennedy-Laurie [sic] Dickson,” Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute, 2016), at www.victorian-cinema.net (accessed May 26, 2016); “W.K.L. Dickson,” Pioneers, at Early Cinema.com, at www.earlycinema.com (accessed May 26, 2016); “Pioneers of Early Cinema: 4: William Kennedy Laurie Dickson (1860-1935),” National Media Museum (Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK), at www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk (accessed May 26, 2016); “W.K.L. Dickson: The Father of Film” (2006), American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., at http://archive.is (accessed May 26, 2016).

Dickson and his wife published a short volume on his work at Edison: W.K.L. Dickson and Antonia Dickson, History of the Kinetograph, the Kinetoscope and the Kinetophonograph (1895; rpt. New York: Arno Press and the New York Times, Museum of Modern Art, both 2000). A facsimile can be found in the Arno/New York Times The Literature of Film series, at https://babel.hathitrust.org (accessed May 26, 2016). Dickson also published a revised version nearly 40 years later: “A Brief History of the Kinetograph, the Kinetoscope and the Kinetophonograph,” Journal of the SMPE 21 (December 1933), which is reprinted in A Technological History of Motion Pictures and Televsion: An Anthology from the Pages of The Journal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, ed. Raymond Fielding (Los Angeles and Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1967), pp. 9-16, at https://books.google.com (accessed May 26, 2016). See also Margaret Julia Hames, “‘I Have No Pride’: William Kennedy Laurie Dickson in His Own Words—An Autobiography,” Proceedings of the 68th New York State Communication Association, vol. 2010 (2012), at http://docs.rwu.edu (accessed January May 26, 2016).

Gordon Hendricks, an art historian and authority on early motion-pcture development, argued that Edison’s prominence in the historiography of the early cinema derived less from his actual contributions to key technical achievements than to his stature as both popular icon and head of a well-known and highly successful producer of innovative products; according to Hendricks, Dickson and other Edison employees were deprived of due credit by the influence of Edison on contemporary accounts (especially Ramsaye’s A Million and One Nights, which was published with Edison’s endorsement). See Hendricks, The Edison Motion Picture Myth (Los Angeles and Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1961), rpt. as Origins of the American Film (New York: Arno Press, 1961). Musser (The Emergence of Cinema, p. 64) agrees that “Edison and his associates distorted the record in their efforts to sustain both the inventor’s patents and his legend. . . . Hendricks’ exhaustive research,” he adds, “. . . has uncovered important clues to the sequence of events and the time frame in which they occurred.” Unfortunately, concludes Musser, Hendricks’ “virulent anti-Edison attitude frequently hampered his ability to offer credible conclusions.” For excerpts from Hendricks’ The Kinetoscope: America's First Commercially Successful Motion Picture Exhibition (New York: The Beginnings of American Film, 1966), see: “The History of the Kinetoscope,” in The American Film Industry, ed. Tino Balio (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1976), pp. 33-45; and “The Kinetoscope: Fall Motion Picture Production,” in Film before Griffith, ed. John L. Fell (Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press, 1983), pp. 13-21.

[30] Quoted by Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, p. 68.

[31] The Emergence of Cinema, p. 72. See also Musser, “A Cornucopia of Images,” in Moving Pictures, ed. Mathews, pp. 30-31.

[32] Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, “The Loop and the Maltese Cross,” in The Oxford History of World Cinema, p. 7.

[33] The Emergence of Cinema, p. 81.

[34] The Emergence of Cinema, p. 81. See the Inventing Entertainment site of the Library of Congress, where 341 motion pictures (plus disc sound recordings and other materials) are collected; and A Guide to Motion Picture Catalogs by American Producers and Distributors, 1894-1908: A Microfilm Edition (2013), Rutgers University, at http://edison.rutgers.edu (accessed May 26, 2016).

[35] See Musser, “A Cornucopia of Images,” in Moving Pictures, ed. Mathews, pp. 29, 31-33. See also Herbert, “William Heise,” Who’s Who in Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute, 2016), at www.victorian-cinema.net (accessed May 26, 2016).

[36] Quoted by Arthur Knight and Hollis Alpert, “The History of Sex in Cinema,” Playboy (April 1965), p. 127.

[37] See Walter Murch, “Dickson Experimental Sound Film 1895,” FilmSound.org (June 3, 2000), at www.filmsound.org (accessed May 26, 2016).

[38] Quoted by John Barnes, The Beginnings of the Cinema in England (London: David & Charles, 1976), p. 42.

[39] This section is based on Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, pp. 92-100. For a detailed—though somewhat romanticized—account of the Lathams’ contributions to the technology and commerce of motion pictures, see Terry Ramsaye, One Million and One Nights: A History of the Motion Picture through 1925 (1926; rpt. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), Chapters 8-10, 14-15. See also Raymond Gamache, A History of Sports Highlights: Replayed Plays from Edison to ESPN (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2010), pp. 26-29, at http://books.google.com (accessed May 26, 2016); “14/6/1894: Filming the Fight Game,” Movie Movie (2009-2012), at www.moviemoviesite.com (accessed May 26, 2016).

[40] Quoted by Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, p. 84.

[41] The Emergence of Cinema, p. 94. On Eugène Lauste, a French-born engineer who undoubtedly had much to do with the Lathams’ technical advances, see Spehr, “Eugene Augustin Lauste: A Biographical Chronology,” Film History 11:1 (1999), pp. 18-38; Herbert, “Eugène Augustin Lauste,” Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute, 2016), at www.victorian-cinema.net (accessed May 26, 2016); and Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, pp. 92-94.

[42] Quoted by Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, p. 94.

[43] See Stephen Herbert, “Major Woodville Latham, Grey Latham and Otway Latham,” Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute, 2016), at www.victorian-cinema.net (accessed May 26, 2016); “The Lathams Build a Projector,” Encyclopedia (2016), at http://encyclopedia.jrank.org (accessed May 26, 2016); “The ‘Latham Loop’—A Loop of Film That Freed an Industry” (2004), The Picture Show Man (2004-2015), at www.pictureshowman.com (accessed May 26, 2016); “Maj. Woodville Latham and Sons, Otway and Grey,” Adventures in CyberSound, at www.acmi.net.au (accessed June 8, 2011).

[44] Quoted by Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, p. 96.

[45] For Figure 1.29, see esp. Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, pp. 115-18.

[46] This section is based on Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, pp. 91-132; and Robert C. Allen, “Vitascope/ Cinématographe: Initial Patterns of American Film Industrial Practice,” in Film before Griffith, ed. John Fell (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1983), pp. 144-52.

[47] Quoted by Musser, The Emergence of Cinema, p. 117.

[48] See Herbert, “Charles Francis Jenkins,” Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute, 2016), at www.victorian-cinema.net (accessed May 26, 2016); Herbert, “Thomas J. Armat,” Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute, 2016), at www.victorian-cinema.net (accessed May 26, 2016). In 1920, Jenkins contributed a detailed, technology-oriented “History of the Motion Picture” to Transactions of the SMPE (October 1920), which is reprinted in A Technological History of Motion Pictures and Television: An Anthology from the Pages of The Journal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, ed. Raymond Fielding (Los Angeles and Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1967), pp. 1-6, at https://books.google.com (accessed May 26, 2016). Fifteen years later, Armat offered a more personal perspective in “My Part in the Development of the Motion Picture Projector,” Journal of the SMPE 24 (March 1935), which is also reprinted in Fielding, pp. 17-22, at https://books.google.com (accessed May 26, 2016).

[49] A collection of papers dealing with the sale of Edison equipment and films by the Kinetoscope Co. is held by Harvard University. See Raff and Gammon Collection, part of Women, Enterprise and Society, at www.library.hbs.edu (accessed May 26, 2016). The collection itself is not online.

[50] Quoted by Kenneth Macgowan, Behind the Screen: The History and Techniques of the Motion Picture (New York: Delta, 1965), pp. 83-84.

[51] Armat’s papers, which bear upon the litigation that plagued the motion-picture industry for another two decades, are available at Georgetown University’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections: The Thomas Armat Papers, at www.library.georgetown.edu (accessed May 26, 2016). The collection itself is not online.

[52] See Nowell-Smith, “The Loop and the Maltese Cross,” The Oxford History of Cinema, p. 7.

[53] See also James Monaco, How to Read a Film: The Art, Technology, Language, History and Theory of Film and Media (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1977), pp. 73-74.

[54] The Emergence of Cinema, p. 103. Italics added.

[55] See especially Barnes, The Beginnings of the Cinema in England, pp. 41-47.

[56] See Deac Rossell, “Oskar Messter,” Who’s Who in Victorian Cinema (British Film Institute, 2016), at
www.victorian-cinema.net (accessed May 26, 2016).

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