Figure 1.28

The Eidoloscope

The Lathams’ projector, the eidoloscope, was first demonstrated in April 1895—an occasion reported in the New York Sun and illustrated by the drawing on the right. The Lathams went public in May, when the Lambda Co. opened a storefront theater in New York. Although they were inspired by the desire to exhibit prizefights, the Lathams filmed a variety of subjects—mostly such sporting events as horse races and wrestling matches, with a few dancing girls interspersed. The eidoloscope was also a precursor of so-called widescreen projection formats—a fact that the frame on the left makes much clearer than the drawing does. The aspect ratio of the eidoloscope image—the ratio of its width to its height expressed in the form x:1—was 2.33:1. By contrast, the aspect ratio of the kinetoscope image was 1.33:1.

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