The Vitascope

The drawing on the left shows the Armat phantascope in operation; on the right is a photograph of a loaded Edison vitascope. It's the same machine. Armat’s model of the phantascope made a significant improvement over Jenkins’ original with the addition of an intermittent-motion device for pulling the filmstrip through the projector gate. Despite its tainted provenance, the vitascope—along with the Lumière brothers’ cinématographe (see Figure 2.16 and Figure 2.18), which had been unveiled in 1895—is the technological culmination of the era in which it appeared: taken together, the two machines incorporated virtually all existing motion-picture-projection technology. Indeed, the principal features of the vitascope, including the Latham loop (see Figure 1.27) and the Maltese cross (see Figure 1.32), are retained in the modern projector.

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