The Advent of Biograph

In November 1899, a full-scale Biograph crew was ready to film a highly touted championship fight at Coney Island. The lights glinting in this shot are among 350 high-intensity arc lights used to illuminate the nighttime scene, and to ensure picture quality, the 10,000 paying customers were asked to refrain from smoking. The Jeffries-Sharkey Fight was headlining Biograph programs within three weeks, and its success helped secure the position of the well-funded American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. as a major competitor in the business of making and exhibiting motion pictures.

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