Acres at Epsom

Acres is filming the Derby at Epsom on 29 May 1895 with what is in all probability the Paul-Acres camera (see Figure 3.1). It has been variously identified as Paul’s “animatographe” (which was the name Paul gave to his projector in 1897) and Acres’ own “kinetic camera” (which Acres had patented independently just two days earlier), but according to British film historian John Barnes, the circular casing around the shutter and the large six-spoked crank-wheel identify it as the camera that Paul improved from Acres’ design in March and April 1895. “It seems to me,” says Barnes, “that Paul was the guiding hand and certainly the instigator of the first camera. . . . Acres was certainly the first in England to turn topical subjects, although under Paul’s direction.”

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