Etienne-Jules Marey 1870
√‰TIENNE-JULES MAREY - (1830 - 1904)

Marey begins his initial studies into the possibility of analyzing the motion of birds in flight. His work was advanced by the photographic world‚€™s ongoing efforts to increase photoplate (surfaces) sensibility. In contrast to the work of Muybridge who will photograph successive views of animals and humans that pass before a stationary camera, Marey will take his series of exposures on one plate, with one lens.

E. J. Marey

  Heyl gives us the Phasmatrope, which combines persistence of vision and posed photographs to produce an illusion of motion. It was styled from a magic lantern in terms of projection mimickery. An entirely synthetic illusion was the result of the Phasmatrope. Some have given Heyl the rights to claim the first to project photographic motion pictures, as an early promotional poster [ written from a letter by Heyl himself ] claims of the Heyl Phasmatrope. Published in the Popular Science Monthly of July 1898 by Appleton;  
  ‚€œAmong the earliest public exhibitions of photographs taken from living subjects in motion projected by the lantern upon a screen was that given at an entertainment held in the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, on the evening of February 5, 1870, and a repetition of the exhibition was made before the Franklin Institute at its next following monthly meeting, on March 16th, by the writer [Heyl]. The printed programme of this event contains the following allusion to this feature of the entertainment:

"This is a recent invention, designed to give various objects and figures upon the screen the most graceful and lifelike movements. The effects are similar to those produced in the familiar toy called the Zoetrope, where men are seen walking, running, and performing various feats in most perfect imitation of real life. This instrument is destined to become a most valuable auxiliary to the appliances for illustration, and we have the pleasure of having the first opportunity of presenting its merits to an audience.
  The subjects exhibited embraced waltzing figures and acrobats, shown upon the screen in life size, while the photographic images were easily three fourths of an inch in height. At that day flexible films were not known in photography, nor had the art of rapid succession picture-making been developed; therefore, it was necessary to limit the views of subjects to those that could be taken by time exposure upon wet plates, which photos were afterward reproduced as positives on very thin glass plates, in order that they might be light in weight. The waltzing figures, taken in six positions, corresponding to the six steps to complete a turn, were duplicated as often as necessary to fill the eighteen picture spaces of the instrument which was used in connection with the lantern to project the images upon the screen.  
  The piece of mechanism, then named the ‘phasmatrope,’ consisted of a skeleton wheel having nine radial divisions, into which could be inserted the picture, in such relative position that, as the wheel was intermittently revolved, each picture would register exactly with the position just left by the preceding one. The intermittent movement of the wheel was controlled by a ratchet and pawl mechanism operated by a reciprocating bar moved up and down by the hand. It will be apparent that the figures could be moved in rapid succession or quite slowly, or the wheel could be stopped at any point to complete the evolution.  
  In the exhibition at the Academy of Music above alluded to, the movement of the figures was made to correspond to the time of the waltz played by an orchestra, and when the acrobat performers were shown, a more rapid motion was given, and a full stop made when a somersault was completed. A shutter was then a necessary part of the apparatus to cut off the light rays during the time the pictures were changing places.
  This was accomplished by a vibrating shutter placed back of the picture wheel, that was operated by the same draw-bar that moved the wheel, only the shutter movement was so timed that it moved first and covered the picture before the latter moved, and completed the movement after the next picture was in place. This movement reduced to great extent the flickering, and gave very natural and lifelike representations of the moving figures.”  
  This write-up from Appleton's was also printed the same year in the Franklin Institute Journal (April of 1898). The Phasmatrope exhibition of the waltz was presented to an audience of 1,600.  

  Fenaut was a manufacturer of magic lanterns and in particular, an Episcope that was illuminated by the sun. A mirror on the outside lit the interior with more than enough light to project a very strong image.  
  As many did, Ross dreamed of the use of photography on glass disks, and patented a form of Zoetrope or wheel of life himself.  
  Maddox begins using the Gelatino-Bromide (gelatin dry-plate) process of photography which is now the fastest form of process-photography. Further speed in processing is made by boiling the emulsion. This process allowed for photography to become an instantaneous one.  
  Invents a projector in England to project thinly cut brass rimmed images using intermittent shutter action similar to the latter-known Maltese Cross projector. He called his device a Chorentoscope, as did Molteni. SEE 1866 BEALE.  


Louis Ducos du Hauron in 1872 took the first photograph in color. The photograph (right) was taken of the Angouleme Region in the south of France. Du Hauron worked on both the subtractive and additive methods of color photography during the 1860's and later published his findings in a paper he titled 'Les Couleurs en Photographie'.

Du Hauron used the subtractive method (using yellow-cyan-magenta) of color photography for this first-ever color photo.

If you have a printer connected to the computer you're sitting at, take a look at the tri-color ink reservoirs inside it.

The First Photograph In Colour By Louis Arthur Ducos Du Hauron From 1872

The First Colour Photograph

One Of Leland Stanford's Trotters By Eadweard Muybridge

Muybridge uses a battery of 24 cameras to photograph a race horse owned by California Governor Leland Stanford. The resulting 24 pictures taken as the trotting horse raced past, was the beginning of what would become known as stop-action series photography.

Muybridge would continue the study of motion and the theory of locomotion using animals, and later, humans. Muybridge's investigations into the gate of a horse at the Sacramento racetrack were inconclusive.


  Muybridge publishes over 2,000 photographs of the far western U.S. in his 'Catalogue of Photographic Views'. His photos showed famous American landmarks in their pristine state.  

In April of 1873 the Daily Alta California reported that Muybridge had photographed the horse ‘Occident’, owned by Governor Leland Stanford.

The newspaper stated in the story that Muybridge's photographs had in fact shown the animal "frozen" in mid stride.

Word will quickly spread around the U.S. and then the world, of what Muybridge's work was actually proving - that horses leave the ground, and that recorded motion was possible.

One set of stop-action-series photographs (above) by Muybridge shows the horse in a full gallop - "a perfect likeness". Notice the shadow against the wall.  
The frame (above) from the Muybridge disc shows all four hooves off the ground at the same time - "frozen"
  Without identifying Muybridge by name, the New York Times will report in May of 1873 that "A San Francisco photographer is declared to have obtained a perfect likeness of the horse Occident going at full speed." Muybridge had taken a path that would lead directly towards an art form that would cause landscape photography to pale in comparison. No one had ever seen anything like this before.



A long barreled canon-like automatic camera was invented in 1874 by an outstanding pioneer of modern astronomical photography, Jules Janssen. Janssen used the revolving plate technique and called his camera a 'pistol'. Janssen's method used the forerunner of a number of 'gun' cameras with a slowly revolving plate and shutter operated by clockwork. The photos were taken every 70 seconds along the margin of the negative and he used his pistol to record a 48 image sequence of the transit of Venus across the sun at an exposure rate of 1.5 seconds (Braun, Picturing Time; The Work of Etienne-Jules Marey, pp395 suggests Marey mistook the time required for one revolution of the plate, estimating it at 70 seconds. She further suggests writers through the ages have carried this mistake onward in their reporting). His gun camera worked with two separate slotted disks. One disk was stationary and had one slot. The other had 12 slots and required 18 seconds to revolve once. The plate moved 48 times, intermittently, during a revolution covering approximately 70 seconds. The overlapping of the two disks allowed for the exposure.

The reader will recall the work of Jeremiah Horrox (SEE 1639 JEREMIAH HORROX) in observing the same astronomical event exactly two hundred and thirty five years earlier, except in Horrox's case, without the ability to 'capture' the image of what he saw. Janssen photographed Venus from Japan.

Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen

Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen


John Arthur Roebuck Rudge


The Rudge Projector, or Phantascope, (not to be confused with the Phantoscopes of Jenkins or Robertson) has been described as a combination of the works of Beale (the Choreutoscope, SEE BEALE 1872, and SEE MOLTENI 1865), Brown ( the Uchatius‚€™ Lantern Wheel of Light SEE BROWN 1869), and Wheatstone (Stereoscopes, SEE WHEATSTONE 1838). Rudge‚€™s version was considered the most fluid of pictures to date due in part to the intermittent movement between frames.

John A. R. Rudge

The Phantascope (below-right) consisted of seven photographic slides, which were all posed. The subject appeared to remove his own head from off his shoulders through the tricky work of the photographer or darkroom shenanigans.

Rudge used a circular lamp surrounded by a revolving drum which when turned quickly by a handle-crank, the slides would equally turn quite fast giving the appearance of the ghostly deed.

Rudge's Phantascope, Or Biophantic

Five years from now Rudge will be introduced to William Friese-Greene who will be intrigued by what he saw from Rudge's work, and will be ultimately influenced. Still later, Rudge manufactured another lantern; this one containing four lenses each projecting a photo-slide in sequence. Motion was imitated by a mirrored-shutter redirecting the light source onto each slide as it passed.

In one of the slide series, Friese-Greene played the part of subject. The Phantascope was also called the Biophantic.


The Phantascope (above) of John Arthur Roebuck Rudge



  Ganz was a Swiss photographer, dealer and lantern manufacturer from Zurich. This year he builds his Pinakoscop, a sciopticon lantern. Ganz was a former lithographer who worked in sleight-of-hand. The company is still in business (2007).  
  He described a strip of paper with photographs on it equal distances from each other. Each would be wound from one cylinder to another and then seen through either the Phenakistoscope or Zoetrope.  

Advertisement For Edison's Phonograph 1877 1877
THOMAS ALVA EDISON (1847 - 1931)

Edison announced the invention of his Phonograph by which sound could be recorded mechanically on a tinfoil cylinder. The Phonograph will become a monumental invention in it's own right, but also a major step towards sound recording in motion picture history.

Shortly after Edison's announcement, the Scientific American reported on the Phonograph as follows;

"It is already possible by ingenious optical contrivances to throw stereoscopic photographs of people on screens in full view of an audience. Add the talking phonograph to counterfeit their voices, and it would be difficult to carry the illusion of real presence much further."
 -  Scientific American, December 1877

Edison and his Phonograph From An 1877 Catalog Advertisement (left)
[Source: U.S. Library of Congress, The History of the Edison Cylinder Phonograph]


Reynaud improved on the Zoetrope and patented his machine in 1877 in Paris. He called it a Praxinoscope. It was similar in principle to the Zoetrope except it had rectangular mirrors instead of slots. The mirrors were set around and inner drum to reflect the circling images. These were drawn and painted beautifully by Reynaud. The movement seen was much smoother than the Zoetrope. Reynaud went on to produce his Praxinoscope Theatre. In the theatre, the flying images reflected in the mirrors of the central drum are viewed through a proscenium, which contained stationary scenery so as to give a sense of looking at the production on a stage-like setting. Reynaud was diligent in his work, producing the Projecting Praxinoscope. This projector presented a cast of circus performers or the like onto the screen.
Reynaud's 1878 Praxinoscope
Reynaud patented his Praxinoscope in 1877 and produced this version in 1878 (above-right). The Praxinoscope was an optical toy for the purpose of imitating movement. It utilized drawings and paintings done by Reynaud initially. The pictures faced inward on the outer drum with mirrors placed facing outward on the inner drum. One looked into the mirrors as the outer drum rotated, and saw what appeared to be natural sequential movement.
(Image Source: Bill Douglas Centre)
The Praxinoscope of Charles-Emile Reynaud was placed within the Praxinoscope Theatre (right). The Theatre was a box, which opened like a suitcase. The viewer of the Praxinoscope Theatre then looked through a rectangular hole in the top to see a background printed with what looked like a stage. Through the image of this stage on the background, was another hole where it would appear if the curtains had been drawn back. Within this opening you would see the Praxinoscope's images as if moving. Subject matter would be circus acts, horse races etc.
Reynaud's Praxinoscope Theatre of 1878

  Donisthorpe finishes initial work on his Kinesigraph which may have been designed with Edison's Phonograph in mind. Edison had shown interest in Donisthorpe's machine for the purpose of uniting sound with movement, and would later meet with both Muybridge (1883 and 1888) and Marey (1889) for the same reason. In 1887 Friese-Greene would contact Edison regarding synchronized sound development. Edison's announcement of his Phonograph in New Jersey and write-up in the American press regarding the sound-pictures possibilities caused Donisthorpe to approach the English magazine Nature for the following quote in it's first copy of 1878;  
  "Ingenious as this suggested combination [December 1877 Scientific American article on Edison's Phonograph] is, I believe I am in the position to cap it. By combining the phonograph with the Kinesigraph I will undertake not only to produce a talking picture of Mr. Gladstone which, with motionless lips and unchanged expression shall positively recite his latest anti-Turkish speech in his own voice and tone. Not only this, but the life-size photograph itself shall move and gesticulate precisely as he did when making the speech, the words and gestures corresponding as in real life. Surely this is an advance upon the conception of the Scientific American! I think it will be admitted that by this means a drama acted by daylight or magnesium light may be recorded and reacted on the screen or sheet of a magic lantern, and with the assistance of the phonograph the dialogues may be repeated in the very voices of the actors. When this is actually accomplished the photography of colors will alone be wanting to render the representation absolutely complete,and for this we shall not, I trust, have long to wait."  

Du Hauron publishes Les Couleurs en Photographie in 1869 describing his theory of subtractive colour photography. This year he moves forward publishing Photographie en Couleur describing this process in more precise terms.

Proofs From Muybridge's Shots Of Occident In 1878 1877-1878

Stanford and Muybridge had discussed the idea of a horse's legs being off the ground or not, when trotting. To prove conclusively the truth, Muybridge rigged his cameras to photograph in stop-action, a series of pictures which showed that in fact, the four hooves did leave the ground at one point, at the same time. The cameras had been set along the track on the outer rim, with triggered shutters set at appropriate intervals. The horse was 40 feet from the camera and the exposure was 1/1000 of a second. The exposure was triggered electro-magnetically using wires across the track. This event has gone down in history as one of the most important moments in the story of moving picture development. The series was published later in 1881 under the title 'Attitudes of Animals in Motion'. A patent was granted for this method of stop-action series photography in 1897.
A proof of twelve photos (above) of Stanford's superb trotter, 'Occident' taken at the Palo Alta track and is from the 1881 published series. At the time these photos were taken, Occident was traveling 22 1/2 mph. This lanternslide and others like it reside at the Kingston-on-Thames Library and Museum.

The Zoopraxiscope, a moving picture projector, is designed and introduced by Muybridge. He will take it on tour with him in the upcoming years to use in his lectures, namely, Paris in 1881 and 1882. Upon his return to America the University of Pennsylvania granted him funds in the amount of $5,000 to advance his research in stop-action series photography [final costs would almost reach $40,000]. Between the years 1883-1885, Muybridge took more than 100,000 photographs, which would later be published in 1887. The Zoopraxiscope operated by projecting images drawn from photographs (by Faber and Eakins), rapidly and in succession onto the screen. The photographs were painted onto a glass disc [even though Langenheim's Hyalotype process allowed photographs to be copied onto glass] which rotated, thereby producing the illusion of motion. From this point forward in time, Muybridge's work began to clearly show that the possibility of actual moving pictures or cine-photography, was a reality and not far from perfection.
How Sallie Gardner Would Have Looked  From The Zoopraxiscope
The image to the right of a horse jumping provides us with a marvelous rendering of how the moving horse would have appeared through the Zoopraxiscope, to the viewer in 1879. We also, highly recommend The University Archives and Records Center - Guide to the Eadweard Muybridge Collection at The University Of Pennsylvania.

This "wonderful California horse story" was reported in the Palo 'Alta' ;
Mr. Muybridge has laid the foundation of a new method of entertaining the people, and we predict that his instantaneous photographic, magic-lantern zoetrope will make the round of the civilized world."
An Animated Look At  How Sallie Gardner Would Have Looked In 1878

The Muybridge Zoopraxiscope (above) used images drawn from Muybridge's stop-action-series photographs. They were initially drawn by Erwin Faber, and later by Thomas Eakins.

The disk was rotated between light and lens and thereby provided a sense of motion.

Proof Sheet Of Sallie Gardner

Like Edison, Muybridge had produced his own photographs for the purpose of creating motion on a screen. This animation of Sallie Gardner (left) is from a proof sheet, taken of the horse on June 19, 1878.

It was later copied over by Erwin Faber onto a Zoopraxiscope Plate Disk.

Cine-photography had become a reality.

A must see website on Muybridge is of course the U of Penn.
Proof sheet (above) taken by Muybridge which was transposed over to the disk.

See a 'Street Zoopraxiscope' in action in an urban landscape.

Once again, the pictures never move. There are no glass plates and no machine. Just photos of the Muybridge horse and you in your car.

Go to You Tube and see the illusion here.



The December 9th 1878 edition of the magazine Punch spoofed Thomas Edison's version of sending conversations over long distances. It was the same idea Bell had been working on for years and had patented in February 1876, called the Telephone. The device identified in Punch was called 'Edison's Telephonoscope' and featured a drawing by George du Maurier of father and mother figures sitting in their home before what appears to be (below) a cinema screen, television or video display. They are talking into and listening from, cylinders in their hands.

Interestingly, Edison's Telephonoscope idea was an audio-only device with limited research attached to it, and had only been thought of for patenting a few months earlier. There was no mention of a visual component in Edison's patent, on what eventually became the Megaphone.

This publication of a drawing/decription of an audio-only device, into a full-blown audio-visual transmitter capable of video-conferencing is typical of the fever, which was sweeping the world in the late 19th century regarding the imminence of motion pictures.


Punch's Almanac For 1879 (right) shows du Maurier's depiction of an 'electric camera obscura' capable of providing real-time audio-video across continents. Punch and it's writer obviously felt adding a picture to a potential 'ear telescope' would help circulation. The New York Herald in June 1878 had their say on Edison's Telephonoscope, with the heading;

'The Megaphone'
"The telephonoscope was a device for receiving sound over great distance. Its basic design consisted of long paper funnels to the ends of which were connected flexible tubes for insertion into the listener's ears. When used with a speaking tube, the device reportedly enabled conversation to be "carried on through a distance of one and a half to two miles in an ordinary tone of voice. A low whisper, uttered without using the speaking trumpet, is distinctly audible at a distance of a thousand feet, and walking through grass and weeds may be heard at a much greater distance".

The Herald's sister-paper The Sun ran the same story but with the heading 'Edison's Ear Telescope'.

Punch's 'Electric Camera Obscura'  Of 1879
Punch's Almanac For 1879 Offering Big Screen Home Theatre In The Victorian Age (above)

The descriptive story accompanying the picture reads:

'Every evening, before going to bed, Pater and Materfamilias set up an electric camera-obscura over their bedroom mantel-piece and gladden their eyes with the sight of the Antipodes, and converse gaily with them through the wire'.

Paterfamilias (in Wilton Place) "BEATRICE, COME CLOSER - I WANT TO WHISPER."
Beatrice (from Ceylon) "YES ,PAPA DEAR"

The dimensions of the screen in the drawing (above) by du Maurier have been determined to be almost identical to an aspect ratio of 2.76:1. Another way to put it is to say the wide screen image depicted in this 1879 India ink drawing is equal to today's Ultra Panavison 70mm film format. Although large format film has been used since the late 1880's, this ratio was not seen until the 1950's. For more on The Telephonoscope SEE ROBIDA 1883

  At sixteen years of age, along with brother Emile, Max Skladanowsky helps father Carl to present his 'Nebula Pictures', which were magic lantern Dissolving Views of natural disasters. Themes included fires, storms and earthquakes. They were presented at popular venues like the Town Hall in Berlin. Skladanowsky will build his Bioscop projector basing it on the Dissolving View technique.  
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