Damoizeau built what has been suggested as the first panoramic camera, which is untrue. The Cyclographe (right) took photographs encompassing a full 360º and was one of the better panoramic cameras of the day. It was a collapsible bellows-camera and contained a pointed punch which would strike and thereby identify each new exposure on the roll prior to its passing before a slit at the shutter.

The dimension of the roll film was 80cm by 8.5cm and operated via a mechanism driven by a key-wound clockwork. The camera turned on the tripod as the film was fed past the shutter in the opposite direction to the camera's turning.

In 1894 Damoizeau developed a panoramic stereoscopic camera with twin-lenses, twin-spools and twin -slits. Most panoramic cameras provided a view of at least 110º, with some, like this one providing for a full circle.

Damoizeau's Panoramic Cyclographe of 1890
Damoizeau's Cyclographe (above) of 1890

Image Source: George Eastman House

  The Charles Beseler Company, founded in 1868, manufactured a variety of instruments both in the optical field as well as in the medical. His products included magic lanterns, lanterslides, dissolving stereopticons and stereopticons specifically for museum use. In 1890 Beseler designed and built a magic lantern which swivelled, turned and tilted. It sat on a single post. The Charles Beseler Company is still in existence today [2007] and is noted for their products quality and long-lasting performance. In the mid-twentieth century the company expanded to the amateur field of photography and darkroom equipment which included the 45-series enlarger.


Did a presentation of a Tachyscope projection take place at the Lenox Lyceum in New York City on April 7, 1890? Was it the Tachyscope of Dickson or Anschutz? And were Muybridge‚€™s photographs used? These questions may never be adequately answered to satisfy all who ask. However, one thing is for sure; there was apparently a presentation, and it was with a Tachyscope, likely that of the Edison labs, made by Dickson.

Chronicler Gordon Hendricks in his exhaustive work The Edison Motion Picture Myth has presented some impressive details, but as he himself points out, ‚€œSince an exhaustive search has discovered no other reference to this projection . . . we can assume that such a projection occurred." (p92). The presentation is said to be the sponsored work of Edison, at the Lenox Lyceum, which was at one time the Panoramic Building on Madison Avenue, New York City.

It is also reported to have been a public motion picture projection, although as it turned out only reporters saw the pictures move. The event was certainly well documented, having made it‚€™s way into several daily newspapers including the New York Herald, Sun and World, as well as other magazines and weekly newspapers. Hendricks documents a report from a writer of the Western Electrician published on April 12;

  "The effects produced are indeed wonderful, and in splendor outrank anything ever seen in this country. A magic lantern of almost unimaginable power casts upon the ceiling from the top of the tower such pictures as seen to be the actual performances of living persons.‚€Ě  

Could this have been only a preview for the press as Hendricks suggests? The strong suggestion has also been made that the photographs of Muybridge could have been what were shown that day. Photographs made and shown in the Edison lab to this time, where well known as being microscopic and not suitable for full projection in any projector he had. This bides well then for the hint that Muybridge may have provided such photos for the event at the Lenox Lyceum.

Interestingly, The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle, published through the University of Pennsylvania where Muybridge had worked earlier, reported regarding the photographs of Muybridge, that Thomas Edison had used, ‚€œMuybridge‚€™s motion photographs of running horses . . . [as] his first continuous movie on a strip film.‚€Ě  We have not come upon any other references either, regarding this event, and must conclude from what evidence does exist, that this presentation did in fact take place.

We reserve judgment however on whether Muybridge‚€™s photographs were used.


The Peep-Show Mutoscope Of Hermann Casler 1890 1890
HERMANN CASLER (1867 - 1939)

Casler‚€™s Mutoscope perhaps typifies the peepshow in its purest form. A simple motion picture viewing machine capable of ‚€˜flipping‚€™ pictures of successive phases were passed before the viewing area as a crank is turned. Photographs were mounted radially on an axle and when rotated or turned, each photograph was held in sequence just long enough to be seen before being replaced by the next. No matter how fast the handle was turned, the pictures were held at a rate of between 16-18 frames per second. This had been determined as the minimum necessary for persistence of vision to be achieved.

The principle of persistence of vision is most simplified and understood, with flipbook animation, which the Mutoscope demonstrated accurately. Mutoscope Parlours were the rage in the 1890‚€™s throughout America and remained so until around 1910. As a single-viewing device, the Mutoscope could never compete (as could any peepshow) with the advent of projection, to larger audiences. The photographs were taken with the Mutograph, one of the earliest motion picture cameras.
Hermann Casler's Mutoscope (above) was one of the first successful nickelodeons to commercially exploit motion pictures. This original coin-operated peep show machine housed a roll of photographs, which were turned by the handle after a nickel was deposited in the slot (hence the name nickelodeon). Like many of it's competitors, the Mutoscope was limited to one viewer at a time, and found it's greatest market in penny arcades. (Image Source: Toronto Reference Library)
  Casler, along with William K. L. Dickson of the Edison Laboratories, and Harry Marvin and Elias Koopman joined forces to become the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. Casler designed and built the Biograph for AMBC. This projecting apparatus used non-perforated film of a much larger frame area than was customary at the time, resulting in a much sharper image. For more on The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company SEE AMBC 1896.  



Dickson near-finishes the Kinetoscope (Motion Picture Viewer, or Peepshow) for Edison, who went on to patent the device. The Kinetoscope was the first 'continuous-film' motion picture projector, as well as the first time perforated film was used in projection.

The films were photographed in the Kinetograph which was the first Celluloid film motion picture camera, again invented by Dickson in the Edison laboratories, 1888. In the Kinetoscope, a fifty-foot loop of positive images was permanently threaded on a series of rollers in the machine.

A diffused light behind the film illuminated the frame in position at the viewing hood. When a crank was turned the film advanced and an intermittent shutter interrupted the light as each frame changed.

In commercial installations where it's competitor was the flip-book Mutoscope, a coin operated control blocked and unblocked the light at the beginning of the brief presentation. To obtain enough film for 1.5 minutes of operation, Dickson had slit a two and three-quarter inch wide length of film. This produced two 25-foot strips, each 35mm wide, which Dickson spliced together.

The Kinetoscope 1891

The Kinetoscope (above) with door open to show the fifty feet of film needed for 1.5 min.

To ensure that the film advanced without slipping, he perforated the edges and used toothed sprocket wheels to impart regular motion. Edison contracted Eastman to manufacture film to these specs before the machine went into commercial production, and thus, the 35mm motion picture film standards were established. Edison‚€™s public premiere of the Kinetoscope took place at the Orange laboratory to a gathering of the National Federation of Women‚€™s Clubs. The event was chronicled by the Orange Chronicle as;
‚€œ . . . after the close of the entertainment a large number of the ladies were, by special invitation, driven down to the laboratory, where Mr. Edison himself was present and exhibited to them the kinetoscope, the new invention that he is about perfecting, by which the gestures of a speaker are accurately reproduced, while the spoken or sung words are reproduced by the phonograph.‚€Ě

  Evans was a co-worker and colleague of Friese-Greene. Evan‚€™s efforts in the improvement of their projector were for the most part centered on the intermittent movement of the film strips. As Evans stated; ‚€œThe objects of the present invention are to simplify the means by which the successively adjacent or following portions of a sensitized strip are caused to be presented in position for exposure, arrested in position and removed from position so as to allow the strip to be more gradually advanced. The advance of the strip to be effected directly from the main shaft in lieu of intermittently operating escape devices independently and momentarily operating when released from the control of such shafts.‚€Ě  
  Friese-Greene had earlier produced three separate experimental films of varrying guage (60, 65 and even 155mm). The one shot on 155mm film at Hype Park was an attempt at stereoscopic motion. It was shot at a rate of only 5 frames per second due to the pressure of the advancing filmstrip, and does not result in fluid motion.  


Du Hauron completes his process for Anaglyph Stereoscopic Photography, patenting it this year. The system uses green and red filtration (European). To show his system publicly he offers Magic Lantern shows.

AUTHOR: Anaglyph Stereo Photography involves an attempt to create 3D images made from two photographs that are taken the same distance apart as the human eyes --- 2.5 inches or so. Illusion of depth is simulated using a red colour field of the left photo and combining it with the right photo (green). Western colours are typically blue and red, whereas in Europe red and green were established early on. The patron or viewer wears the same coloured glasses to see the effect --- red in the left eye and green or blue in the right lens. Anaglyph is taken from the Greek language and two words are used to create it --- 'sculpture' and 'again' - in this case to re-sculpture a photograph or picture.


The Cromoscope Of Frederic Ives 1891

Ives had designed a colour camera he called a Photochromoscope. Photographs were taken using three distinct colour filters and were again used after development to view the photographs. A pioneer in the colour process, Ives gave us this (left) stereo Cromoscope. It had an adjustable viewer for special 3 colour separation transparencies. (Image Source: Lionel Hughes Photographica)
        Ives's Cromoscope Viewer  

Albert Londe's Twelve Lens Camera Of 1891

ALBERT LONDE (1858 - 1917)

Adding three more lenses to his camera of 1882 [SEE LONDE 1882], Londe now uses twelve lenses to photograph a succession of images of patients in a variety of movements. The purpose; the study of muscle-movement. His work in this field was completed at Salpetriere hospital in Paris just as it was in 1882. Exposures lasted from one and a half seconds to several seconds.

A year later in 1893 Londe had his work in chronophotography within the medical field published (La photographie médicale: Application aux sciences médicales et physiologiques, Gauthier-Villars, A. Londe, 1893 ). This is the first book published on medical photography. The book was illustrated with his work and was 220 pages in length. In 1898 Londe published a slightly larger volume (Traité pratique de radiographie et de radioscope: technique et applications médicales, Paris, Gauthier-Villars, A. Londe., 1898). Londe published six journals in all and worked with Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot who was considered the leading French neurologist of the century. Charcot was an early teacher of Freud.

        Albert Londe's 12-lens camera of 1891 The camera was illustrated (left) in the journal 'La Nature', 1893.

GEORGES DEMENY (1850 - 1917)
  Demeny, who worked alongside Marey at the Station Physiologique, built the Photophone for photographing, and the Phonoscope for projecting. Again, even with Celluloid available (and used by them since 1888), Demeny used a glass disc which contained the chronophotographs (between 18-24 around the circumference), and projected them on the screen. This process is reminiscent of Muybridge's Zoopraxiscope, and was actually an improvement on Anschutz's Electrotachyscope. Demeny later this year patents the Phonoscope (without Marey's involvement).  

The Phonoscope was shown this year at the Exposition Internationale de Photographie de Paris and Demeny considered producing the machine for commercial use. The discs were 42cm in diameter with his chronophotographs placed around the circumference, typically eighteen of them. When Demeny began his company for manufacturing the Phonoscope (Société de Phonoscope), Marey withdrew completely from his relationship with Demeny and fired him from Station Physiologique. Demeny would create and build his own camera he called the Biographe, with his 'Beater Mechanism' which transferred the film.

Georges Demeny changed the name of the Phonoscope to the Bioscope in 1895, began a business partnership with Leon Gaumont to manufacture the Bioscope (1895), and had Alfred Molteni make his projecting lanterns. The Biographe had no future and was not produced beyond 1896 however Gaumont did successfully exploit the beater mechanism concept after Demeny's retirement in the early 20th century.

Below (left) is an etched-rendering (of Georges Demeny) of twelve of the chronophotographs as they would have appeared on a disc. The etching is from the magazine La Nature that published them and below (right) we see a corresponding engraving of how they appeared once projected through the Phonoscope.
Etchings of Demeny From A Sequence of Chronophotographs 1892
As The Chronophotographs Would Have Looked Using The Phonoscope
'Talking Photographs' From The Work Of Georges Demeny, 1892

The La Nature publication citing Demeny's work with the Phonoscope (above - left and right) was entitled 'Talking Photographs' and reported the use of up to 24 chronophotographs "pronouncing words and phrases". (La Nature, September 1, 1892, identifying British Patent #15709). In the above strip we can clearly see Demeny moving his mouth as if speaking.

Using the twelve images from the La Nature proof sheet (above), we have reconstructed (left) what Demeny may have looked like through the Phonoscope in 1892. With the Photophone for photographing and the Phonoscope for projecting, these chronophotograph etchings were placed around the circumference of the disk and when projected, gave the appearance of movement. Rather than for entertainment, chronophotographs were born out of a scientific interest.



Skladanowsky was a German artist who along with brother and dad, created a camera and projector in one (a chronophotographic device), making a film this year in Germany. The film was a total of forty-eight frames and were of his brother Emil. He called it his Bioskop and by 1895 it was projecting two rolls of film at the same time. Skladanowsky used George Eastman's Kodak film. As a 16 year old, Skladanowsky learned the craft of the magic lantern presentation with his father Carl as he introduced his Nebula Pictures. These were magic lantern shows of natural disasters, which he showcased at different venues around Germany. The Berlin Town Hall and Apollo Theatre in Friedrichstrasse to name two.
Maximillian Skladanowsky
Maximillian Skladanowsky


In Paris, Reynaud opens his Theatre Optique Movie Theatre at Musée Grevin. Instead of using photographs, Reynaud returns to the use of hand-painted images. Nostalgia, so soon. Some information is available to suggest that this could be the theatre once owned and used by Robert Houdin. That Georges Melies purchased the actual Houdin Theatre in 1888 and maintained it into the twentieth century makes this doubtful.
The Théâtre Optique of Emile Reynaud In Operation


'Pantomimes Lumineuses' Poster From 1892 Promoting Reynaud's  Théâtre Optique
The Théâtre Optique of Emile Reynaud (shown in operation above) was designed and built in 1887 and patended in 1888. This presentation in 1892 at the Musée Grevin was produced by Reynaud who acted as projectionist, which was typical of early film pioneers. This etching offers a representation of how it all may have looked like during the show.   Promoted as 'Pantomimes Lumineuses', this poster (above) drew audiences to what has been called the first publicly shown animated pictures on a strip or band.

The above image idetifies how the machine worked and operated: The operator worked two spools which contained a long band or strip of leather on which painted images on gelatine squares were placed and secured. Between each picture were perforations that matched up with pins on the larger revolving wheel that housed little mirrors.

Each picture aligned with a mirror and was projected up onto a larger mirror, which was re-directed onto a transluscent sheet, which was between the projector and the audience. A Magic Lantern was employed to cast a background static image onto the sheet as well as provide additional illumination and another 'dimension' to the overall effect.

Reynaud painted the images having grown up in and apprenticed in a Magic Lantern producing environment. These animated performances at Musée Grevin lasted up to fiften minutes at times and involved between 500 to 700 individually painted frames.

Reynaud died in 1918 and while being deeply depressed destroyed his only Théâtre Optique. Only two of his strips survive today.


  Marey presented a form of cinematography by projecting a series of sixty or more positive images onto a screen. The images were printed onto a transparent band and projected with electric light. Marey was presenting to the Academie des Sciences at the time, however it is not clear if the Academie saw this presentation or only heard of it. From further research, it would appear that he did project these images, but not within the presence of the Academie.

N.B. Gernsheim (The History of Photography, pp334) states clearly that Marey actually projected photographed motion in cinematographic form. However he also states Marey only described this to the Academie. Braun (Picturing Time, pp173) states that Marey promised a projection show but it never happened even though the pictures were cut and attached to a rubber fabric in an attempt to provide projection. The photographs were also not equidistant, however this was achieved in 1896 (Gernsheim). George Gilbert (Collecting Photographica, pp 237) claims Marey used a Celluloid band but places the event in 1893.
Leon Guillame Bouly's Cine Camera Or 'Cinematographe' Built In 1892


Prior to the Lumiere brothers naming and patenting their 'Cinematographe', Bouly had designed and built a machine he described as a "reversible device of photography and optics for the analysis and synthesis of motions, [named] cinématographe Léon Bouly". He had named his a 'Cinematographe' in a second patent in 1893, but fell into financial hardship and in 1894 the patent lapsed. The Lumiere's liking that name, patented the name, and applied it to their 'Cinematographe'.

Without perforations in the film roll, the sequencing was not smooth but jerky and failed to live up to the description found within the patent; 'to obtain automatically and without interruption a series of analytical negatives of movement'.

The second patent filed in 1893 claimed that the Cinematographe would be capable of both filming and projection. Bouly's Cinematographe of 1892 was a camera-only machine. Two of these cameras are extant and can be found at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris.

Bouly's Cinematographe (above) ( or cine-camera) of 1892 Image Source: The George Eastman House Technology Archive

Sir CHARLES VERNON BOYS (1855 - 1944)
  Boys advanced the work of Ernst Mach by photographing flying bullets at 1500 mph. Boys' work was conducted at the Royal College of Science and managed to provide fairly clear photographs of the bullets penetrating glass and other substances. Boys reduced the duration due to sparks, to approximately 1/10,000,000 [one ten millionth] of a second. The rifle bullet moved 1/400th of an inch at the moment the picture was taken.
The Kinetoscope is seen by the public for the first time when it is demonstrated at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences in New York on May 9.
  Marey employs the use of the sun for lighting in a projector. The world's first solar projector.  

Thomas Edison's Movie Studio, The Black Maria

THOMAS ALVA EDISON (1847 - 1931)

Edison builds the first movie studio known of. He calls it the 'Black Maria' and the next year opens his first picture house in New York City. The Black Maria was situated in New Jersey.

Readers who are aware of the movie moguls (studio owners) of the 1920's, 30's and 40's who developed out of the early years of filmmaking, will recall the fact that the movie studios at that time owned and operated their own chain of movie theatres and houses across the country during those decades. The commercial advantage of this practice was foreseen, and begun by Edison as early as 1893.

Edison presents his peep show Kinetoscopes to the U.S., England and France.

The Black Maria (above) was nothing more than a shack, and was used in the 'production' of some of Edison's very first films and tests such as 'Fred Ott's Sneeze'. It was painted inside and out with black paint so as to keep out unwanted light.

The window on the slanted roof was used to flood the subject with light. Edison made many other experimental films using his employees as actors.


  Muybridge attends the Columbian Exposition at Chicago and provides a work entitled 'Descriptive Zoopraxography'. The Zoopraxiscope is the star of the show as Muybridge presents his work at his Zoopraxigraphicall Hall.  
A Zoopraxiscope Disk From 1893 Called The Waltzing Couple


The Zoopraxiscope operated by projecting images (drawn from photographs in some cases) rapidly and in succession onto the screen.

The photographs were painted onto a glass disc for the Zoopraxiscope (even though the Hallotype photographic process allowed photographs to be placed onto glass). When rotated and projected within the Zoopraxiscope the spinning disk provided an illusion of motion.

A fine example of the early purpose of the Zoopraxiscope was to distinguish motion by the use of individual images (left & right).

Individual Sequence From The Waltzing Couple Zoopraxiscope Disk, 1893

Muybridge's Zoopraxiscope Plate Disks were hand painted by Thomas Eakins and also Erwin Faber. These two animations show the illusion created by the 'Waltzing Couple' -- full disk (above left), and the view through the Zoopraxiscope (above right).

THOMAS HENRY BLAIR (1855 - 1919)

Blair creates a photographic company but George Eastman puts him out of business over a patent suit. Blair sets up shop in London under the name European Blair Camera Company.



Dickson uses the Kinetograph to photograph Fred Ott, one of Edison's laboratory workers, standing in front of the camera sneezing. This was not another 'experimental film', but simply a publicity stunt for a New York magazine. The magazine wanted still pictures of a man sneezing to accompany a story. It was catalogued as 'Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze' and has gone down into history as possibly the first 'cult' film.

These four seconds (right) are known the world over as 'Fred Ott's Sneeze'. Ott later identified himself as the world's first "film star". The footage was copyrighted by Dickson and cameraman William Heise (another Edison employee) as a 'photograph' with the Library Of Congress in January (it was actually a proof sheet containing 45 images).

Four Seconds Of 'Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze', By William Dickson From January 1894

The film footage originally was five seconds long and was photographed at 16fps on 35mm film stock. The above frames are twenty-one in all and have been re-constructed at 12fps for a 2.52 second-long looped animation. Dickson and Heise filmed Ott in the Black Maria.


  Just prior to meeting and teaming with Birt Acres, Paul was reproducing Edison‚€™s Kinetoscope on the English side of the Atlantic. Edison had failed to patent his Kinetoscope in England alone. Paul re-produced the Edison machine as well as a camera for shooting the film needed (because the Paul machine was not a licensed Kinetoscope, Edison did not provide the standard film required - Paul manufactured his own).  
THOMAS ALVA EDISON (1847 - 1931)
Edison has Jean Acme LeRoy present selected films in private at the magic lantern office of the RIley brothers in New York.
BIRT ACRES (1854 - 1918) and ROBERT WILLIAM PAUL (1869 - 1943)
  Co-inventors, Paul and Acres team up to design and build the Kineopticon (some writers and historians have pinned this event to 1896). This relationship did not last very long (six weeks) after Paul discovered that Acres had claimed the Kinetic Camera for himself. The Kinetic Camera of Acres was closely modeled after the Kineopticon. Acres had filed sole patent papers without Paul's knowledge. Acres was one of the first filmmakers to produce in Germany.  

The first Edison Kinetoscope parlour is opened in New York by the Raff & Gammon Company.

An advertisement (right) for the Kinetoscope, from page 242 of the The Moving Picture World, June 15, 1907. The ad offered Class 'A" and 'B' films of 15 and 12 cents respectively, as well as 'projecting Kinetoscopes' costing between $75 and $115.

Edison Kinetoscope Parlour c. 1894
Poster For The Edison Kinetoscope 1907
Image (left) of a typical Edison Kinetoscope Parlour                               Image (right) From The Library of Congress.

  Along with the assistance of Thomas Armat, Jenkins produces the first motion picture projector with reeled film and electric light, the Phantascope. This Phantascope was actually the work of R. Rudge back in 1889 (SEE RUDGE 1889) and perfected by Jenkins with roll film and electricity. An inventor by choice, Jenkins was also working on his Vitascope, which had its debut in 1896. In striking similarity as that of the Muybridge/Stanford bet, Jenkins also took a wager regarding five horses in stride. Whether all five left the ground at the same time was the question. The answer, according to sources present, was to the affirmative. This footage taken by Jenkins and shown in June of this year in Richmond, Indiana is another "first" for the public showing category. In 1916 Jenkins will found the Society of Motion Picture Engineers.  

JULES RICHARD (1862 - 1956)

The little known and rarely remembered Verascope by Richard was an all-metal stereo camera, which remained in production up until the mid 1920‚€™s, far surpassing all other cameras produced from this period. Scottish Explorer William Bruce used Richard’s camera on his expeditions between 1899 and 1914.

Image (right) of Jules Richard's stereoscopic camera from 1894. (Courtesy Dr. David Munro, Director, The Royal Scottish Geographical Society, The University of Strathclyde, and Alan Dawson,Centre for Digital Library Research, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.
Jules Richard's Stereoscopic Camera  1894
Richard's camera took simultaneous double images on 12 pre-loaded glass plates. The photographs appeared 3-dimensinal when viewed through a binocular viewer. The camera and images from Bruce's explorations where donated to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society by Bruce's granddaughter, Moira Watson of Canada.

  Molteni was a Parisian maker of projection lanterns including those used in Phantasmagoria. Under contract to the Lumeire factory he manufactured lamphouses used in their Cinematographique.  
√‰TIENNE-JULES MAREY (1830 - 1904)
  Marey invents a slow motion camera capable of shooting 700 frames per second.  
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