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LET THERE BE LIGHT! THE BIRTH OF FILMS (to 1899)

by Kenji
LET THERE BE LIGHT! THE BIRTH OF FILMS (to 1899) by Kenji
Not on Mubi: Liverpool Scenes (Promio), Japanese Acrobats (Dickson). Cinema has deep roots, nourished across the world over millennia. CHRONOLOGY pre 30,000 BC – Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave paintings, including some which give impression of animals moving c. 3200 BC – An earthen bowl found in Shahr-i Sokhta, Iran, has five images of a goat painted along the sides. This is believed to be an example of early animation. c. 500 BC – Mo-Ti, a Chinese philosopher, ponders the phenomenology of inverted light from the outside world beaming through a small hole in the opposite wall in a darkened room. c. 360 BC – Plato’s allegory of the cave describes… Read more

Not on Mubi: Liverpool Scenes (Promio), Japanese Acrobats (Dickson).

Cinema has deep roots, nourished across the world over millennia.

CHRONOLOGY
pre 30,000 BC – Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave paintings, including some which give impression of animals moving
c. 3200 BC – An earthen bowl found in Shahr-i Sokhta, Iran, has five images of a goat painted along the sides. This is believed to be an example of early animation.
c. 500 BC – Mo-Ti, a Chinese philosopher, ponders the phenomenology of inverted light from the outside world beaming through a small hole in the opposite wall in a darkened room.
c. 360 BC – Plato’s allegory of the cave describes a cinema-like experience of an audience watching silhouetted images in a dark space.
c. 350 BC – Aristotle of Greece tells of watching an image of an eclipse beamed onto the ground through a sieve.
c. 200 BC – Shadow plays first appear during the Han Dynasty and later gain popularity across Asia.
c. 180 AD – Ting Huan (丁緩) creates elementary zoetrope in China.
6th century- Anthemius of Tralles, a bizantine mathematician and architect (most famous for his work in the Hagia Sophia) carried out experiments in optics, and used a type of camera obscura.
1021 – Alhazen, an Iraqi scientist describes experiments with a camera obscura in his Book of Optics.
1515 – Leonardo da Vinci describes a structure that would produce this effect.
1544 – Reinerus Gemma-Frisius, a Dutch scientist, illustrates large rooms built for the purpose of viewing eclipses by this means.
1588 – Giovanni Battista Della Porta describes a similar technique.
c. 1610 – Johannes Kepler refers to a construction that utilises this phenomenon as a camera obscura.
c. 1610 – Della Porta perfected the camera obscura using a convex lens.
1671 – Athanasius Kircher projects images painted on glass plates with an oil lamp and a lens, his ‘Magic Lantern’.
1724 – Johann Heinrich Schulze discovers that certain silver salts, most notably silver chloride and silver nitrate, darken in the presence of light. This discovery was instrumental in the of development of photographs.
1740 and 1748, David Hume published Treatise of Human Nature and An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, arguing for the associations and causes of ideas with and by visual images, forerunners to developments in the language of film.
1798 – Étienne-Gaspard Robert begins his revolutionary phantasmagoria shows and develops the “Fantoscope”, a magic lantern on wheels.
1803 – Thomas Wedgwood and Humphry Davy obtain photographic images but are unable to fix them.
1824 – Thaumatrope induction. Peter Mark Roget presents the persistence of vision to the world in his paper Explanation of an optical deception in the appearance of the spokes of a wheel when seen through vertical apertures. The article is often incorrectly cited as Persistence of Vision with Regard to Moving Objects, or On the Persistence of Vision with Regard to Human Motion, and given an incorrect date.
1824/1827 – Nicéphore Niépce produces a permanent image on a bitumen-coated pewter plate exposed for eight hours.
1826 – John Ayrton Paris markets the Thaumatrope, a card which, when spun, gives the illusion of movement.
1831 – Faraday’s Law of electromagnetic. Faraday experiments with the visual illusions created by a revolving wheel.
1832 – Joseph Plateau: Anorthoscope and Phenakistiscope give the illusion of motion to repeated pictures with small differences on revolving disks. Also Spindle viewers and Flip books.
1833 – Simon Stampler develops the Stroboscope, similar to the Phenakistiscope.
1834 – William George Horner develops the Zoetrope, a.k.a., the Daedalum, a revolving cylinder which gives the illusion of motion to the pictures inside. In the same year, William Fox Talbot begins experimenting on fixing positive images onto sensitized paper.
1839 – Henry Langdon Childe further develops the magic lantern by introducing dissolving views. In the same year, Louis Daguerre demonstrates the Daguerrotype which fixes an image onto a sensitized copper plate. John William Herschel calls his similar fixed images ‘photographs’.
1841 – Talbot develops the Calotype, which fixes an image with only a brief camera exposure.
1846 – The invention of intermittent mechanisms, such as used in sewing machines.
1853 – Franz von Uchatius develops the Kinetiscope [sic] which projects moving drawings.
1855 – Alexander Parkes Develops Parkesine, later developed into celluloid which gets marketed in 1869 by John and Isaiah Hyatt.

Victorian innovations, c.1860–1901
1861 – Henri DuMont patents an apparatus for “reproducing successive phases of motion”
1861 – US inventor Samuel Goodale of Cincinnati, Ohio patents a hand-turned stereoscope device which rapidly moves stereo images past a viewer.
1861 – The Kinematoscope is patented by Coleman Sellers of Philadelphia. This is a series of stereoscopic pictures on glass plates, linked together in a chain, and mounted in a box. The viewer turns a crank to see moving images.
1872 – Eadweard Muybridge designs the zoopraxiscope. French astronomer Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen develops a camera with a revolving photographic plate that makes exposures at regular, automatic intervals.
1877 – Muybridge begins experimenting with “serial photography” (or “chronophotography”), taking multiple exposed images of a running horse
1877 – Charles-Émile Reynaud develops the Praxinoscope, an animation device.
1878 – George Eastman manufactures photographic dry plates the same year Thomas Edison invents the first electric incandescent light bulb, archaically known as a magic lantern.
1880 – Muybridge begins projecting his studies of figures in motion.
1881 – Louis Lumiere develops a “dry plate” process with gelatin emulsion.
1882 – Étienne-Jules Marey, a French physiologist, using chronophotographic gun makes a series of photographs of birds in flight. Hannibal Goodwin sells an idea to George Eastman, who markets it as “American film” : a roll of paper coated with emulsion.
1886 – Louis Le Prince patented his process for “the successive production of objects in motion by means of a projector”.
1887 – Ottomar Anschütz creates the electrotachyscope, which presents the illusion of motion with transparent chronophotography.

First movies:
1888 – Louis Le Prince exhibited (projected) films in October made with his receiver (camera) at the Whitley factory in Hunslet, Leeds and in Oakwood Grange, Leeds.
1888 – Marey designs the Chronophotograph, a camera using roll film.
1888 – Charles-Émile Reynaud perfected his Praxinoscope theatre with the Théâtre Optique.
1889 – William Friese Greene developed the first “moving pictures” on celluloid film, exposing 20 ft (6.1 m) of film at Hyde Park, London. George Eastman improves on his paper roll film, substituting the paper with plastic.
1889 – Kodak celluloid roll film becomes available.
1890 – Friese Greene patents his process, but was unable to finance manufacturing of it, and later sold his patent.
1890 – The first 3D movie patent was registered in 1890 by William Friese-Greene. The system used duel projected images with the viewer using a stereoscope.
1891 – Edison patents the Kinetograph developed by his employee William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, which takes moving pictures on a strip of film. A lighted box (the Kinetoscope) was used to view the pictures, the viewer was required to turned a handle to see the pictures “move”. First called “arcade peepshows”, these were to soon be known as nickelodeons. Fred Ott’s Sneeze is the first Kinetographic film.
October 28, 1892. – Charles-Émile Reynaud’s “Pantomimes Lumineuses” is the first public performance of a moving picture show at the Musée Grévin in Paris. It includes several short animated films, such as Pauvre Pierrot.
1893 – Edison Laboratories builds a film studio, in West Orange, New Jersey, dubbed the Black Maria. It was built on a turntable so the window could rotate toward the sun throughout the day, supplying natural light for the productions. At the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, Muybridge gives a series of lectures on the Science of Animal Locomotion in the Zoopraxographical Hall. He used his zoopraxiscope to show his moving pictures to a paying public.
1894 – Louis Lumiere invents the cinematograph a single-unit camera, developer, and movie projector. Kinetoscopes, meanwhile, were popular and profitable. On January 7, W.K. Dickson receives a patent for motion picture film.
1895 – The Arrival of a Train premiered on a large screen December 28 at the Grand Cafe in Paris, France. Louis and his brother Auguste Lumiere also filmed Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory that year, while in the US Woodville Latham combined a Kinetoscope with a projecting device. People were avidly watching nickelodeons on Broadway in New York City.
1896 – Edison loses W. K. Dickson who joins with other inventors and investors to form the American Mutoscope Company. The company manufactured the mutoscope as a rival to the Kinetoscope and, like Edison, produced films for its invention. Expanding on the idea, American Mutoscope then developed the “biograph” which was a projector allowing films to be shown in theatres to a large audience rather than in single-user nickelodeons. Edison entered the competition for development of a large projector he called the Vitascope. This year also debuted the work of first female film director, Alice Guy-Blaché’s The Cabbage Fairy. Vitascope Hall in New Orleans opened in June of this year.
1897 – US President William McKinley’s inauguration was filmed, the first US newsreel. In England the Prestwich Camera is patented.
1898 – Thomas Edison captures various scenes of the Spanish-American War which include training and marching troops, unloading ships, as well as some battle scenes. This marks the Spanish-American War as the first war to be documented on film.
1899 – With the success of the biograph, American Mutoscope changed its name to American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. In England Edward R. Turner and F. Marshall Lee create chronophotographic images through red, green and blue filters and project them with together with a three-lens projector.
1900 – Synchronized sound was first demonstrated in at the Paris Exposition with a sound-on-disc system.
(Wikipedia)


Auguste and Louis Lumière

PRECURSORS & PIONEERS

Giambattista della Porta, 1535-1615

Chistiaan Huygens, 1629-1695

William Horner, 1786-1837

Louis Daguerre, 1787-1851

Simon von Stampfer, 1792?- 1864

William Henry Fox Talbot, 1800-1877

Eadweard Muybridge, 1830-1904

Louis Le Prince , 1841-1890?

William Friese-Greene, 1855-1921

Thomas Edison, 1847-1931

William Dickson, 1860-1935

Auguste and Louis Lumière, 1862-1954, 1864-1948

Alexandre Promio, 1868-1926

Alice Guy-Blaché, 1873-1968

Georges Méliès, 1861-1838

George Albert Smith, 1864-1959

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See also my lists Alice Guy-Blaché, Queen of the Pioneers and The Silent Era, 1888-1929

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