Film Camera/Projector: The Lumiere brothers popularize movies
“If my film make even one more person feel miserable, I will feel I have done my job.” by Woody Allen (Movie Director)
In just over 100 years, “moving pictures’ have evolved from peep-show parlors into a vast and multibillion dollar industry that spans the globe.
Today’s movie industry has its roots in numerous nineteenth-century innovations. Thomas Edison sought to develop a device “…which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear.” Attempts to duplicate the cylinder format of Edison’s phonograph proved a dead-end but Edison’s assistant,” W.K.L Dickson eventually developed the Kinetoscope for viewing pictures in a “peep-show” format and the kinetograph camera with which to create footage. The viewing method of this equipment, one person at a time, had obvious limitations.
It was the Lumiere brother-Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948), who created the first practical film camera/projector, the Cinematograph. Despite the fact that it incorporated both projection and filming functions in one (and was a printer too), it was much smaller than Edison’s large, bulky Kinetograph. The machine also had the massive advantage of projecting pictures that many people could view at once. It is this similarity to modern projectors that establishes it as the first proper film camera/projector.
The first public showing on December 28, 1895, featured ten short films including the Lumiere’s first film “Workers Leaving The Lumiere Factory”. Each film was hand-cranked through a projector and lasted for approximately forty-six seconds. Film historians generally consider this historic screening at the Grand Café in Paris to mark the birth of cinema as a commercial medium.