Optical toys, shadow shows, ‘magic lanterns,’ and visual tricks have existed for thousands of years. Many inventors, scientists, and clip film sex have observed the visual phenomenon that a series of individual still pictures set into motion created the illusion of movement – a concept termed persistence of vision.
This illusion of motion was first described by British physician Peter Mark Roget in 1824, and was a first step in the development of the cinema. He used a camera obscura device which captured and projected a scene illuminated by sunlight. The photo image was “shot” at his estate named Le Gras from his studio’s upstairs window in the Burgundy region of France in the early 1820s. Belgian inventor Joseph Plateau, a pre-film animation tool that simulated motion. A series or sequence of separate pictures depicting stages of an activity, such as juggling or dancing, were arranged around the perimeter or edges of a slotted disk. French painter and inventor Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre, following on the work of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. It was the first commercially-available, mass-market means of taking photographs.
Muybridge’s pictures, published widely in the late 1800s, were often cut into strips and used in a Praxinoscope, a descendant of the zoetrope device, invented by Charles Emile Reynaud in 1877. The Praxinoscope was the first ‘movie machine’ that could project a series of images onto a screen. Some of the first experiments in this regard were conducted by Parisian innovator and physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey in the 1880s. He was soon able to achieve a frame rate of 30 images. Further experimentation was conducted by French-born Louis Aime Augustin Le Prince in 1888. Le Prince used long rolls of paper covered with photographic emulsion for a camera that he devised and patented. The work of Muybridge, Marey and Le Prince laid the groundwork for the development of motion picture cameras, projectors and transparent celluloid film – hence the development of cinema.
The Birth of US Cinema: Thomas Edison and William K. West Orange, New Jersey, borrowed from the earlier work of Muybridge, Marey, Le Prince and Eastman. Although Edison is often credited with the development of early motion picture cameras and projectors, it was Dickson, in November 1890, who devised a crude, motor-powered camera that could photograph motion pictures – called a Kinetograph. It was the world’s first motion-picture film camera – heavy and static, and requiring lots of light. This was one of the major reasons for the emergence of motion pictures in the 1890s. In 1889 or 1890, Dickson filmed his first experimental Kinetoscope trial or test film, Monkeyshines No. It featured the movement of laboratory assistant Sacco Albanese, filmed with a system using tiny images that rotated around the cylinder.
US, was composed of test footage of William K. Dickson himself, bowing, smiling and ceremoniously taking off his hat. It was a peep-show device to allow one person at a time to watch a ‘movie. Dickson and Edison also built a vertical-feed motion picture camera in the summer of 1892. The formal introduction of the Kinetograph in October of 1892 set the standard for theatrical motion picture cameras still used today. This established the basis for today’s standard 35 mm commercial film gauge, occurring in 1897. The 35 mm width with 4 perforations per frame became accepted as the international standard gauge in 1909.