The question of who invented the motion picture is frequently discussed. It might come as a shock, but it wasn’t Thomas Edison. In 1888, Louis Le Prince was the first to come up with the concept of a moving image.
With his ‘Praxinoscope,’ he constructed a single-lens camera that could take 12 consecutive frames per second and put them on a screen. Even though he never patented his invention, he made plans to do so before being assassinated by an unknown assailant in 1890, barely six years after initially developing motion pictures.
Because of one man’s fabrication about what happened during their encounter in 1889–the inventor said they discussed the invention of motion pictures–Edison was awarded credit for creating a film in 1891. Motion pictures are one of those innovations that seem to have been around forever.
But, in truth, it isn’t even a century old! Thomas Edison, an American inventor, is credited with inventing motion pictures. His company was the first to patent and manufacture the Kinetoscope, a gadget that permitted individual viewing in the privacy of one’s own home.
They would feed a strip of film into the machine, attach it to a spindle on top, and then crank away for around 15 seconds. The camera could only contain enough film for 60 seconds, so if you wanted to see more, you’d have to keep cranking until you got up to 120 seconds!
So, who was the first to invent motion pictures? The answer may never be known because numerous people claim to have come up with the idea initially, but one thing is certain: catching movement on camera wasn’t always so simple! Who invented motion pictures has a long and complicated history. Although Thomas Edison is often referred to as the ‘Father of Film,’ this isn’t correct.
The narrative of film’s invention is convoluted, but there are two main hypotheses about how it came to be. According to one theory, Thomas Edison devised the technology and patented it as one of his many innovations in 1887. According to another hypothesis, George Eastman invented film but did not patent it because he was too preoccupied with inventing Kodak cameras.
The second argument is more plausible since, by the time Thomas Edison’s patents were submitted, George Eastman had already been working on his camera concepts, so he would have had plenty of time to develop an alternative to film if needed.
It’s also possible that this concept came from someone more interested in photography than in electrical inventions, such as Edison. The first public display of a motion picture took place a long time ago, in 1877 to be exact. But did you know that before the film, there were other ways to capture moving images?
Two examples are photography and the Zoetrope. Many innovators experimented with various ways for recording movement on photographic film in the late 1800s. Edison patented his Kinetoscope in 1888, which could be used as a movie camera as well as a projector.
Other innovators, including Thomas Edison, built machines that recorded movement on an optical instrument known as a Zoopraxiscope or zoograph, which included the first “motion pictures” invented by Louis Le Prince in 1888. The first motion films had no sound, but they did feature a live music soundtrack. There was also the option to include hand-drawn slides as commentary, which would be exhibited with the film reel on the screen. A “benshi” is a form of audio presentation like this.
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