The Lumiere Brothers

In the early stages of cinema in the 1890s, each film that was taken lasted for not even a minute long. The frames per second that technology at that time enabled producers to make the film look more seamless and “life-like,” although the quality of the film visually detracted from the film itself. In 1888, Thomas Edison conceptualized the idea of a “movie projector”-esque mechanism that would create the illusion of movement using a string of perforated film containing “stills” passing over a light source with a high shutter speed. People would view these images though a small “looking glass” that became to be known as “peep show”-style.This was then developed by William Kennedy and Laurie Dickinson, two members of Edison’s lab team, between 1889 and 1892, later to be known as the Kinetoscope. On April 14, 1894, a commercial exhibition of motion pictures were displayed in New York City with the help of 10 different kinetoscopes. Edison’s kinetoscope had a broad range of influence because he did not seek any international patents. This lead to the development of an even greater piece of Film recording technology. In the 1890s, a new motion picture film camera that could not only record, but also project and develop was created.This piece of technology was known as the Cinematograph. It was to be superior to Edison’s Kinetoscope in it’s ability to take sharper images and have better illumination. Not only this, but the Cinematograph had a weight of only 16 lbs. which increased its mobility and ease of placement. Though the Cinematograph was manually operated using a hand crank, and the kinetoscope was electrically powered, the big difference was that the cinematograph was able to project images onto a screen enabling large audiences to be able to view the production simultaneously.One last arguably better quality that the cinematograph had was a slower frame rate of 12 frames per second versus Edison’s 48 frames which created a lot of noise and distraction to the viewer. Edison’s machine able to create a faster stream of images therefore leading to the higher fps, but this wasn’t actually that great because the viewer was constantly distracted by all the sounds the machine was making. The Lumiere brothers, Louis and Auguste were credited with the conceptualization of the idea of the cinematograph, and they shared a patent of it.However, a device that was invented on February 12, 1892 named “Cinematographe Leon Bouly” by French inventor Leon Bouly is argued to have invented this machine before the Lumiere brothers were able to create a patent. Leon Bouly coined the term “cinematograph” because it meant “writing in movement”. No matter who was actually credited with the birth of this invention, Bouly was unable to pay rent on his patent the following year (of 1893), therefore the Lumiere’s engineers bought the license. People who were able to view the Lumiere’s productions ranged from ordinary middle-class citizens to those of the highest class.When movies first started to come out on the cinematograph, those who viewed them were amazed at the “life-like” qualities that the machine was able to reproduce. It was said that at the initial showing of the movie “Train Enters the station” in 1895, people would be so convinced that there was a real train headed towards them that they would jump up and run out of the theater. Regardless of who created this wonderful piece of technology, this was the dawn of a new age where life could be recorded and displayed to others to sculpt their ideas and influence others’.


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