Very Very VERY Short History of Motion Picture

Essay by mendozahuijonCollege, Undergraduate September 2014

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Genesis of Film

Magic Lantern Shows

It was common for individuals to sit in dark rooms to watch narrative performances such as puppet shows. In the early 1660s, showmen traveled across Europe showing the public magic lantern shows by projecting glass slides with images from drawings, paintings and, by the 1800s, photographs. The most notorious shows was Phantasmagoria.

The first working model of a projector

Motion Picture Toys

In 1829 (four years after the Thaumatrope) French inventor, Joseph Antoine Ferdinand Plateau published his investigation of persistence of vision and invented the Phenakistiscope (Greek; deceptive viewer) in 1833, a device that used a spinning disk of sequential images and the persistence of vision principle to create an illusion of motion.

Following Plateau's invention, German inventor Simin Ritter Von Stampfer invented the Stroboscope

William George Horner invented the Zoötope in 1834, a cylinder with slits cut vertically in the sides. As the cylinder spins, the user looks through the slits at the pictures across.

The scanning of the slits keeps the pictures from simply blurring together, and the user sees a rapid succession of images, producing the illusion of motion. Emile Reynaud invented the Praxinoscope in 1877

Business Expansion and Early Companies

Pathé Frères

Charles Pathé and his three brothers constructed the Pathé Frères film company which began making films in 1899. The most notable accomplishment was their idea of vertical integration, embracing everything that had to do with motion picture. Not only did the Pathé Frères produce films inspired by the Lumeire brothers George Melies techniques. They also built and manufactured cameras, projectors, raw film stocks and owned a chain of cinemas.

Gaumont's Company and Solax Company

Léon Gaumont, another Frenchman, had the same perception as Pathé's and ultimately ran a film empire in 1895. The Gaumont Company all...