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First Commercial Movie Screened

First Commercial Movie Screened



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On December 28, 1895, the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.

Movie technology has its roots in the early 1830s, when Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria simultaneously developed a device called the phenakistoscope, which incorporated a spinning disc with slots through which a series of drawings could be viewed, creating the effect of a single moving image. The phenakistoscope, considered the precursor of modern motion pictures, was followed by decades of advances and in 1890, Thomas Edison and his assistant William Dickson developed the first motion-picture camera, called the Kinetograph. The next year, 1891, Edison invented the Kinetoscope, a machine with a peephole viewer that allowed one person to watch a strip of film as it moved past a light.

In 1894, Antoine Lumiere, the father of Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948), saw a demonstration of Edison’s Kinetoscope. The elder Lumiere was impressed, but reportedly told his sons, who ran a successful photographic plate factory in Lyon, France, that they could come up with something better. Louis Lumiere’s Cinematographe, which was patented in 1895, was a combination movie camera and projector that could display moving images on a screen for an audience. The Cinematographe was also smaller, lighter and used less film than Edison’s technology.

The Lumieres opened theaters (known as cinemas) in 1896 to show their work and sent crews of cameramen around the world to screen films and shoot new material. In America, the film industry quickly took off. In 1896, Vitascope Hall, believed to be the first theater in the U.S. devoted to showing movies, opened in New Orleans. In 1909, The New York Times published its first film review (of D.W. Griffith’s Pippa Passes), in 1911 the first Hollywood film studio opened and in 1914, Charlie Chaplin made his big-screen debut.

In addition to the Cinematographe, the Lumieres also developed the first practical color photography process, the Autochrome plate, which debuted in 1907.

READ MORE: The Lumière Brothers, Pioneers of Cinema


Origins

The illusion of films is based on the optical phenomena known as persistence of vision and the phi phenomenon. The first of these causes the brain to retain images cast upon the retina of the eye for a fraction of a second beyond their disappearance from the field of sight, while the latter creates apparent movement between images when they succeed one another rapidly. Together these phenomena permit the succession of still frames on a film strip to represent continuous movement when projected at the proper speed (traditionally 16 frames per second for silent films and 24 frames per second for sound films). Before the invention of photography, a variety of optical toys exploited this effect by mounting successive phase drawings of things in motion on the face of a twirling disk (the phenakistoscope, c. 1832) or inside a rotating drum (the zoetrope, c. 1834). Then, in 1839, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, a French painter, perfected the positive photographic process known as daguerreotype, and that same year the English scientist William Henry Fox Talbot successfully demonstrated a negative photographic process that theoretically allowed unlimited positive prints to be produced from each negative. As photography was innovated and refined over the next few decades, it became possible to replace the phase drawings in the early optical toys and devices with individually posed phase photographs, a practice that was widely and popularly carried out.

There would be no true motion pictures, however, until live action could be photographed spontaneously and simultaneously. This required a reduction in exposure time from the hour or so necessary for the pioneer photographic processes to the one-hundredth (and, ultimately, one-thousandth) of a second achieved in 1870. It also required the development of the technology of series photography by the British American photographer Eadweard Muybridge between 1872 and 1877. During that time, Muybridge was employed by Gov. Leland Stanford of California, a zealous racehorse breeder, to prove that at some point in its gallop a running horse lifts all four hooves off the ground at once. Conventions of 19th-century illustration suggested otherwise, and the movement itself occurred too rapidly for perception by the naked eye, so Muybridge experimented with multiple cameras to take successive photographs of horses in motion. Finally, in 1877, he set up a battery of 12 cameras along a Sacramento racecourse with wires stretched across the track to operate their shutters. As a horse strode down the track, its hooves tripped each shutter individually to expose a successive photograph of the gallop, confirming Stanford’s belief. When Muybridge later mounted these images on a rotating disk and projected them on a screen through a magic lantern, they produced a “moving picture” of the horse at full gallop as it had actually occurred in life.

The French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey took the first series photographs with a single instrument in 1882 once again the impetus was the analysis of motion too rapid for perception by the human eye. Marey invented the chronophotographic gun, a camera shaped like a rifle that recorded 12 successive photographs per second, in order to study the movement of birds in flight. These images were imprinted on a rotating glass plate (later, paper roll film), and Marey subsequently attempted to project them. Like Muybridge, however, Marey was interested in deconstructing movement rather than synthesizing it, and he did not carry his experiments much beyond the realm of high-speed, or instantaneous, series photography. Muybridge and Marey, in fact, conducted their work in the spirit of scientific inquiry they both extended and elaborated existing technologies in order to probe and analyze events that occurred beyond the threshold of human perception. Those who came after would return their discoveries to the realm of normal human vision and exploit them for profit.

In 1887 in Newark, New Jersey, an Episcopalian minister named Hannibal Goodwin developed the idea of using celluloid as a base for photographic emulsions. The inventor and industrialist George Eastman, who had earlier experimented with sensitized paper rolls for still photography, began manufacturing celluloid roll film in 1889 at his plant in Rochester, New York. This event was crucial to the development of cinematography: series photography such as Marey’s chronophotography could employ glass plates or paper strip film because it recorded events of short duration in a relatively small number of images, but cinematography would inevitably find its subjects in longer, more complicated events, requiring thousands of images and therefore just the kind of flexible but durable recording medium represented by celluloid. It remained for someone to combine the principles embodied in the apparatuses of Muybridge and Marey with celluloid strip film to arrive at a viable motion-picture camera.

Such a device was created by French-born inventor Louis Le Prince in the late 1880s. He shot several short films in Leeds, England, in 1888, and the following year he began using the newly invented celluloid film. He was scheduled to show his work in New York City in 1890, but he disappeared while traveling in France. The exhibition never occurred, and Le Prince’s contribution to cinema remained little known for decades. Instead it was William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, working in the West Orange, New Jersey, laboratories of the Edison Company, who created what was widely regarded as the first motion-picture camera.


History of Television Advertising Timeline

The first television commercial made its debut at the height of World War II. Over time, these ads evolved to become pop culture phenomenon, with some funny, others heartwarming, and a select few game-changing.

The world's first television commercial aired for the Bulova Watch Company. The ad was only 10 seconds long, cost between $4 and $9 to create, and was seen by about 4,000 people in New York.

1950s

Sponsored programs were popular with big names like Colgate, Mattel, and Coca-Cola. These brands were introduced during the programs and sometimes even made it into the name of the show, such as The Colgate Comedy Hour.

The 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had massive success with TV ads for his campaign. Walt Disney's brother Roy turned the slogan "I Like Ike" into a song and the spots led Eisenhower to win the election.

Mr. Potato Head became the first toy to ever be promoted on a TV commercial. The original was a real potato with "piece packets," but people must have loved these vegetables. Nearly 2 million Mr. Potato Heads sold in the first year alone!

1960s

Catchy jingles were extremely popular with advertisers throughout this decade. One of the most notable comes from Oscar Mayer and is about the joys of being a wiener.

A company named RCA released the first ad for colored TV. It took a while for every household to switch from black and white, but near the end of the decade, more than 2 million people were watching their shows in color.

The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banned cigarette ads on TV and radio. The Virginia Slim was advertised for the last time during "The Tonight Show."

China debuted its first commercial for Shengui Tonic Wine. It was 90 seconds long and resulted in a lot of confusion since most of the population had never seen a commercial before.

Coca-Cola's commercial with Mean Joe Greene is one of the most iconic of all time, leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to a victory during Super Bowl XIV. The ad came at the tail end of the Civil Rights Movement and changed people's perceptions.

Nike came onto television full-throttle with their first commercial. It featured the Chariots of Fire theme song and showed the evolution of running from cavemen to marathon racers.

Apple made a bold statement when they released their "1984" commercial. The company sold $155 million in Macintosh computers just three months after the ad aired.

Seagram became the first liquor brand to advertise on TV when they released a commercial for Crown Royal. Before then, alcoholic drinks were banned from being promoted on television or radio.

Source: https://www.space.com

The first commercial shot in space was for an Israeli drink called Tnuva Milk. The ad made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Dove made a statement about beauty ideals with this timely commercial. The ad showed a woman transforming into a model through a long process of hair, makeup, and Photoshop.

Hulu changed the way we watch advertisements. Viewers can choose a package deal based on how many ads they want to see, some of which are even exclusive to the streaming service.

Will.i.am of the band Black Eyed Peas revolutionized political ads with his "Yes I Can" music video for Barack Obama's election campaign. The ad fused music and Obama's public speeches.

LinkedIn released their first commercial. The ad aired during the 88th Academy Awards and was inspired by NASA's decision to use the networking platform to recruit new astronauts.

Snapchat aired its first commercial on TBS during the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament. The social media platform called themselves "A New Kind of Camera Company" during the minute-long ad.

44% of people claim that they watch less live TV as the result of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. This has caused a decline in commercial advertising as people don't want to be interrupted by ads.


This Is the First Sex Scene in Movie History

And it includes an on-screen female orgasm, so way to go, 1933.

We may live in the era of Fifty Shades, but Hollywood movies haven't always been so liberal when it comes to depicting sex. Still, for as long as there have been moving images, there have been directors pushing the proverbial envelope&mdashand by 1933, the world of cinema had what's generally considered to be the first true movie sex scene. Let's break it down, shall we?

The Movie

The scene in question is in Ecstasy, a 1933 Czech film (because American filmmakers weren't ready to go there yet) starring legendary actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr.

The Set-Up

In one of her first roles ever, Lamarr played a young woman who leaves her older, impotent husband for a lust-filled relationship with a sexy engineer. According to Vulture, their love resulted in what seems to be cinema's first-ever sex scene.

The Nudity

Although Ecstasy's sex scene itself didn't actually feature any nudity, the film did. Most famously, there was a long scene featuring Lamarr skinny-dipping, which was quite scandalous at the time.

The Orgasm

Finally, probably the most progressive thing about Ecstasy is that the sex scene depicted Lamarr's character achieving orgasm. Considering even many modern movies struggle with sex-positive portrayals of women, this deserves several 💯 emojis, printed out and sent back in time to 1933.

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First Commercial Movie Screened - HISTORY

Innovations Necessary for the Advent of Cinema:

Optical toys, shadow shows, 'magic lanterns,' and visual tricks have existed for thousands of years. Many inventors, scientists, and manufacturers 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.

A number of technologies, simple optical toys and mechanical inventions related to motion and vision were developed in the early to late 19th century that were precursors to the birth of the motion picture industry:

    [A very early version of a "magic lantern" was suggested in the mid-17th century by German Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher in Rome. However, the official inventor of a usable device was prominent Dutch astronomer/scientist Christiaan Huygens in the 1650s. Like a modern slide projector (which has since gone out of date!), its main feature was a lens that projected images from transparencies onto a screen, with a simple light source (such as a candle).]

Late 19th Century Inventions and Experiments: Muybridge, Marey, Le Prince and Eastman

Pioneering Britisher Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), an early photographer and inventor, was famous for his photographic loco-motion studies (of animals and humans) at the end of the 19th century (such as 1882's published "The Horse in Motion"). In the 1870s, Muybridge experimented with instantaneously recording the movements of a galloping horse, first at a Sacramento (California) race track. In June, 1878, he successfully conducted a 'chronophotography' experiment in Palo Alto (California) for his wealthy San Francisco benefactor, Leland Stanford, using a multiple series of cameras to record a horse's gallops - this conclusively proved that all four of the horse's feet were off the ground at the same time.

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. Muybridge's stop-action series of photographs helped lead to his own 1879 invention of the Zoopraxiscope (or "zoogyroscope", also called the "wheel of life"), a primitive motion-picture projector machine that also recreated the illusion of movement (or animation) by projecting images - rapidly displayed in succession - onto a screen from photos printed on a rotating glass disc.

True motion pictures, rather than eye-fooling 'animations', could only occur after the development of film (flexible and transparent celluloid) that could record split-second pictures. Some of the first experiments in this regard were conducted by Parisian innovator and physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey in the 1880s. He was also studying, experimenting, and recording bodies (most often of flying animals, such as pelicans in flight) in motion using photographic means (and French astronomer Pierre-Jules-Cesar Janssen's "revolving photographic plate" idea).

In 1882, Marey, often claimed to be the 'inventor of cinema,' constructed a camera (or "photographic gun") that could take multiple (12) photographs per second of moving animals or humans - called chronophotography or serial photography, similar to Muybridge's work on taking multiple exposed images of running horses. [The term shooting a film was possibly derived from Marey's invention.] He was able to record multiple images of a subject's movement on the same camera plate, rather than the individual images Muybridge had produced.

Marey's chronophotographs (multiple exposures on single glass plates and on strips of sensitized paper - celluloid film - that passed automatically through a camera of his own design) were revolutionary. 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. Two short fragments survive of his early motion picture film (one of which was titled Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge).

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. American inventor George Eastman, who had first manufactured photographic dry plates in 1878, provided a more stable type of celluloid film with his concurrent developments in 1888 of sensitized paper roll photographic film (instead of metal or glass plates) and a convenient "Kodak" small box camera (a still camera) that used the roll film. He improved upon the paper roll film with another invention in 1889 - perforated celluloid (synthetic plastic material coated with gelatin) roll-film with photographic, light-sensitive emulsion, and sprocket holes along the sides.

The Birth of US Cinema: Thomas Edison and William K.L. Dickson

In the late 1880s, famed American inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) (and his young British assistant William Kennedy Laurie Dickson (1860-1935)) in his industrial-research laboratories in West Orange, New Jersey, borrowed from the earlier work of Muybridge, Marey, Le Prince and Eastman. Their goal was to construct a device for recording movement on film, and another device for viewing the film. Dickson must be credited with most of the creative and innovative developments - Edison only provided the research program and his laboratories for the revolutionary work.

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. Edison Studios was formally known as the Edison Manufacturing Company (1894-1911), with innovations due largely to the work of Edison's assistant Dickson in the mid-1890s. The motor-driven camera was designed to capture movement with a synchronized shutter and sprocket system (Dickson's unique invention) that could move the film through the camera by an electric motor. The Kinetograph used film which was 35mm wide and had sprocket holes to advance the film. The sprocket system would momentarily pause the film roll before the camera's shutter to create a photographic frame (a still or photographic image).

In 1889 or 1890, Dickson filmed his first experimental Kinetoscope trial or test film, Monkeyshines No. 1 (1889/1890), the only surviving film from the cylinder kinetoscope, and apparently the first motion picture ever produced on photographic film in the United States. It featured the movement of laboratory assistant Sacco Albanese, filmed with a system using tiny images that rotated around the cylinder.

Dickson Greeting (1891), apparently the second film made in the US, was composed of test footage of William K.L. Dickson himself, bowing, smiling and ceremoniously taking off his hat. It was a three-second clip. It was used for one of the first public demonstrations of motion pictures in the US using the Kinetoscope, presented to the Federation of Women's Clubs.

In 1891, Dickson also designed an early version of a movie-picture projector (an optical lantern viewing machine) based on the Zoetrope - called the Kinetoscope. 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. It used a film strip (composed of celluloid coated in light-sensitive emulsion) that was 1 1/2 inches wide. 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. However, moveable hand-cranked cameras soon became more popular, because the original motor-driven cameras were heavy and bulky.

On Saturday, April 14, 1894, a refined version of Edison's Kinetoscope began commercial operation for entertainment purposes. The floor-standing, box-like viewing device was basically a bulky, coin-operated, movie "peep show" cabinet for a single customer (in which the images on a continuous film loop-belt were viewed in motion as they were rotated in front of a shutter and an electric lamp-light). It held 40-50 foot rolls of 'film' - about 16 seconds of viewing time (of one single, uninterrupted shot). The Kinetoscope, the forerunner of the motion picture film projector (without sound), was finally patented on August 31, 1897 (Edison applied for the patent in 1891, granted in 1893). The viewing device quickly became popular in carnivals, Kinetoscope parlors, amusement arcades, and sideshows for a number of years.

The world's first film production studio - or "America's first movie studio," the Black Maria, or the Kinetographic Theater (and dubbed "The Doghouse" by Edison himself), was built on the grounds of Edison's laboratories at West Orange, New Jersey. Construction began in December 1892, and it was completed by February 1, 1893, at a cost of $637.67 (about $16,000 in 2015). It was constructed for the purpose of making film strips for the Kinetoscope. The interior walls of the studio were covered with black tar-paper (to make the performers stand out against the stark black backgrounds). It had a retractable or hinged, flip-up sun-roof to allow sunlight in. It was built with a rotating base or turntable (on circular railroad tracks) to orient itself throughout the day to follow the natural sunlight.

Thomas Edison displayed 'his' Kinetoscope projector at the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago and received patents for his movie camera, the Kinetograph, and his electrically-driven peepshow device - the Kinetoscope. In early May, 1893, Edison also held the world's first public exhibition or demonstration of films at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. The exhibited 34-second film, Blacksmith Scene (1893), was viewed on Dickson's Kinetoscope viewer, and was shot using a Kinetograph at the Black Maria. It showed three people pretending to be blacksmiths.

The first motion pictures made in the Black Maria were deposited for copyright by Dickson at the Library of Congress in August, 1893. On January 7, 1894, The Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (aka Fred Ott's Sneeze (1894)) became the first film officially registered for copyright. It was one of the first series of short films made by Dickson for the Kinetoscope viewer in Edison's Black Maria studio with fellow assistant Fred Ott. The short five-second film was made for publicity purposes, as a series of still photographs to accompany an article in Harper's Weekly. It was the earliest surviving, copyrighted motion picture (or "flicker") - composed of an optical record (and medium close-up) of Fred Ott, an Edison employee, sneezing comically for the camera. It was noted as the first medium-closeup.

A short film (about 21 seconds long) titled Carmencita (1894) was directed and produced by Edison's employee William K.L. Dickson. She was filmed March 10-16, 1894 in Edison's Black Maria studio in West Orange, NJ. Spanish dancer Carmencita was the first woman to appear in front of an Edison motion picture camera, and quite possibly the first female to appear in a US motion picture. In some cases, the projection of the scandalous film on a Kinetoscope was forbidden, because it revealed Carmencita's legs and undergarments as she twirled and danced. This was one of the earliest cases of censorship in the moving picture industry.

Most of the first films shot at the Black Maria included segments of magic shows, excerpts from stage plays, slapstick comedy, vaudeville performances (with dancers and strongmen), acrobatics, acts from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and other animal acts, various boxing matches and cockfights, and scantily-clad women. Most of the earliest moving images, however, were non-fictional, unedited, crude documentary, "home movie" views of ordinary slices of life - street scenes, the activities of police or firemen, or shots of a passing train. [Footnote: the 'Black Maria' studio appeared in Universal's comedy Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Cops (1955).]

In the early 1890s, Edison and Dickson also devised a prototype sound-film system called the Kinetophonograph or Kinetophone - a precursor of the 1891 Kinetoscope with a cylinder-playing phonograph (and connected earphone tubes) to provide the unsynchronized sound. The projector was connected to the phonograph with a pulley system, but it didn't work very well and was difficult to synchronize. It was formally introduced in 1895, but soon proved to be unsuccessful since competitive, better synchronized devices were also beginning to appear at the time. The first known (and only surviving) film with live-recorded sound made to test the Kinetophone was the 17-second Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894-1895).

Kinetoscope Parlors and Films Flourish:

On April 14, 1894, the Holland Brothers opened the first Kinetoscope Parlor at 1155 Broadway in New York City and for the first time, they commercially exhibited movies, as we know them today, in their amusement arcade. Each film cost 5 cents to view. Patrons paid 25 cents as the admission charge to view films in five kinetoscope machines placed in two rows. The first commercial presentation of a motion picture took place here. The mostly male audience was entertained by a single loop reel depicting clothed female dancers, sparring boxers and body builders (such as Sandow the Strong Man (1894)), animal acts and everyday scenes. Early spectators in Kinetoscope parlors were amazed by even the most mundane moving images in very short films (between 30 and 60 seconds) - an approaching train or a parade, women dancing, dogs terrorizing rats, and twisting contortionists.

Soon, peep show Kinetoscope parlors quickly opened across the country, set up in penny arcades, hotel lobbies, and phonograph parlors in major cities across the US. One of the companies formed to market Edison's Kinetoscopes and the films was called the Kinetoscope Exhibition Company. It was owned by Otway Latham, Grey Latham, Samuel Tilden, and Enoch Rector. In the summer of 1894 in downtown New York City (at 83 Nassau St.), it set up a series of large-capacity Kinetoscopes (able to handle up to 150 feet of film), each one showing one, one&ndashminute round of the six round Michael Leonard-Jack Cushing Prize Fight (1894) film (produced and filmed at Edison's Black Maria studio). Each viewing cost 10 cents, or 60 cents to see the entire fight. The popular boxing film was the first boxing film produced for commercial exhibition.

I n June of 1894, pioneering inventor Charles Francis Jenkins became the first person to project a filmed motion picture onto a screen for an audience, in Richmond, Indiana, using his projector termed the Phantoscope. The motion picture was of a vaudeville dancer doing a butterfly dance - the first motion picture with color (tinted frame by frame, by hand). Some of the earliest color hand-tinted films ever publically-released were Annabelle Butterfly Dance (1894), Annabelle Sun Dance (1894), and Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1895) featuring the dancing of vaudeville-music hall performer Annabelle Whitford (known as Peerless Annabelle) Moore, whose routines were filmed at Edison's studio in New Jersey. Male audiences were enthralled watching these early depictions of a clothed female dancer (sometimes color-tinted) on a Kinetoscope - an early peep-show device for projecting short films.

Young Griffo v. Battling Charles Barnett (1895) was the first 'movie' or motion picture in the world to be screened for a paying audience on May 20, 1895, at a storefront at 156 Broadway in NYC. [This was more than seven months before the Lumière brothers showed their film in Paris (see below).] The 8-minute B&W silent film (shown on one continuous reel of film without interruption, using the "Latham Loop" to prevent tearing) was made by Woodville Latham and his sons Otway and Grey. The staged boxing match had been filmed with an Eidoloscope Camera on the roof of Madison Square Garden on May 4, 1895 between Australian boxer Albert Griffiths (Young Griffo) and Charles Barnett. Shortly thereafter, nearly 500 people became cinema's first major audience during the showings of films with titles such as Barber Shop, Blacksmiths, Cock Fight, Wrestling, and Trapeze. Edison's film studio was used to supply films for this sensational new form of entertainment. More Kinetoscope parlors soon opened in other cities (San Francisco, Atlantic City, and Chicago).

The Kiss (1896) (aka The May Irwin Kiss) was the first film ever made of a couple kissing in cinematic history. May Irwin and John Rice re-enacted a lingering kiss for Thomas Edison's film camera in this 20-second long short, from their 1895 Broadway stage play-musical The Widow Jones. It became the most popular film produced that year by Edison's film company (it was filmed at Edison's Black Maria studio, in West Orange, NJ), but was also notorious as the first film to be criticized as scandalous and bringing demands for censorship.

The American Mutoscope Company: Dickson's Split From Edison

Disgruntled and a disenchanted inventor, William K.L. Dickson left Edison to form his own company in 1895, called the American Mutoscope Company (see more further below), the first and the oldest movie company in America. A nickelodeon film producer who had been working with Thomas Edison for a number of years, Dickson left following a disagreement. Three others joined Dickson, inventors Herman Casler and Henry Marvin, and an investor named Elias Koopman. The company was set up at 841 Broadway, in New York - its sole focus was to produce and distribute moving pictures. The business was moved to Canastota, NY. Superior alternatives to the Kinetoscope were the company's invention of the Mutoscope - a hand-cranked viewing device utilizing bromide prints or illustrated cards in a 'flick-book' principle, and the Biograph projector, released in the summer of 1896 - a projector using large-format, wide-gauge 68 mm film (different from Edison's 35mm). The Biograph soon became the chief US competitor to Edison's Kinetoscope and Vitascope.

[Note: The American Mutoscope Company eventually became the Biograph Company.]

[By the 1897 patent date of the Kinetoscope, both the camera (kinetograph) and the method of viewing films (kinetoscope) were on the decline with the advent of more modern screen projectors for larger audiences.]


A brief history of film

Back in the late 1800s, entertainment on a Friday night was noticeably lower tech than today. But that wasn't so much an obstacle as it was an opportunity, which saw the birth of the cinematic art form.

Over the 120 years or so since those first attempts at creating moving pictures using consecutive still images, films have come a long way, both in terms of storytelling and in terms of technical achievement.

So as TechRadar kicks off its inaugural Movie Week, celebrating the majesty of films, it's appropriate to dive into the history books to see just how we got to the point where we can travel to galaxies far, far away or ride motorbikes with velociraptors.

2. Technology vs narrative

The truth is, finding the exact birth of what we consider to be cinema is a rather challenging task. Back in the late 19th century, inventors across the world were all racing to be the first to create not only the hardware to record and display a film, but also the films themselves.

While there is evidence that much of the technology to create moving pictures had been invented as far back as 1888, for many people it was a pair of French brothers named Antoine and Louis Lumiere who gets the credit for the birth of the cinema in 1895.

Lumiere, like a 19th Century Steve Jobs, managed to pick up on an expired patent for a device called the Cinématographe, which they improved to turn into a device that acted as a camera, film processing unit and projector all in one.

In the same year, the brothers created their first film, La Sortie de l'usine Lumière à Lyon (or Workers leaving the Lumiere factory in Lyon, if your French isn't up to snuff), a 46 second documentary about – you guessed it – workers leaving the Lumiere factory in Lyon.

3. Edit this

But really, film is about so much more than just a static camera pointed at something happening. Arguably, what makes modern filmmaking possible is the editing of multiple shots into a single film in order to create a narrative.

And the first examples of that started cropping up back in 1900. In the short film Grandma's Reading Glass by George Albert Smith, a series of close ups of items are intercut with footage of a young boy looking through his grandmother's reading glass.

This is the first real example of films using different cuts to help tell a story, something that we now take for granted in modern cinema.

4. The first feature film

For the first decade or so of movie making, creators generally focussed on short films that ran on a single reel.

The first example of the standard feature film that we've come to know and love today can be traced back to 1906, when a young Australian man named Charles Tait created The Story of the Kelly Gang, a film about notorious Australian bushranger Ned Kelly.

The film lasted well over an hour, and was both a critical and commercial success for the time. It's also one of the movies about Ned Kelly that don't star Mick Jagger or Yahoo Serious, so that's got to give it some bonus points, doesn't it?

5. The talkies

While the early movie scene was all about black and white moving images on the screen, the technology for pairing it with synchronised audio came much later. Early films were generally accompanied by a live musical performance, with occasional commentary from a showman.

But that all changed with 1927's The Jazz Singer. While previous films had tried to accompany the film with a proper soundtrack, The Jazz Singer is widely regarded as the first film to combine a synchronised audio track, despite being mostly silent.

But what the film did do is change cinema forever. By 1929, almost every Hollywood film released was considered a "talkie", replacing the live musical backing with a synchronised audio track of dialogue, sound effects and music.

6. Colored in

It's a little bit surprising to know that color came to films in the first few years of the 20th century. These earliest colorized films were colored by hand, which meant that the majority of prints were still in black and white. In 1903, the French film La Vie et Passion du Jesus Christ used a process to add some color to its film, but leaves a monochrome appearance.

In 1912, a UK documentary dubbed With our King and Queen through India was the first example of a film that captured natural colour instead of using colorization techniques.

But ultimately it was the 1930s before color films became the norm, as Technicolor released what it called Process 4, which combined a negative for each primary colour and a matrix for better contrast.

The first feature to use this colorful process was a Walt Disney animation called Flowers and Trees in 1932.

In 1934, The Cat and the Fiddle featured the first live-action sequence using the Technicolor Process 4 technique.

After that, color quickly became the norm for Hollywood, starting with Becky May, the first movie to use Process 4 for the entire feature.

And since then, color has been all the rage – minus some artistic black and white films (like Kevin Smith's Clerks) of course.

7. Fantasound

The man behind Mickey Mouse did so much more than just simple animation. Walt Disney is also credited with being one of the founders of modern day surround sound.

Back in the 1940s when he was working on Fantasia, Walt wanted to somehow get the sound of a bumblebee flying around the audience during the "Flight of the Bumblebee" section of the film.

Disney spoke with the engineers at Bell labs, who took to the challenge like bees to honey and created what is known as "Fantasound".

But while Fantasound was one of the first examples of surround sound, it was also prohibitively expensive, costing $US85,000 to install. As such, only two theatres in the US had it installed, which is probably why you've never really heard of Fantasound before.

Of course, surround sound has come a long way since then, which we'll get to shortly.

8. Cinemascope

By the time the 1950s came around, movie studios were starting to turn to technology to try and bolster dropping cinema tickets sales caused by the arrival of television.

The first of these technologies to launch was called Cinemascope, launched by 20th Century Fox, which made its debut with 1953's release of The Robe.

Essentially a refinement on a 1926 idea, Cinemascope used anamorphic lenses to create a much wider – and subsequently larger – image. The aspect ratio of Cinemascope films was 2.66:1, compared to the 1.37:1 ratio standard of the time.

While Cinemascope was largely made redundant by newer technologies the aspect ratios it created are still roughly the standard we see on films today.

9. Cinerama

At the same time as Cinemascope was starting to take a hold of Hollywood, another technology was offering the widescreen format in a different way.

Instead of relying on anamorphic lenses, Cinerama required cinemas to feature three synchronized 35 mm projectors, projected onto a deeply curved screen.

The end result was a picture running at about a 2.65:1 aspect ratio, but one that had some obvious challenges, especially where the projectors overlap.

By the 1960s, the rising costs associated with filming on three cameras simultaneously led to the technology being tweaked to record using a single widescreen Panavision camera lens, which was then displayed using the three cameras.

Cinerama also brought with it one of the first instances of magnetic multitrack surround sound. Seven tracks of audio (five front, two surround) were synced with the footage, with a sound engineer directing the surround channels of audio as necessary during playback.

Today, there are still a limited number of Cinerama theatres scattered around the world, offering the full experience, if you're wondering what all the rage was back in the 1950s.

10. VistaVision

Hey! If everyone else was going to experiment with widescreen cinema technologies, then there was no way Paramount Pictures was going to be left behind.

VistaVision was Paramount's answer to Cinemascope and Cinerama. Instead of using multiple cameras or anamorphic lenses, VistaVision ran 35mm film horizontally through the camera gate to shoot on a larger area.

The obvious benefit of this approach was that it didn't require cinemas to get all new equipment. With the competing technologies though, VistaVision films were all shot in a way that they could be displayed at a variety of aspect ratios.

Launching with White Christmas in 1954 and used in a number of Alfred Hitchcock films over the 1950s, ultimately VistaVision was made obsolete by the arrival of improved film stock, and the rise of cheaper anamorphic systems.

11. 3D

If you think the rise (and fall) of 3D cinema started with Avatar, then you're mistaken. 3D actually goes back to the very beginnings of cinema history, with a patent filed in the late 1890s, with two films screened side by side and made 3D through the use of a stereoscope. It wasn't very practical, and so ultimately failed to take off.

But that didn't stop people trying, all through the early decades of cinema, 3D was tried using many of the technologies we still see today. In 1922, a film called The Power of Love was shown using anaglyph glasses (the red and blue ones).

But it was in the 1950s that 3D had its first real wave of success. Led by the release of Bwana Devil in 1952, the first color stereoscopic 3D film, and with releases across most of the major film studios, 3D took cinema by storm.

For a couple of years, anyway. While 3D films continued to be produced throughout the 50s and 60s, competing technologies like Cinemascope, coupled with the rise of television and the expense of having to run two projectors simultaneously for 3D meant the format never really took off.

Of course, more recently the technology has seen a resurgence, largely thanks to James Cameron's Avatar. Opinions are pretty divided on the technology, but it is definitely seen as a drawcard for the more recent trend for blockbuster releases.

12. IMAX

In an attempt to show that bigger is better, back in 1970 a Canadian company showcased the very first IMAX film, Tiger Child, at Expo 70 in Osaka. Using a special camera that supports a larger film format, IMAX films offer a significantly higher resolution than that of standard film counterparts.

With dedicated IMAX cinemas launching from 1971, the increased resolution means viewers can typically sit closer to the screen. Typical IMAX theatres have screens 22 metres wide and 16 metres high, although they can be larger – in Sydney Australia, the world's largest IMAX screen measures 35.7 metres wide and 29.7 metres high. It's pretty awesome.

While many of the films shown on an IMAX screen are either documentaries or upscaled versions of 35mm films, there has been a growing tendency for filmmakers to shoot parts of their Hollywood blockbusters using IMAX cameras.

13. Dolby sound

While it's natural to associate the history of film with the visual spectacle, it's important to remember the importance of sound.

And while we've already seen that surround sound made its way into cinemas as far back as the 1940s, it was during the 1970s that a company called Dolby Labs began having a very significant impact on cinema sound.

From the release of A Clockwork Orange – which used Dolby noise reduction on all pre-mixes and masters – Dolby has fundamentally changed the way we hear our movies.

In 1975, Dolby introduced Dolby Stereo, which was followed by the launch of Dolby Surround (which itself became Dolby Pro Logic) which took the technology into the home.

With the release of 1992's Batman Returns, Dolby Digital introduced cinemas to digital surround sound compression, which was reworked as the Dolby AC-3 standard for home setups.

While there are other film audio technologies out there, Dolby has no doubt led the way, and become the international standard for surround sound, both in the cinema and the home.

14. DTS

Four years after Dolby started work on Dolby Digital, another company came along to try and revolutionise cinema sound.

Initially supported by blockbuster director Steven Spielberg, DTS made its cinema debut in 1993 with the release of Jurassic Park, roughly 12 months after Dolby Digital's launch.

Jurassic Park also saw the format's debut in a home cinema environment' with the film's laserdisc release offering the technology.

Nowadays, there's an abundance of DTS codecs available, for both cinema and home theatre releases.

15. THX

Oh, George Lucas, we can't stay mad at you. Sure, you absolutely ruined our childhood memories with your Star Wars prequels and your Crystal Skulls, but we can't forget that your legacy extends beyond mere Star Wars and Indiana Jones Credits.

You were also instrumental in the creation of the THX certification for audio. While THX is often confused as an alternative codec system for audio to the likes of Dolby Digital, the truth is that THX is more of a quality assurance certification. With it, viewers could rest assured that the sound they were experiencing was what the sound engineers who created the film wanted them to.

So while the fundamental credit for THX actually goes to Tomlinson Holman, the fact Lucas introduced the standard to accompany the release of Return of the Jedi means that we can be a little less angry at him for Jar Jar Binks.

16. CGI

While people were playing around with computer graphics on screens as far back as the 1960s and 70s, with examples like Westworld showing a graphical representation of the real world, things really started taking off with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

In the film, the Genesis Effect sequence is entirely computer generated, a first for cinema.

Again, we can partially thank George Lucas for this trend, as the effects were created by his company, Industrial Light and Magic. From here, the trend for incorporating CGI elements into cinema cascades, with hundreds of developments over hundreds of films.

Notable examples include Toy Story as the first CGI animated feature, Terminator 2 for the T-1000's morphing features and The Matrix with its bullet time sequences.

Oh, and the Star Wars prequels for the extensive use of CG support characters and backgrounds, Avatar for mo-capped virtual characters and The Lord of the Rings trilogy for introducing AI software for digital characters.

CGI has completely changed filmmaking, and it continues to get better.

17. Digital cinematography

We take it for granted with our iPhones and digital cameras these days, but the truth is that recording digital video is a relatively recent phenomenon. In fact, while Sony tested the waters in the 1980s and 90s, it again fell to perpetual pioneer George Lucas to take the technology mainstream.

With (groan) The Phantom Menace, Lucas may have ruined Star Wars, but he also managed to revolutionise filmmaking by including footage shot on digital cameras. The film also saw the arrival of digital projectors in theatres around the world.

By late 2013, Paramount had moved entirely to digital distribution of its films, eliminating 35mm film from its lineup entirely.

That said, film isn't going away – even Star Wars Episode VII director JJ Abrams professes his love for shooting on film, while Quentin Tarantino has confirmed that he is shooting his latest film, The Hateful Eight, in 70mm film specifically to avoid digital projection. But despite these setbacks, the trend to move to digital is continuing to grow.

18. High Frame rate

While film has matured a lot over the past 100 years or so, it's interesting that the framerate of 24 frames per second has stayed fairly constant throughout.

While early cinema experimented with framerate, ever since 24 frames per second was adopted as the standard, it has largely been left alone.

That is, right up until an excitable filmmaker named Peter Jackson decided to film his return to Middle Earth – 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – at the high frame rate of 48 frames per second.

The technology wasn't universally loved – criticisms included the loss of the "cinematic" feel of the movies, as well as resulting in a sharper image that feels more like a video game than a film.

But with James Cameron planning to film his Avatar sequels at 48 frames per second, the technology isn't going away.

19. Atmos

As we've already discovered, Dolby has a long history of revolutionising cinema audio. In 2012, the company did it again with the launch of Dolby Atmos.

Atmos enables 128 channels of synchronised audio and metadata associated with the panning image to create the most lifelike surround sound solution to date.

What makes Atmos truly magnificent is that it renders the sound based on the metadata in real time using whatever speaker system is in place, rather than having a sound engineer dictate which sounds are playing through which speaker.

The technology, while originally destined for cinema use, has also made its way to home theatres, with compatible AV receivers that is.

20. The future

With technology developing at an exponential rate, the future of film is sure to be an exciting one.

Already, with the arrival of VR devices like the Oculus Rift, filmmakers are beginning to dabble in 360 degree filmmaking.

Others are experimenting with interactive cinema, turning film into a choose-your-own-adventure type experience.

One thing's for certain: Movie making has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, and it's undoubtedly going to advance even faster as we roll deeper into the 21st Century.


Famous cellphones from pop culture

Large, outdated cellphones can be spotted in older films and TV shows, while new, high-tech gadgets are frequently used in recent flicks. Here's a look back at some famous mobile devices that made appearances on the big and small screens.

  • In the TV show Saved by the Bell, character Zack Morris hauled around a clunky cellphone believed to be a Motorola DynaTAC.
  • The Nokia 8110 was popularized after it was spotted in the 1999 movie The Matrix.
  • The Nokia 7650 was featured in the 2002 movie Minority Report featuring Tom Cruise.
  • In 2003, The Matrix trilogy switched to a Samsung SPH-N270.

The handheld device weighed 0.8 kilograms and its rechargeable battery was reported to last about eight hours, according to a company information sheet from the 1970s. Pressing an "off-hook" button — so-called to symbolize picking up a standard telephone from its base — would start a phone call, while pressing an "on-hook" button would end the conversation.

Motorola estimated service costs would run from $60 to $100 US a month. The company compared operating costs to those of an average car telephone service.

In the statement, the company said it believed people would continue using their car phones, and cellphones would "absolutely not" replace standard telephones.

The original smartphone

In 1993, Bellsouth and IBM announced their creation of the Simon personal communicator phone, touted as the world's first smartphone. Simon was designed to be a cellphone first and a computer second, according to the product's media release.

The device, with a $899 suggested pricetag, boasted such features as:

  • A pager.
  • E-mail.
  • A stylus for writing on the screen, with handwriting reflected as-is for faxes.
  • A complete keypad featuring letters and numbers.
  • A calendar that could be updated automatically from a remote computer.

Only 2,000 of the devices, which weighed less than 0.5 kilograms, were made.

Cellphone cameras

In 2002, the first phones with built-in cameras became publicly available, including the Nokia 7650 and the Sanyo SPC-5300.

The Nokia phone boasted "a large 176x208 pixel colour display," according to a media release at the time. The Sanyo version offered three user-controlled tones, white balance and zoom.

Today's iPhone 5, in contrast, offers an eight-megapixel camera with autofocus, flash and built-in face detection.

BlackBerry's first integrated phone

The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone giant, formerly called Research in Motion, unveiled its first integrated phone in 2003. Part of BlackBerry's Quark series, the BlackBerry 6210 was the company's first device to offer:

  • Email.
  • Texting.
  • A web browser.
  • BlackBerry Messenger service, allowing for web-based communication between BlackBerry users.

IPhone launch

In January 2007, Apple launched its first iPhone. The company described the phone as combining three products into one handheld device: a mobile phone, an iPod and a wireless communication device.

One of the original iPhone's more revolutionary features was that it allowed users to command the device using only their fingers on a touch screen.

Other new functions included a visual voicemail box, touchpad keyboard, a photo library that could be linked to a remote computer and an almost nine-centimetre display for watching movies and television.


The Complete History Of Marvel Superhero Movies: 1990-2008

Iron Man may have changed the game for Marvel movies, but Marvel already had a long history of movie-making before the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here's part two of our look back at the history of Marvel comic book movies, as we head into the 90's and come right up to 2008.

In part one of our look back at Marvel's movie catalogue before the MCU began in 2008 , we saw the rise of the TV B-Movie and the company's first big-screen flop. A few brief successes were largely marred by disappointing ventures for the company, and in the case of Howard the Duck, a catastrophic first foray onto the big screen.

The Secret History Of Marvel's Movies Before Iron Man: Part 1

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed the face of blockbuster movies as we know them today.…

But the one thing that dogs Marvel in its early days, and will carry on well into the 90's and early 2000's, was a seeming incapability to capitalize on the strengths of their characters in live-action. It took near bankruptcy, and the terrible work of other studios, for the company to finally learn its lesson, culminating in the creation of the universe that is still dominating Hollywood today. Let's dig in, shall we?

An Inauspicious Start: Captain America (1990-1992) and Death Of The Incredible Hulk (1990)

Marvel entered the 90's with a bang, but not a particularly good one. For the first time since the late 70's, the company returned to Captain America. A new Cap movie had actually been in the works since the mid 80's from the Cannon Group, who bought the rights off Marvel and began working on a script with input from Stan Lee.

However, Menahem Golan left Cannon at the end of the 80's, taking the rights to Captain America with him as well as the script that was currently in the work. Golan's new company, 21st Century Film, originally planned to release the movie to coincide with the character's 50th anniversary in 1990, but delays and production issues eventually meant that the film went direct-to-video in 1992, and was universally panned for its poor production values and dodgy approach to the character.

Incredibly Strange and Ridiculously Cheap: Albert Pyun's 30-Year Career in B-Movies

Albert Pyun is a legend among low-budget movie-makers. He's probably directed more movies about…

Meanwhile on the actual TV movie front, the company didn't fare so well either. A third and ultimately final movie based on the classic Hulk TV series, Death of The Incredible Hulk, aired in 1990. Like the first two before it, the movie was planned to include another Marvel Hero — at first She-Hulk was announced, but then Iron Man was considered, before the idea was scrapped altogether in favor of a plot that saw the Hulk sacrifice himself at the movie's climax.

Although it was never planned as the real end for the Lou Ferringo/Bill Bixby take on the character (two further movies dealing with the resurrection of Banner were originally planned), a combination of poor ratings performance and the unfortunate passing of Bill Bixby meant that the series had come to an end for good.

The Movie That Never Was: The Fantastic Four (1994)

There's a repeating pattern with Marvel's attempts to get onto the big screen so far: they were all consummate messes. The first attempt at a Fantastic Four movie was certainly no exception.

The rights to make a movie based on Marvel's first family were brought by German producer Bernd Eichinger in the mid 80's, with an expiry date for the end of 1992 put in place. But as time passed and the expiration date came closer and closer, Eichinger and his Neue Constantin studio became increasingly anxious about losing them, so they began production on what was (kindly) described as a small-scale B-Movie for a planned budget of $1 million. Filming began under the helm of music video director Oley Sassone in 1992, with a planned release for late 1993 that was ultimately pushed back to early 1994 — but the movie never materialized.

To this day rumors still float about why the movie never made it to the big screen, despite promotion and plans for première. Stan Lee has repeatedly accused Eichinger of merely making the movie to extend ownership rights, never intending to release the film (something unbeknownst to the cast and crew, who actively went out and promoted it in the run up to 'release'), but Eichinger and Avi Arad, who was then an executive at Marvel, tell a different story. Worried that a deliberately B-Movie take on one of Marvel's most beloved properties could harm the company's attempts to expand further into live action, Arad contacted Eichinger and offered to pay off the budget spent on making the film in return for the film never being released, and all existing copies being handed over. Eichinger agreed, and without seeing the film, Arad ordered every copy destroyed.

Unlike Marvel's previous big screen flops, Fantastic Four was never released on home video or even internationally. However, despite the supposed destruction of every print, some survived as bootleg copies. In fact, here's a youtube version of it you can check out.


First Commercial Movie Screened - HISTORY

FIRST CCD COLOR VIDEOCAM, SONY XC-1 - 1980. In 1980, Sony marketed a commercial color videocam using a CCD. The world's first commercial color video camera to utilize a completely solid state image sensor, a charge-coupled-device, or CCD. It was also the smallest camera on the market, weighing only 2.8 pounds. We believe we were the first digital camera history web site to provide a photo and information concerning this camera.

MA MIYA ZE 35 - 1980. The ZE 35 was among the last of the 35mm SLR cameras produced by Mamiya. It was the first Japanese SLR to use an electronic coupling system to transmit information between the camera body and its interchangeable lenses. List $365 (about $1020 in 2012 dollars). Many 35mm SLRs such as the one above are readlly available on eBay in near mint condtion and at very low prices. Such cameras can be be jewels of any camera collection.

RICOH A-100 - 1980. The Ricoh A-100 was an automatic, 35mm, SLR camera launched by Ricoh in 1980. The A-100 featured aperture priority AE mode and electronically-controlled focal plane shutter. The camera was equipped with multi-coated XR Rikenon 50mm f/1.4 standard lens made of 7 elements arranged in 6 groups, but it could also use other Rikenon K mount interchangeable lenses. The A-100 was powered by two 1.5V silver oxide batteries (JIS G13, Mallory MS76, or Eveready S76).


IBM PC 5150 - 1981. The IBM PC ( PC = Personal Computer ) model #5150, was conceived by a team of IBM engineers in Boca Raton, Florida in early 1980. The IBM PC was introduced on August 12, 1981. Digital Photography, Mikkel Aaland, 1992, p11.

3.5-INCH FLOPPY DISK - 1981. Sony introduces the floppy that we are all familiar with today - 3.5 inches or 90mm. A variety of disks of various sizes had been produced to take the place of the 5.25-inch disk, but when several companies adopted Sony's 3.5-inch format it became the industry standard.


FUJICA AX-1- 1981. Shutter 1/2 - 1/1000 sec. Lens Fujinon f/3.5-4.5, 43-75 mm zoom. The lens and camera in excellent condition were obtained on eBay with a winning bid of $9.95.



PENTAX ME-F - 1981. World's first SLR (single lens reflex) camera with TTL (through-the-lens) autofocus capability. Click on image to see enlarged view.


POLAROID THE BUTTON - 1981 . Donated by Tatiya Hwang. One of several Polaroid cameras that used the same film packs as the much more expensive Polaroid SX-70 camera.

POLAROID 8x10 FILM - 1980. Polaroid began producing film in wide varieties, including 8x10 instant transparencies (Type 891) and instant orthochromatic, translucent prints (Type TPX). To process these products Polaroid marketed a series of film processors which allowed processing their 8x10 products without a darkroom or chemical solutions. Above are shown a model 81-12 film processor and 81-09 loading tray. These items are still common on eBay, but the film products may be expensive and out-of-date.



SONY MAVICA ELECTRONIC CAMERA - 1981. A new era In photography begins. On August 25, 1981, at a packed conference in Tokyo, Sony unveiled a prototype of the company's first still video camera, the Mavica ( Ma gnetic Vi deo Ca mera). It recorded images on two-inch floppy disks and played them back on a TV set or Video monitor. The Mavica was not a digital camera, but a TV camera capable of writing TV quality stills onto magnetic disks, with a shutter that would allow it to freeze frames within the limits set by twin-field interlace making up the complete frame. The Mavica was a single lens reflex with interchangeable lenses. The original Mavica was provided with three bayonet-mounted lenses: a 25mm f/2, a 50mm f/1.4, and 16-65mm f/1.4 zoom. CCD size was 570 x 490 pixels on a 10mm x 12mm chip. F/stop was controlled manually according to lighted arrows that appeared in the viewfinder. Light sensitivity was rated at ISO 200. The original Mavica had only one shutter speed, 1/60th second. Each image was recorded in its own single circle on the floppy disk that Sony called the Mavipak. Up to fifty color photos could be stored on one Mavipak. Multiple exposure of 2, 4, 8. or 20 images could be selected. The Mavica was powered by three AA-size batteries. Images were displayed on a television set and were considered to be equal in quality to the maximum capability of a TV set of that time.


Cutaway Drawing of the Sony Mavica
First Operational Electronic Still Camera
Click on image to see full-page view.

Sony Advertisement Announcing the Sony Mavica Electronic Still Video Camera
________________________________________________________________________________

Announcement SONY CORPORATION

7-35 KITASHINAGAWA 6-CHOME. SHINAGAWA-KU, TOKYO, 141 JAPAN ________________________________________________________________________________

Sony Corporation today announced that it has developed a revolutionary video still camera, embodying fully the advantages of advanced electronic technology in magnetic recording, CCD and IC semiconductors.

Called the MAVICA system, the new magnetic video still camera uses no photographic film and therefore does not require developing and printing processes which are indispensable to conventional chemical photography. This new video still camera represents an epoch-making innovation in the history of still photography.

The conventional camera has seen some improvements over the years, such as the change from dry plate to film, the use of electronics in certain parts, and the reduction of size and weight. However, for more than 140 years since the invention by Daguerre of France, there has been no fundamental change in the concept and technology of photography, in which images are recorded on film through chemical reactions of photo-sensitive materials.

Sony's MAVICA system replaces each chemical processes with an electromagnetic system. The MAVICA is no larger than a conventional 35mm single-lens reflex camera. An image that comes through the lens is converted into electronic signals by a solid-state imager called CCD (Charge Coupled Device), previously developed by Sony. The signals are recorded on a very small magnetic disk called MAVIPAK that Sony has developed for the new camera system.

The newly developed memory medium called MAVIPAK can record 50 still color pictures. The recorded pictures can be viewed immediately on the home TV set through a specially designed playback unit called the MAVIPAK Viewer. MAVIPAK pictures require no developing or printing processes such as required in chemical photography. It is expected that hard copies of color pictures can be produced from the MAVIPAK by means of a new color printer now under development by Sony.

FLOPPY DISK DRIVE - 1981. Sony introduces the first 3.5 inch floppy disk drive.


FIRST SHUTTLE SPACE PHOTOS - 1981. The first photos from space taken by Shuttle astronauts occurred in 1981. Cape Cod shown above, right (NASA).

The article on the right was posted by the Fairchild ASI Science Team on the University of Calgary physics web site . Downloaded 8/28/2002

Photos on the above left and the below aurora image were included in the same article.

UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY FAIRCHILD ALL-SKY CCD CAMERA - 1981. In 1981, the University of Calgary Canada ASI (All-Sky Imager) Science Team constructed the first operational digital camera which used a CCD (previous digital versions of the Calgary All-Sky Camera used an imager tube). The All-Sky camera used the first commercially available CCD, the Fairchild 100 x 100 pixel CCD of 1973 (see 1970s page), thus the name, Fairchild All-Sky Camera. Unlike other early electronic cameras, the All-Sky Camera provided digital data rather than analog data, thus making it the first documented operational digital camera using a CCD imager. It was used to photograph auroras. Shown above left to right: camera exterior, camera interior, camera on location. Shown below: Image of an aurora captured by the UC Fairchild All-Sky Camera. We believe we were the first digital camera history web site to provide a photo and information concerning this camera.
http://aurora.phys.ucalgary.ca/index_past.html



HITACHI VK-C1000 - 1981. First consumer video camera with solid state (MOS - metal oxide semiconductor) image pickup device rather than an image pickup tube. The viewfinder was a small color CRT rather than an LCD. The recording device was basically a table-top VTR with a shoulder strap attached. The battery was very large and was usable for about 45 minutes of recording. A separate power supply was required to operate the VTR when not on battery power. Compare with today's palm-sized camcorders.

EIKONIX- 1982. Eikonix Corporation marketed the first digital filming instrument. It had a 3000 pixel scanner which moved across 4000 lines to provide a 12MP image. First images were shades of grey, but later red, blue and green filters were added resulting in the first digital color film. We believe we were the first digital camera history web site to provide a photo and information concerning this camera.

SONY MAVICA PROTOTYPE - 1982. Prototype Mavica similar to the 1981 model. Not produced. We believe we were the first digital camera history web site to provide a photo and information concerning this camera.


SONY CDP-101 - 1982. The CD player prototype Goronta was shown at the Audio Fair in the Fall of 1981 (photo on the left). On 1 October 1982 the Sony CDP-101 was released - the world's first consumer compact disc player. The Compact Disc was digital, reconstructing sound from a rapid stream of 1's and 0's stored sequentially on the disc. Sony chose 101 as the model number to represent the digital 1's and 0's. Although pundits of the time predicted that it would be at least ten years before CDs made serious inroads into LP sales, and that CD players would never be made for automobiles because they "weren't needed," CDs quickly took over the recorded music market and relegated LPs to the realm of collectors and vinyl diehards. MSRP: $900. We believe we were the first digital camera history web site to provide a photo and information concerning these items.

SCANNER IMAGE TRANSMISSION - 1982. Kodak demonstrated image transmission using a scanner. Don Sutherland, "Digital Deal," Photo trade News, Chapter 3, August 2000.

Nikon FM2 - 1982-2001. Sometimes you have you pay more than $10-20 to win and item on eBay, but that's OK if you get more in quality or value. The above purchase is an example of both. The Nikon FM2 had an original price of $364 for the body only. That would be about $873 in 2010 dollars. By 1995 the MSRP had risen to $745 ($1065 in 2010 dollars). The above FM2 along with three lenses, two flash units, a Weston III light meter, three filters, a self timer, a remote, a lens hood, and four lens containers, all in excellent condition, were purchased on eBay for $102.50. The unheard of 1/4000 sec shutter speed was unique to the FM2 at the time of its introduction.

DISC CAMERAS - 1982. Kodak began marketing disc photography in 1982 with a line of compact cameras built around a rotating disc of film. A variety of disc-based cameras were produced between 1982 and 1990. The Disc 4000 (1982) and the Disc 4100 (1984) are shown above along with a disc cartridge and interior film disc. Shown below are a Minolta and an Ansco version of the disc camera.

ANSCO CADET 100 - 1983. Another disc film camera, presumably manufactured by Haking for Ansco.

Kodak Partytime II Kodamatic Instant Camera - 1982. Camera designed for 'instant' photography. It was produced to be given away free at Tupperware parties. Kodak began to manufacture instant cameras in 1977. Polaroid, who had pioneered instant photography in 1948, took legal action. In 1985, after prolonged litigation, judgment went against Kodak who had to discontinue the production of instant cameras and film.

Kodak Kodamatic 960 Instant Camera - 1982. Another Kodak instant camera that Kodak was forced to discontinue. Film Size: Kodak HS144 Instant. Shutter: Electronic 1/15 - 1/250. Lens: Fixed 100mm f/12.8. Original List Price: $78.00

Kodamatic 980L Instant Camera - 1982. Similar to the 960, but with auto-focus. Kodak's only auto-focus instant camera. Original MSRP: $115.


SHARP ELECTRONIC STILL VIDEO CAMERA (ESVC) Prototype - 1982. A photo of this camera has been shown on at least two web sites, however, we have been unable to find any mention of this camera in a Google search, in photo magazines of that time, or on Sharp's very extensive history site. This may have been a quickly made mockup to present to the press to in effect say, "Hey, we are working on one of these too!" At the time of the showing of an actual working still video camera by Sony in August of 1981, the general reaction by other camera manufacturers was stunned silence. Companies that were not thinking of an electronic camera, or perhaps had such a camera on the back burner, were suddenly stirred into action. It was immediately obvious that Sony, an electronics company with a great deal of experience in professional quality video camera production, now had a big jump on many others in the forth-coming electronic still camera market and thus they had better put their own programs into high gear.


JVC GR-C1 - 1983. First VHS single-unit video camcorder. This camcorder used Compact VHS tape which JVC introduced in 1982. This was the same tape as standard VHS and the same recording format, but in a cassette which was only 1/3 the size. This compact cassette could be inserted into in a full-sized VHS adaptor shell so that it could be played back in any VHS machine. In this way, JVC achieved miniaturization without compromising compatibility with older equipment. Immortalized in the movie 'Back To The Future' (photo above on right), it is the original, definitive camcorder.

KODAK PARTYSTAR Kodamatic Instant Camera - 1983. This particular camera was produced for distribution at Tupperware parties.

MICRON TECHNOLOGY MICRON BULLET - 1983. A 1984 ad in Robotics Age stated that the MincronEye (purchased as a unit or in kit form) camera had a 128 X 256 element resolution (optical RAM) which could produce a grey scale photo with a plug-and-go operation. The images were reportedly of very low quality. Lens: 16mm f/1.4. (TV).

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STYLING EXERCISE - 1983. Designed by Luigi Colanie as a still video camera, one of five camera styling exercises commissioned by Canon in 1983. Luigi Colani is a German who was born in Berlin in 1928, and is famous for his opinions such as "an egg represents the highest form of packaging since the dawn of time," or "no straight lines in the universe." His digicam was to use solid-state memory and was characterized by the objective lens and viewfinder being on the same axis. The flash unit was to fire through the objective lens. Exhibited in the 1984 Photokina, the 5 System mockups produced a major sensation. We believe we were the first digital camera history web site to provide a photo and information concerning this camera.

CANON NEW SURE SHOT - 1983. The third in Canon's Sure Shot series, released in 1983, this was known as the (New) Sure Shot in the US, AF35M II in Europe, and Autoboy 2 in Japan. Its specifications are very similar to the original Sure Shot (but with a 4-element, 4-group lens this time) but can be identified by the sloped edge near the shutter release button.

NIMSLO 3D CAMERA - 1983. Jerry Nims and Alan Lo. One of many 3D 35mm cameras produced by various manufacturers over the years. The Nimslo was a stereoscopic camera that took four photos simultaneously on 35mm film which then provided three-dimensional views. Four fixed focus f5.6, 30mm triplet lenses. Shutter 1/30 to 1/500 second. The Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, England. The company that produced the Nimslo was taken over by another company which followed up with the Nishika N8000 3D camera (photo on the right).

SONY BMC-100/110 - 1983. The Sony BMC-100 (BMC-110 in USA) Betamax was the first consumer model combined camera and recorder to go on sale.

SANYO VRC 100 - 1983. Other manufacturers produced Beta movie cameras similar to the Sony BMC-100/110 which were then sold under a variety of brand names. Sanyo and Toshiba manufactured store brands for Sears, Marantz, Radio Shack, Rent-A-Beta, Navco, Magnasonic and others. Sony produced units for Zenith and Pioneer. The Sanyo VCR 100 kit came in a nicely fitted aluminum case as well as with a lined vinyl case for the camera itself.

FISHER CAM-500 - 1983. A typical video camera of the 1980s. It used a Saticon direct-readout television pickup tube. Saticon Tubes with a Selenium storage layer were considered suitable for acquiring fast moving images. Their typical charateristics were low lag, excellent resolution, and signal uniformity.


PENTAX NEXA - 1983. Pentax demonstrates a B&W analog still video camera prototype, the Nexa. Images were stored on a miniture floppy disk. We believe we were the first digital camera history web site to provide a photo and information concerning this camera.


A Kiss Is Still a Kiss

But a movie kiss is never just a formal matter, a problem of planes and shadows and cutting. A kiss is charged with meaning, with a curious and contradictory power explicated, at nearly the exact moment Edison was making his shorts, by another inventor of modern consciousness, Sigmund Freud. If Edison, simultaneously with the Lumière brothers in France, invented the machinery of collective dreaming, Freud wrote the instruction manual. Kissing, it is true, occupies less space in his corpus than in the annals of Hollywood his theories of sexuality were centered on places — the genitals, the unconscious — where the movie camera was as yet reluctant or ill equipped to go.

In the 21st of his “Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis” — one chapter devoted to the General Theory of the Neuroses — Freud used kissing to complicate the distinction between “normal” and “perverse” sexuality, meaning, on the one hand, heterosexual genital intercourse aimed at reproduction, and on the other hand, just about everything else. The kiss was primary evidence in his argument that this separation was too simplistic: “Even a kiss can claim to be described as a perverse act,” he asserted, “since it consists in the bringing together of two oral erotogenic zones instead of two genitals. Yet no one rejects it as perverse on the contrary, it is permitted in theatrical performances as a softened hint at the sexual act.”

Whatever the status of Freud’s insight as a theory of the human libido, there is no doubt that he was identifying, in passing, a marvelous loophole in the morals of his time, one that would only grow larger over the next century. Kissing was permissible as a hint at “the sexual act” that could not be directly represented and in the movies, thanks to the enhancements of lighting, makeup, close-up and decoupage, it was an even broader and more suggestive hint than it was onstage. A movie kiss was also, for a long time and under various formal and informal censorship regimes, a substitute for everything else. A kiss was all the sex you could show on-screen, and it is precisely the turning of a particular, nongenital sexual activity into the whole of sexuality that fulfills Freud’s definition of perversion.

In the present, where Internet video of any imaginable sexual act is a few well-chosen search words away, we sometimes look back on old movies as artifacts of an innocent, more repressive time. But it may be more accurate to regard them as the force that made perverts of us all, by invisibly smuggling all that other stuff in through soft, innocuous hints. The prudes who wrote the Production Code that reined in Hollywood’s incipient salaciousness early in the sound era certainly suspected as much. Aware that they could not control every image and scenario, they mandated that “special care be exercised” in a number of sensitive areas, including “excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a ‘heavy.' ”

But lust and excess are in the eye of the beholder, and the audience is perfectly capable of projecting onto the screen much more than what the light beam passing through nitrate will expose. A kiss is not just the chaste signifier of other, naughtier pleasures — or of socially sanctioned, baby-making marital relations. It is a gateway drug, literal proof that the scolds have always been right.

Movies have always been about sex and have always provided, under cover of harmless amusement, the tools of sexual initiation. This is an open secret. The industry, the audience and the critics conspire to pretend that something other than erotic fulfillment is the reason for the art form’s existence. And of course there are a great many ennobling and inspiring things that movies can do, other passions that can be aroused as we sit on soft chairs in the dark, surrounded by strangers. But every once in a while someone spills the popcorn.

In his poem “Ave Maria,” Frank O’Hara exhorts the “Mothers of America” to “let your kids go to the movies!” The first reason is to give Mom a chance to pursue her own adult interests: “get them out of the house so they won’t know what you’re up to.” But they will also have the chance to get up to some mischief themselves (“they may even be grateful to you/for their first sexual experience”), to cultivate “the darker joys” that blossom in the dark of the movie theater and that include the possibility of “leaving the movie before it’s over/with a pleasant stranger whose apartment is in the Heaven on Earth Bldg/near the Williamsburg Bridge.” On the other hand, if the mothers don’t listen to the poem’s advice, “the family breaks up/and your children grow old and blind in front of a TV set/seeing/movies you wouldn’t let them see when they were young.”

“Ave Maria” is a perfect refutation of the puritanical idea of the guilty pleasure. The guilt in O’Hara’s poem comes from the denial and delay of pleasure. The kids will see the movies anyway, and also find what pleasures they can — how do you suppose they went blind? — but the thrill will be gone, and the happy domestic arrangement that made it all possible will have collapsed. Without free access to perversity — to “candy bars” and “gratuitous bags of popcorn” — the children will never be normal.

First on-screen kiss: “The Kiss” (1896).

May Irwin and John Rice re-enacted their stage roles from the 1895 Broadway play “The Widow Jones.”

Credit. Library of Congress

First on-screen kiss: “The Kiss” (1896).

May Irwin and John Rice re-enacted their stage roles from the 1895 Broadway play “The Widow Jones.”

Credit. Library of Congress

Groundbreaking same-sex (women) kiss: “Morocco” (1930).

Amy Jolly (Marlene Dietrich), a performer in top hat and tux, selects an audience member.

Credit. Everett Collection

Groundbreaking french kiss: “Splendor in the Grass” (1961).

Deanie (Natalie Wood) and Bud (Warren Beatty), teenage lovers, make out in a parked convertible. 

Credit. Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

Groundbreaking interracial kiss: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967).

The only kiss Dr. John Prentice (Sidney Poitier) gives his fiancée, Joey Drayton (Katharine Houghton), is seen in a rearview mirror.

Credit. Everett Collection

Groundbreaking interspecies kiss: “Planet of the Apes” (1968).

George Taylor (Charlton Heston) and Zira (Kim Hunter) bid adieu.

Credit. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation/Everett Collection

Groundbreaking 50-plus-year age gap kiss: Harold and Maude (1971).

Harold (Bud Cort) and Maude (Ruth Gordon) celebrate her 80th birthday.

Credit. Everett Collection

Groundbreaking same-sex (men) kiss: “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1971).

Dr. Daniel Hirsh (Peter Finch) greets Bob Elkin (Murray Head), a young bisexual artist-sculptor.

Credit. Everett Collection

Longest on-screen kiss: “Kids in America” (2005).

Holden (Gregory Smith) and his girlfriend, Charlotte (Stephanie Sherrin), kiss for six minutes.

Credit. Steve Sanacore/Vision Films


First Commercial Movie Screened - HISTORY

In 1936, RCA demonstrates an all- electronic, 343 line/30 frames per second, television broadcast signaling the arrival of a completely functional television system. That summer lead to the first major broadcast using this new medium, the Berlin Summer Olympic Games, which were televised by Telefunken using RCA equipment. Another major broadcaster rises to prominence as the BBC starts the "world's first public, regular, high-definition Television station" on November 2nd.

During the 1939 World's Fair David Sarnoff, president of RCA, unveiled the first commercial publicly accessible television broadcast. In Flushing NY, he proclaimed "Now we add sight to sound" and during the opening ceremonies of the fair on April 30th, FDR became the first president to ever be televised. TV sets went on sale to the public the very next day, and RCA/NBC began regular broadcasts on a daily basis. By the end of the 30s, there were a few hundred televisions in America.

The next major step in television broadcasting came on July 1st, 1941 when the FCC authorized commercial broadcasting. NBC had the first commercial ever with a 10 second watch commercial which made them $7.00. On December 7th, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, which became the first major news story broken by television.

After the war ends, television sales become much more popular in the US with the 630-TS model by RCA selling over 43,000 units. Television slowly becomes ingrained into the fabric of American life. The first telecast of a World Series Game was on September 30th, 1947: The New York Yankees vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers. Harry Truman becomes the first president to make a television address from the White House on October 5th. Howdy Doody, the first children-targeted show begins its run on December 29th, 1947 on NBC.

In 1948, television production begins to grow greatly. By July of 1948, there are 350,000 TV sets in the USA. Notably 3/4 of them are in eastern network cities, and half of them are around New York City. This was the case because without a signal, the television was useless and very few cities outside of the northeast had a clear signal to original programming.

Money and sponsorships started to become very important in television broadcasts. A study found that 68% of viewers remember the names of program's sponsors(3) so this spurred advertisers to sponsor more events. Gillette, for instance, paid over $100,000 ($1.1 million today) for the rights to televise the Louis-Walcott return boxing match and the television rights for baseball games in New York City cost $700,000 ($7.7 million.)

Continuing the phenomenal growth, 2 million television sets were in American homes in 1948 (of which 720,000 were in New York City alone.) On September 4th, 1951 the first coast-to-coast telecast was aired as President Truman spoke to 13 million television sets.

Televisions were still mostly found in cities simply because the television stations were only found in cities (especially New York.) However, in the late 1940s a resident in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania named John Walson came up with the idea of building a transmitter on top of the mountain between Philadelphia and his town. After this transmitter was purchased, he began to offer television through coaxial cable to his town members. This proved to be so effective that the Governor of Pennsylvania spearheaded a master cable system that allowed signals from New York and Washington to be "imported" to his entire state.

The next big innovation came in April of 1954 when RCA introduced a color television set. It initially failed to be popular with only 5,000 selling in the first year. Notably, this adoption rate was much higher than the original television sales (although it isn't until 1964 when one million color televisions a year are sold.) Following this production landmark, NBC announces that all but two prime time shows will be broadcast in color.


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