1891 – First Motion Pictures
Innovation: first motion picture
By: Thomas Edison and WKL Dickson
The development of celluloid film for still photography allowed motion to be captured in real time. In 1878, English photographer Eadweard Muybridge used 24 cameras to produce a series of images which created the illusion of a galloping horse. This experiment was arguably the first motion picture, although it was not given this name and therefore was not the first official motion picture.
In 1888, Thomas Edison conceived of a device that could capture motion picture. The following year in 1889 he gave this motion picture device a name, the Kinetoscope. The person working under Thomas Edison given the responsibility of turning this idea into an actual model was William Kennedy Dickson. Dickson invented the first celluloid film to be used for this application. Dickson and his team worked for the next several years on this project and in May 1891 produced the first working prototype of the Kinetoscope. The completed version of the Kinetoscope was officially unveiled on May 9, 1893. The Kinetoscope was not displayed on a projector; rather it was a machine with a viewing window for one person to look through. The motion picture consisted of a continuous loop of still images lit by a light source created by Edison. The passing of transparent frames in sequential order over the light source created the illusion of movement.