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Today in History (1889): William Friese-Greene receives a patent for the first Cinematograph Camera

Ever wondered about early motion pictures?

William Friese-Greene was a British portrait photographer and inventor. Some regard him to be the Father of Modern Cinema, or even the inventor of cinematography. He invented the chronophotographic camera, a device that was capable of shooting ten photos per second using perforated celluloid film.

In January of 1889, the British inventor brought his camera to a park and exposed 20 feet of film. He developed the film and projected it on a small screen. There you have it: motion pictures.

Months after, on June 21, 1889, Friese-Greene was given a patent for his invention. He was issued patent number 10131 for his chronophotographic camera. The British Photographic News published a report on the device a year after.

Friese-Greene gave a public demonstration but the camera’s low frame rate and inconsistency tarnushed its reputation. Not to be defeated, the inventor continued to be steadfast with his experiments on cameras and moving pictures, but such endeavors proved to be costly and soon he was bankrupt. Friese-Greene eventually sold the rights to his chronophotographic camera.

Like this article? Check out more stories from our Today in History and Throwback Thursday series.

written by jillytanrad

1 comment

  1. anourtneylove

    anourtneylove

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Français.