A color film found during the Victorian Era has been judged “the word’s earliest color film”. We were previously held to believe the Kinemacolor, which arrived during the Edwardian Era, was the first successful process in creating color films. Just where was this British film found? Right under our noses!
So, we told you that the world’s earliest film that predates what was, till now, thought to be the earliest moving picture using Kinemacolor, was in plain sight this whole time. It’s true!
The American businessman and cinema pioneer, Charles Urban, had these films in his collection till 1937 when he donated them to London’s Science Museum. So, they had been in public possession but left unnoticed for all these years! The Media Museum in Bradford was given these films 3-years ago and that’s when it clicked with the curator of cinematography, Michael Harvey, that the films were Lee and Turner (Lee being the name of Frederick Lee, an entrepreneur for whom Turner worked for).
Once the films had been successfully reconstructed by Harvey and his team, he had to date the films.
The film shows Turner’s 3 young children twirling around sunflowers and playing around a table with a goldfish bowl on it. With knowledge of when these children were born, Harvey was able to date the film to 1901/1902.
Prior to this discovery, the film A Visit to the Seaside (1908) was the first successful color film.
Information and inspiration for this article is taken from The Guardian.