History of Film

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    1870s - 1900s

  • Passage de Vénus

    Passage de Vénus
    A series of photographs of the planet Venus' transit across the sun, taken by Jules Janssen in Japan on December 9, 1874.
  • The Horse in Motion

    The Horse in Motion
    A series of six cabinet cards by Eadweard Muybridge.
  • Man Walking Around a Corner

    Man Walking Around a Corner
    A British film directed by Louis Le Prince. It originally consisted of 16 photographs that were sent to his wife on 18 August 1887. He would develop the first moving image a year later.
  • Roundhay Garden Scene

    Roundhay Garden Scene
    The oldest film known to exist. Shot by Louis Le Prince on October 14, 1888. The camera used would be patented a month later. Le Prince would disappear on a train on September 16, 1890.
  • Leisurely Pedestrians, Open Topped Buses and Hansom Cabs with Trotting Horses

    Leisurely Pedestrians, Open Topped Buses and Hansom Cabs with Trotting Horses
    A lost film shot by William Friese in 1889. Also known as Hyde Park Corner, due to the area being the set for the short. Only six photographs survive today.
  • Monkeyshines

    A series of three short films recorded by William K. L. Dickson and William Heise between 1889 and 1890. It was the first film shot on Thomas Edison's Kinetograph cylinder. While No. 1 and 2 have been archived, No. 3 is completely lost.
  • Dickson Greeting

    Dickson Greeting
    Another film by William K. L. Dickson in 1891. It was shown to viewers at the National Federation of Women's Club, marking one of (if not the) first public showings of a moving picture.
  • Men Boxing

    Men Boxing
    Another film by William Dickson and William Heise.
  • Newark Athlete

    Another film by William Dickson and William Heise. It was inducted into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 2010, making it the oldest film in the Registry
  • Pauvre Pierrot

    Pauvre Pierrot
    Also known as "Poor Pete", it is one of the oldest known animated films still known to exist.
  • Un bon bock

    Un bon bock
    Also known as "A Good Beer", this film was played the same day as Pauvre Pierrot, despite being painted in 1888. While Pauvre Pierrot has been archived and restored, Un bon bock is completely lost, as its director, Émile Reynaud, threw both copies of the film into the Seine river in 1910, as he was suffering depression at the time.
  • The Dickson Experimental Sound Film

    The Dickson Experimental Sound Film
    The oldest known film to have sound, and the first film for the Kinetophone. However, the Kinetophone was technically a Kinetoscope with a cylinder-playing phonograph to play alongside the film, and as such was not a true sound-film system. The film was rediscovered in the 1940s, and a true restoration was released in 2002.
  • Fred Ott's Sneeze

    The oldest surviving film to have once been copyrighted. It was added to the National Film Registry in 2015.
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