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Edison Kinetoscope Films (1894-1896)



Edison Kinetoscope Films

(1894-1896)

4:24 minutes

Documentary / Educational / Silent

"I am experimenting upon an instrument which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion ...."

--Thomas A. Edison, 1888

Edison's laboratory was responsible for the invention of the Kinetograph (a motion picture camera) and the Kinetoscope (a peep-hole motion picture viewer). Most of this work was performed by Edison's assistant, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, beginning in 1888. Motion pictures became a successful entertainment industry in less than a decade, with single-viewer Kinetoscopes giving way to films projected for mass audiences. The Edison Manufacturing Co. (later known as Thomas A. Edison, Inc.) not only built the apparatus for filming and projecting motion pictures, but also produced films for public consumption. Most early examples were actualities showing famous people, news events, disasters, people at work, new modes of travel and technology, scenic views, expositions, and other leisure activities. As actualities declined in popularity, the company's production emphasis shifted to comedies and dramas.

This collection features 341 Edison films, including 127 titles also available in other American Memory motion picture groupings. The earliest example is a camera test made in 1891, followed by other tests and a wide variety of actualities and dramas through the year 1918, when Edison's company ceased film production. The presentation also offers a brief history of Edison's work with motion pictures as well as an overview of the different film genres produced by the Edison company.


An overview of Thomas A. Edison's involvement in motion pictures detailing the development of the Kinetoscope, the films of the Edison Manufacturing Company, and the company's ultimate decline is given here. This essay relies heavily on the research and writings of film historians Charles Musser, David Robinson, and Eileen Bowser. More detailed information can be found in their books listed in the Bibliography, as well as in additional source materials.

Origins of Motion Pictures--the Kinetoscope  

The concept of moving images as entertainment was not a new one by the latter part of the 19th century. Magic lanterns and other devices had been employed in popular entertainment for generations. Magic lanterns used glass slides with images which were projected. The use of levers and other contrivances made these images "move". Another mechanism called a Phenakistiscope consisted of a disc with images of successive phases of movement on it which could be spun to simulate movement. Additionally, there was the Zoopraxiscope, developed by photographer Eadweard Muybridge in 1879, which projected a series of images in successive phases of movement. These images were obtained through the use of multiple cameras. The invention of a camera in the Edison laboratories capable of recording successive images in a single camera was a more practical, cost-effective breakthrough that influenced all subsequent motion picture devices.

While there has been speculation that Edison's interest in motion pictures began before 1888, the visit of Eadweard Muybridge to the inventor's laboratory in West Orange in February of that year certainly stimulated Edison's resolve to invent a motion picture camera. Muybridge proposed that they collaborate and combine the Zoopraxiscope with the Edison phonograph. Although apparently intrigued, Edison decided not to participate in such a partnership, perhaps realizing that the Zoopraxiscope was not a very practical or efficient way of recording motion. In an attempt to protect his future inventions, Edison filed a caveat with the Patents Office on October 17, 1888, describing his ideas for a device which would "do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear" -- record and reproduce objects in motion. Edison called the invention a "Kinetoscope," using the Greek words "kineto" meaning "movement" and "scopos" meaning "to watch."

given the task of inventing the device in June 1889, possibly because of his background as a photographer. Charles A. Brown was made Dickson's assistant. There has been some argument about how much Edison himself contributed to the invention of the motion picture camera. While Edison seems to have conceived the idea and initiated the experiments, Dickson apparently performed the bulk of the experimentation, leading most modern scholars to assign Dickson with the major credit for turning the concept into a practical reality. The Edison laboratory, though, worked as a collaborative organization. Laboratory assistants were assigned to work on many projects while Edison supervised and involved himself and participated to varying degrees. Ultimately, Edison made the important decisions, and, as the "Wizard of West Orange," took sole credit for the products of his laboratory.

The initial experiments on the Kinetograph were based on Edison's conception of the phonograph cylinder. Tiny photographic images were affixed in sequence to a cylinder, with the idea that when the cylinder was rotated the illusion of motion would be reproduced via reflected light. This ultimately proved to be impractical.

The work of others in the field soon prompted Edison and his staff to move in a different direction. In Europe Edison had met French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey who used a continuous roll of film in his Chronophotographe to produce a sequence of still images, but the lack of film rolls of sufficient length and durability for use in a motion picture device delayed the inventive process. This dilemma was aided when John Carbutt developed emulsion-coated celluloid film sheets, which began to be used in the Edison experiments. The Eastman Company later produced its own celluloid film which Dickson soon bought in large quantities. By 1890, Dickson was joined by a new assistant, William Heise, and the two began to develop a machine that exposed a strip of film in a horizontal-feed mechanism.

A prototype for the Kinetoscope was finally shown to a convention of the National Federation of Women's Clubs on May 20, 1891. The device was both a camera and a peep-hole viewer, and the film used was 18mm wide. According to David Robinson who describes the Kinetoscope in his book, From Peep Show to Palace: The Birth of American Film, the film "ran horizontally between two spools, at continuous speed . A rapidly moving shutter gave intermittent exposures when the apparatus was used as a camera, and intermittent glimpses of the positive print when it was used as a viewer--when the spectator looked through the same aperture that housed the camera lens."

A patent for the Kinetograph (the camera) and the Kinetoscope (the viewer) was filed on August 24, 1891. In this patent, the width of the film was specified as 35mm, and allowance was made for the possible use of a cylinder.

The Kinetoscope was apparently completed by 1892. David Robinson writes:

It consisted of an upright wooden cabinet, 18 in. x 27 in. x 4 ft. high, with a peephole with magnifying lenses in the top...Inside the box the film, in a continuous band of approximately 50 feet, was arranged around a series of spools. A large, electrically driven sprocket wheel at the top of the box engaged corresponding sprocket holes punched in the edges of the film, which was thus drawn under the lens at a continuous rate. Beneath the film was an electric lamp, and between the lamp and the film a revolving shutter with a narrow slit. As each frame passed under the lens, the shutter permitted a flash of light so brief that the frame appeared to be frozen. This rapid series of apparently still frames appeared, thanks to the persistence of vision phenomenon, as a moving image.

At this point, the horizontal-feed system had been changed to one in which the film was fed vertically. The viewer would look into a peep-hole at the top of the cabinet in order to see the image move. The first public demonstration of the Kinetoscope was held at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences on May 9, 1893.

"Actuality" is a term used by historians to describe short non-fiction films produced by American and European filmmakers during the first ten years of the motion picture industry. Actuality films typically recorded noteworthy persons, places and events of interest to general audiences and were the most frequently-produced film type in America , until overtaken in popularity by comic and dramatic narrative films after 1902.

The earliest actualities were the experimental films made in the Edison laboratory. The first ones recorded on a strip of celluloid film were [Dickson Greeting], [Newark Athlete], and [Men Boxing], all produced in 1891. These and other early experimental films were followed a few years later by a series of films adapted from vaudeville acts where performers displayed their special talents. Famous strongman Eugene Sandow was the first famous performer to appear in front of the Edison camera in 1894. He waived his usual appearance fee for the opportunity to meet Thomas Edison. Other artists such as Spanish dancer Carmencita, Annabelle Whitford (famous for her Butterfly Dance), and members of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show also appeared before the Edison camera during the same year. Two of the earliest recorded Native American dances on film, Sioux Ghost Dance and Buffalo Dance , were performed by Native American dancers in Buffalo Bill's show. Some early actualities were made for male audiences and featured scantily-clad female performers or masculine activities such as boxing. Other early actualities featured renowned pugilists, as in The Leonard-Cushing Fight, Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph, and Hornbacker-Murphy Fight.

When the Edison Company's Kinetoscope became popular, a greater variety of subjects was needed. A new portable camera made it possible to film scenes of everyday life more easily; the first was Herald Square, taken in New York City in 1896. Although such films may seem quite ordinary to late twentieth century audiences, they were quite popular with a generation unfamiliar with the concept of realistic moving images. Later films featured places beyond New York, such as Niagara Falls and Passaic Falls. As a result, motion pictures of scenic views and "travelogues" became popular with audiences.

The Edison Company began filming trains and railways with Black Diamond Express, made in December 1896. With the support of the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, films were taken of the various train routes to Buffalo and Niagara Falls .

Edison films also recorded important news events, such as McKinley's inauguration in 1897.

In 1897, the head of the Edison Company's Kinetograph Department, James White, and photographer Frederick Blechynden made a filming expedition to the West of the United States. Their trip was partially subsidized by the railways, so they filmed scenes of various railway lines, hotels, and tourist sites along the way. The routes taken by White and Blechynden included the Northern Pacific, the Southern Pacific, the Denver and Rio Grande , and the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads. Some of the scenes White and Blechynden filmed included views of everyday life in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Yellowstone National Park, and Native Americans in Colorado and New Mexico . They captured activities relating to the Alaska Gold Rush in Seattle in August 1897. In the same year, they also traveled on the Mexican International Railroad to film selected places in Mexico. They then journeyed to Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Hawaii to record the first Edison-produced films of the Asian Pacific.

When the Battleship Maine sank in Havana harbor in February 1898, the Edison Company rushed to produce films of the event. Licensee William Paley was sent to film the Burial of the "Maine" Victims and the Wreck of the Battleship "Maine".

Tensions between the U.S. and Spain erupted into war in April 1898. Paley photographed troop preparations in Tampa, Florida, and traveled with American troops to Cuba when they landed. Numerous films were also taken of the ships in the U.S. fleet. These war films were extremely popular with audiences, which contributed to motion pictures becoming a permanent part of American entertainment, since the films were exhibited in vaudeville theaters.

In an attempt to find even more varied film subjects, the Edison Company recorded places and events around the world. The Klondike Exposition Company under the management of Thomas Crahan was licensed to film scenes of the Alaska Gold Rush in the Yukon in the summer of 1899. James White traveled to Europe to produce a series of films of the Paris Exposition in 1900.

Large-scale disasters were a favorite subject for the Edison camera. The Galveston Hurricane in 1900 and the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906 were two instances where Edison cameras recorded the destruction for viewers far away from those locales.

The Edison Company produced a series of films of the Pan-American Exposition in 1901 at Buffalo, New York. The Edison cameras were there during a huge news event, the assassination of President McKinley, and also recorded events after the assassination , including the funeral processions.

By 1902, actualities began to decline in popularity. Longer fiction films became the production priority, as the novelty of movement was no longer enough to sustain audience interest. Although the Edison Company would continue to occasionally take actualities of various news events and persons, it would never do so again to the extent that the company had in its first decade of filmmaking. Other smaller companies took over this niche by creating newsreels, as the Edison Company, along with other major film producers, concentrated on creating profitable fiction films.

Advertising:

Early filmmakers recognized the advertising potential of motion pictures. By 1897, several New York film companies had made advertising films for various products and services. Admiral Cigarette, made in 1897, was one of the earliest Edison advertising films. Although previous Edison films promoted rail travel and were often financed by the railway companies, films like Admiral Cigarette were much more explicit in their endorsements of brand names.

The Stenographer's Friend (1910) and The Voice of the Violin (1915) promoted Edison phonograph technology. Both incorporated a narrative story as a means to demonstrate the product.

Animation:

R.F.D., 10,000 B.C., is an early example of puppet animation. The film is a comedy set in prehistoric times. Animator Willis H. O'Brien fashioned the figures from india rubber applied to flexible metal skeletons.

His first film using these figures was The Dinosaur and the Missing Link , distributed by Edison in 1915. R.F.D., 10,000 B.C. followed in 1917. O'Brien made several other films for Edison before leaving the company in 1917.

Early Documentary:

By 1910, the Edison Company, following a trend among American producers, began focusing production on moralistic entertainment and educational films. The marketing of the Home Projecting Kinetoscope in 1911 also created a demand for interesting, informative films that could be viewed by home audiences.

Early documentary-style films demonstrated a level of production development beyond actualities and were the precursors of the modern documentary film. These films showed people, places, events, industrial processes, and other scenes of modern life, but unlike actualities, incorporated a greater number of scenes and used more complex editing to unify the film into a narrative whole.

Two examples of Edison documentary-style films from this period are Gold and Diamond Mines of South Africa (1917) and Down the Old Potomac (1917). The first shows gold and diamond-mining operations near Johannesburg and in Cullinan, South Africa. The work and living conditions of African laborers are shown. The second film travels along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal from Cumberland, Maryland, to Washington, DC, showing how the canal operates.

A Day With Thomas A. Edison was produced by the General Electric Co. in 1922, four years after the demise of Edison's film concerns. This factual film was made at the Edison Lamp Works in Harrison, New Jersey, on Oct 21, 1921, the anniversary of the invention of Edison's incandescent lamp.

Drama and Adventure:

Some of the Edison Company's first attempts at telling stories through film began with a series of story-songs made in 1899, of which Love and War is one example. Such films were an experimental effort to use motion pictures as a replacement technology for song slides, which were popular with audiences. Love and War told the story of an American soldier who left his family to fight in Cuba and fell in love with a Red Cross nurse. He later returned home to his family in triumph. The Edison Company supplied exhibitors with the lyrics and sheet music for each film.

Around 1902, as actualities declined in popularity, longer, narrative films began to be made in the studio. This new trend coincided with the hiring of Edwin S. Porter to produce films, and he filmed some of Edison's best-known dramas, including Jack and the Beanstalk (1902), Life of an American Fireman (1902-1903), and The Great Train Robbery (1903). These films edited scenes together to produce complex narratives.

The influx of foreign films made the Edison Company concentrate on American topics in its dramas, using famous American literary works such as Uncle Tom's Cabin or American settings such as the West for The Great Train Robbery .

The Great Train Robbery is one of the most famous early films. It was shot in the Edison New York studio and in New Jersey at Essex County Park and at the Lackawanna Railway. The bandit leader was played by Justus D. Barnes, and G. M. Anderson, later better-known as Bronco Billy , played a variety of roles.

In 1905, Edison parodied The Great Train Robbery in The Little Train Robbery, employing a cast of child actors.

Edison produced films dealing with social problems, such as The Ex-Convict (1904) and The Kleptomaniac (1905), reflecting some of the Progressive attitudes toward poverty prevalent in America at the time. For example, the latter addressed the difference between how the poor and the rich were treated by the judicial system.

By 1909, the Edison Company began a period of decline. Edison dramatic films were no longer competing successfully against those of other companies. There were criticisms about the quality of Edison films, and Edwin Porter lost his job as a result. The reputation of Edison films improved somewhat after 1910 after efforts were taken by the company to obtain better source materials, such as famous literary works, and to organize its own permanent troupe of stock actors.

After 1912, the decline of the Edison Company continued. An attempt was made to recover lost market shares by producing more multi-reel productions and by focusing on wholesome, moralistic tales, but this did little to change the situation. In 1918, Edison's interests in the film business came to an end.

Trick:

Edison trick films capitalized on the pioneering work of French filmmaker Georges Méliès who developed special camera effects to achieve "magical" results. These effects included stop motion, dissolves, and multiple exposures. In trick films, ghosts appeared, people or items disappeared, or apparent decapitations took place. The novelty of motion pictures in the early days made these effects extraordinarily entertaining.

Edison acquired through license several trick films made by J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith of Vitagraph. These included The Mysterious Cafe (1900) and The Artist's Dilemma (1900). The majority of short trick films appear to have been made from 1900 to 1905. After that, comic and dramatic narrative films rose in popularity, and trick effects were used in support of the story. Examples of later Edison films that made extensive use of trick effects were Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) and When Reuben Comes to Town (1908).

Humorous:

Humorous films were among some of the earliest Edison films. Items like The Lone Fisherman, Seminary Girls, and What Demoralized the Barbershop depicted humorous situations. By 1900 the number of comic films being made increased as they became popular with audiences.

Some comical Edison films were based on popular comic strip characters. Subub Surprises the Burglar was based on such a character and also imitated the plot of Biograph's The Burglar-Proof Bed. Additionally, a series of films was produced based on the Buster Brown character created by Richard F. Outcault.

By 1904, Edison had adopted the practice of imitating popular comedies of competitors, especially Biograph's, in order to meet exhibitors' demands. The Maniac Chase was a remake of Biograph's The Escaped Lunatic. Likewise, Edison's How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns was copied from Biograph's Personal. Ironically, the Edison version did better than the Biograph production and became the most successful headlining Edison film of 1904.

Series of comic films were often developed around characters that generated extraordinary popularity. For example, Why Jones Discharged His Clerks and Why Mrs. Jones Got a Divorce were created around the character of a businessman who repeatably fell into troublesome situations.

A popular comic theme was that of the country "rube" exposed to city or modern life. Uncle Josh (a character from a popular play and subsequent sound recordings) encountered movies for the first time in Uncle Josh and the Moving Picture Show. Rube and Mandy at Coney Island and Rube Couple at the County Fair portrayed country bumpkins at popular leisure attractions.

Reeactments:

When the Edison Company began filming war events, actual battles were not recorded since it was very dangerous for cameramen to be on the battlefield. Cameramen had to stand in a stable position behind a camera on a tripod. It was easier to stage recreations of battles in New Jersey. The Edison Company shot reenactments of battles from the Boer War, the Spanish-American War, and the Philippine campaign using National Guard troops. The use of reenactments allowed the film company to capitalize on news events while they were still of interest to audiences, since it took longer for actuality films of events to arrive at theaters.

In addition, for events that could not be filmed, such as the execution of McKinley assassin Leon F. Czolgosz, actors restaged the action later in the studio.


The Marriage of Sight and Sound:

Early Edison Experiments with Film and Sound

From the inception of motion pictures, various inventors attempted to unite sight and sound through "talking" motion pictures. The Edison Company is known to have experimented with this as early as the fall of 1894 under the supervision of W. K. L. Dickson with a film known today as [Dickson Experimental Sound Film]. The film shows a man, who may possibly be Dickson, playing violin before a phonograph horn as two men dance.

By the spring of 1895, Edison was offering Kinetophones--Kinetoscopes with phonographs inside their cabinets. The viewer would look into the peep-holes of the Kinetoscope to watch the motion picture while listening to the accompanying phonograph through two rubber ear tubes connected to the machine. The picture and sound were made somewhat synchronous by connecting the two with a belt. Although the initial novelty of the machine drew attention, the decline of the Kinetoscope business and Dickson's departure from Edison ended any further work on the Kinetophone for 18 years.

In 1913, a different version of the Kinetophone was introduced to the public. This time, the sound was made to synchronize with a motion picture projected onto a screen. A celluloid cylinder record measuring 5 1/2" in diameter was used for the phonograph. Synchronization was achieved by connecting the projector at one end of the theater and the phonograph at the other end with a long pulley.

Nineteen talking pictures were produced in 1913 by Edison, but by 1915 he had abandoned sound motion pictures. There were several reasons for this. First, union rules stipulated that local union projectionists had to operate the Kinetophones, even though they hadn't been trained properly in its use. This led to many instances where synchronization was not achieved, causing audience dissatisfaction. The method of synchronization used was still less than perfect, and breaks in the film would cause the motion picture to get out of step with the phonograph record. The dissolution of the Motion Picture Patents Corp. in 1915 may also have contributed to Edison's departure from sound films, since this act deprived him of patent protection for his motion picture inventions.


Movies:

1891

Dickson Greeting

[Newark Athlete]. [Fragment 1]

[Newark Athlete]. [Fragment 2]

[Men Boxing]

1894 

Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, January 7, 1894

[Athlete with Wand]

Sandow

Carmencita

Leonard-Cushing Fight

The Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton's)

Caicedo (with Pole)

Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph

Sioux Ghost Dance

Buffalo Dance

Hadj Cheriff

Glenroy Bros., [no. 2]

Luis Martinetti

Bucking Broncho

Annie Oakley

Imperial Japanese Dance

Robetta and Doretto, [no. 2]

Band Drill

1895

[Dickson Experimental Sound Film]

Princess Ali

The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots

1896

Amy Muller

May Irwin Kiss

Herald Square

Shooting the Chutes

Passaic Falls

The Lone Fisherman

Interrupted Lovers

Feeding the Doves

A Morning Bath

The Burning Stable

Mounted Police Charge

A Morning Alarm

Black Diamond Express

American Falls from Above, American Side

Police Patrol Wagon

The First Sleigh-Ride

1897 

Seminary Girls

Pillow Fight

Waterfall in the Catskills

Falls of Minnehaha

Buffalo Stockyards

Buffalo Police on Parade

Buffalo Fire Department in Action

Giant Coal Dumper

Corner Madison and State Streets, Chicago

Armour's Electric Trolley

Sheep Run, Chicago Stockyards

Cattle Driven to Slaughter

Racing at Sheepshead Bay

Free-For-All Race at Charter Oak Park

Philadelphia Express, Jersey Central Railway

Admiral Cigarette

Overland Express Arriving at Helena, Mont.

Coaches Arriving at Mammoth Hot Springs

Tourists Going Round Yellowstone Park

Lower Falls, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park

S.S. "Queen" Loading

Loading Baggage for Klondike , no. 6

S.S. "Queen" Leaving Dock

Horses Loading for Klondike , no. 9

S.S. "Williamette" Leaving for Klondike

First Avenue, Seattle, Washington, no. 8

Fast Mail, Northern Pacific R.R.

Fisherman's Luck

Bowery Waltz

Charity Ball

Leander Sisters

Cupid and Psyche

Sutro Baths, no. 1

Sutro Baths

Lurline Baths

Fisherman's Wharf

Fishing Smacks

Arrest in Chinatown, San Francisco, Cal.

S.S. "Coptic" at Dock

S.S. "Coptic" in the Harbor

S.S. "Coptic" Sailing Away

Stanford University, California

Hotel Vendome, San Jose, Cal.

Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, Cal.

Surf at Monterey

Hotel Del Monte

Launch of Life Boat

Capsize of Life Boat

Return of Lifeboat

Crissie Sheridan

What Demoralized the Barber Shop

Wash Day in Mexico

South Spring Street, Los Angeles, Cal.

1898

Going Through the Tunnel

Sunset Limited, Southern Pacific Ry.

Freight Train

Launch of Japanese Man-of-war "Chitosa" [i.e., "Chitose"]

Launching, no. 2

After Launching

Union Iron Works

Feeding Sea Gulls

Procession of Floats

Native Daughters

Parade of Chinese

Mount Tamalpais R.R.

Mount Tamalpais R.R., no. 2

Mount Taw R.R., no. 3

Hockey Match on the Ice

Burial of the "Maine" Victims

War Correspondents

N.Y. Journal Despatch Yacht "Buccaneer"

Wreck of the Battleship "Maine"

Raising Old Glory Over Morro Castle

U.S. Battleship "Indiana"

Secretary Long and Captain Sigsbee

A Street Arab

10th U.S. Infantry, 2nd Battalion Leaving Cars

U.S. Cavalry Supplies Unloading at Tampa, Florida

Colored Troops Disembarking

9th Infantry Boys' Morning Wash

Military Camp at Tampa, Taken from Train

Transport "Whitney" Leaving Dock

Cuban Refugees Waiting for Rations

Troops Embarking at San Francisco

Troop Ships for the Philippines

Blanket-Tossing a New Recruit

Soldiers Washing Dishes

Trained Cavalry Horses

Roosevelt's Rough Riders Embarking for Santiago

Cuban Volunteers Embarking

U.S. Troops Landing at Daiquiri, Cuba

Packing Ammunition on Mules, Cuba

Major General Shafter

Pack Mules With Ammunition on the Santiago Trail, Cuba

Troops Making Military Road in Front of Santiago

Shooting Captured Insurgents

Cuban Ambush

The Fleet Steaming Up North River

Reviewing the "Texas" at Grant's Tomb

Observation Train Following Parade

Close View of the "Brooklyn," Naval Parade

Statue of Liberty

Little Mischief

Ella Lola, a la Trilby

Turkish Dance, Ella Lola

Parade of Marines, U.S. Cruiser, "Brooklyn"

Sleighing Scene

1899

General Lee's Procession, Havana

Troops at Evacuation of Havana

Raising Old Glory Over Morro Castle

Astor Battery on Parade

Bicycle Trick Riding, No. 2

Arabian Gun Twirler

Three Acrobats

Cripple Creek Bar-Room Scene

104th Street Curve, New York, Elevated Railway

Morning Colors on U.S. Cruiser "Raleigh"

U.S. Cruiser "Raleigh"

Pilot Boats in New York Harbor

Advance of Kansas Volunteers at Caloocan

U.S. Troops and Red Cross in the Trenches Before Caloocan

Capture of Trenches at Candaba

Filipinos Retreat from Trenches

U.S. Infantry Supported by Rough Riders at El Caney

Skirmish of Rough Riders

New York Police Parade, June 1st, 1899

Mesmerist and Country Couple

White Horse Rapids

New Brooklyn to New York Via Brooklyn Bridge, no. 2

Fun in Camp

Trick Bears

Love and War

The Astor Tramp

Tenderloin at Night

Admiral Dewey Landing at Gibraltar

Admiral Dewey Receiving the Washington and New York Committees

Admiral Dewey Taking Leave of Washington Committee on the U.S. Cruiser "Olympia"

U.S. Cruiser "Olympia" Leading Naval Parade

Admiral Dewey Leading Land Parade

Admiral Dewey Leading Land Parade, No.2

"Columbia" Winning the Cup

2nd Special Service Battalion, Canadian Infantry--Parade

Automobile Parade

Dick Croker Leaving Tammany Hall

Why Jones Discharged His Clerks

Why Mrs. Jones Got a Divorce

1900  

A Dull Razor

An Animated Luncheon

Faust and Marguerite

The Magician

Ching Ling Foo Outdone

The Kiss

An Artist's Dream

The Mystic Swing

Uncle Josh in a Spooky Hotel

Uncle Josh's Nightmare

Boers Bringing in British Prisoners

Capture of Boer Battery by British

Capture of Boer Battery

Charge of Boer Cavalry [no. 1]

Charge of Boer Cavalry [no. 2]

Battle of Mafeking

English Lancers Charging

Red Cross Ambulance on Battlefield

Panoramic View of Newport

Discharging a Whitehead Torpedo

Exploding a Whitehead Torpedo

Torpedo Boat "Morris" Running

Panorama of Gorge Railway

New Black Diamond Express

Bombardment of the Taku Forts, By the Allied Fleets

A Storm at Sea

Burning of the Standard Oil Co's Tanks, Bayonne, N.J.

Champs Elysees

Palace of Electricity

Panorama of Eiffel Tower

Panorama of Place de L'Opera

Scene from the Elevator Ascending Eiffel Tower

Champs de Mars

Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Palace

Esplanade des Invalides

Spanish Dancers at the Pan-American Exposition

Panorama of the Moving Boardwalk

Panorama from the Moving Boardwalk

Scene in the Swiss Village at Paris Exposition

Swiss Village, no. 2

Panoramic View of the Champs Elysees

Panoramic View of the Place de L'Concord

Breaking of the Crowd at Military Review at Longchamps

The Mysterious Cafe

Searching Ruins on Broadway, Galveston, for Dead Bodies

Bird's-Eye View of Dock Front, Galveston

Launching a Stranded Schooner from the Docks

Panorama of Galveston Power House

Panorama of Orphans Home, Galveston

Panorama of Wreckage of Water Front

Panoramic View of Tremont Hotel, Galveston

Congress of Nations

Hooligan Assists the Magician

The Enchanted Drawing

Maude's Naughty Little Brother

The Clown and the Alchemist

Naval Apprentices at Sail Drill on Historic Ship Constellation

Gun Drill by Naval Cadets at Newport Training School

Gymnasium Exercises and Drill at Newport Training School

Naval Sham Battle at Newport

The Artist's Dilemma

Grandma and the Bad Boys

Love in a Hammock

1901

Terrible Teddy, the Grizzly King

The Old Maid Having Her Picture Taken

President McKinley and Escort Going to the Capitol

President McKinley Taking the Oath

Montreal Fire Department on Runners

Gordon Sisters Boxing

Laura Comstock's Bag-Punching Dog

The Tramp 's Unexpected Skate

Opening, Pan-American Exposition

A Trip Around the Pan-American Exposition

Esquimaux Village

Japanese Village

Esquimaux Game of Snap-the-whip

Esquimaux Leap-frog

Circular Panorama of Electric Tower

Panoramic View of Electric Tower from a Balloon

Aunt Sallie's Wonderful Bustle

Sampson-Schley Controversy

What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City

President McKinley Reviewing the Troops at the Pan-American Exposition

President McKinley's Speech at the Pan-American Exposition

The Mob Outside the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition

Life Rescue at Long Branch

Sampson and Schley Controversy--Tea Party

President McKinley's Funeral Cortege at Buffalo, New York

President McKinley's Funeral Cortege at Washington, D.C.

Funeral Leaving the President's House and Church at Canton, Ohio

Panoramic View of the President's House at Canton, Ohio

Arrival of McKinley's Funeral Train at Canton, Ohio

Taking President McKinley's Body from Train at Canton, Ohio

McKinley's Funeral Entering Westlawn Cemetery, Canton [Ohio]

President Roosevelt at the Canton Station

Duke of York at Montreal and Quebec

The Martyred Presidents

Pan-American Exposition by Night

Horse Parade at the Pan-American Exposition

Spanish Dancers at the Pan-American Exposition

Catching an Early Train

Execution of Czolgosz, with Panorama of Auburn Prison

Panorama of Esplanade by Night

Trapeze Disrobing Act

Sham Battle at the Pan-American Exposition

Building a Harbor at San Pedro

1902 

Bird's-Eye View of San Francisco, Cal., from a Balloon

Panoramic View of the Golden Gate

Uncle Josh at the Moving Picture Show

Arrival of the Governor General, Lord Minto, at Quebec

Jack and the Beanstalk

1903 

Skyscrapers of New York City , from the North River

New York Harbor Police Boat Patrol Capturing Pirates

New York City "Ghetto" Fish Market

New York City Dumping Wharf

Panorama of Riker's Island, N.Y.

White Wings on Review

Panorama of Blackwell's Island, N.Y.

Fireboat "New Yorker" in Action

Fireboat "New Yorker" Answering an Alarm

Panorama Water Front and Brooklyn Bridge from East River

Sorting Refuse at Incinerating Plant, New York City

Emigrants [i.e. Immigrants] Landing at Ellis Island

Street Car Chivalry

The Unappreciated Joke

Subub Surprises the Burglar

The Gay Shoe Clerk

Rube and Mandy at Coney Island

San Francisco Chinese Funeral

The Extra Turn

A Romance of the Rail

The Messenger Boy's Mistake

Move On

What Happened in the Tunnel

The Great Train Robbery

Opening of New East River Bridge, New York

1904 

Treloar and Miss Marshall, Prize Winners at the Physical Culture Show in Madison Square Garden

Buster Brown Series:

Buster's Dog to the Rescue

Buster and Tige Put a Baloon Vender Out of Business [sic]

Buster and the Dude

Buster Makes Room for His Mama at the Bargain Counter

Buster's Revenge on the Tramp

Dog Factory

Japanese Acrobats

How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald Personal Columns

European Rest Cure

Maniac Chase

Rube Couple at County Fair

1905  

The Burglar's Slide for Life

The Little Train Robbery

1906 

Army Pack Train Bringing Supplies

Exploded Gas Tanks, U.S. Mint, Emporium and Spreckel's Bld'g

1910 

The Stenographer's Friend

1915 

The Voice of the Violin

1917  

R.F.D. 10,000 B.C.

Gold and Diamond Mines of South Africa

Down the Old Potomac

1918 

The Good Sport (James Montgomery Flagg's Girls You Know)

1922 (Not Edison Co.)

A Day with Thomas A. Edison (General Electric Co.)




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Matinee Classics - Newark Athlete - An experimental film by William K. L. Dickson and William Heise was one of the first made in America at the Edison Laboratory in West Orange, N.J 1891
Matinee Classics - The Edison Kinetogram 1910
Matinee Classics - Thomas Alva Edison


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