Tuesday, September 24, 2002

More history of interest to CBSers

Where was the first movie studio? What was it called?


Thomas Alva Edison built the Black Maria, (pronounced ma-rye-uh) a
tarpaper shack near his West Orange, New Jersey, labs. This became
the site of his moving-picture experiments and the world's first
movie studio. Edison is generally credited with inventing the movie
machine, called the Kinetoscope. Edison’s assistant, the inventor
William K. L. Dickson, did most of the actual work. The studio was
completed in February of 1893.

Mechanical contraptions that flipped drawings to give the
appearance of motion have been around since the 1820s. In the 1860s
they began using a sequence of still photographs in the mechanism
to create motion from real photos. When I was in grammar school,
the teacher put a record of Frosty the Snowman on a turntable that
had a prism mirror on the turntable spindle [Yes, we had records and,
with a windup phonograph no less, . . in the late 40s!]. As the
record rotated, the prism picked up images of Frosty from the label
and made his picture appear to dance when you stared at the prism
facets. We were dazzled!


Submitted by Ted Perzeszty