Talking pictures : how they are made, how to appreciate them (c. 1937)

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History of Motion Pictures making the result possible, fame came to Muybridge for years as the "first action photographer." He was feted in Europe and later employed by the University of Pennsylvania for photographic research. He wrote a book entitled Descriptive Zoopraxography, or The Science of Animal Locomotion. Inspired by the Muybridge pictures, Jean Louis Meissonier of France developed the Zoopraxinoscope. The theory of Persistence of Vision in Moving Objects was steadily developing in various hands toward prac- tical motion projection, if not photography. But now a giant step was to be taken. In 1886 Thomas Alva Edison was perfecting the phonograph. To him came the idea of making the invention appeal to vision as well as to hearing. He and an assistant, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, de- veloped a cylinder-recording camera which photo- graphed "start and stop" pictures forty-eight times to a second. For some years, motion photography was standardized at sixteen pictures to the second. This rate has been increased to twenty-four pictures per second for talking pictures, largely for sound record- ing reasons. Edison's pictures were very tiny. They were pho- tographed in spirals around a cylinder. But while his camera worked, it was obviously not practical. Edison had never tackled such a vexing problem. Then came the notion of slotted strips of film being fed to the stop motion device, for motion pictures do not "move" steadily. They stop and start. The illusion in one's eyes, because of the Law of Persistence of Vision, does the rest, as we have seen. The size of the [15]