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

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Talking Pictures motion picture frame today is exactly that which Edi- son measured out in 1888 on strips of sensitized celluloid furnished by John Carbutt. Meanwhile, George Eastman of Rochester was work- ing on a process to supplant glass plates in photography with cheap flexible roll film. When Edison saw the first Eastman film on September 2, 1889, he cried, "That's it! Now we've got it." The first goal of all these experiments was a camera, the Kinetograph, and, Ramsaye says, "the Kinetoscope, a peep show machine in which Edison's pictures were exhibited. There was an inadequate unnamed projector at the time, but Edison's general manager wanted to sell the peep show machine, which was ready." The Kinetoscope "fired the gun" for a race which was to take picture projection from the peep show class and put it on the screen. Experimenters were simul- taneously at work in England, France, and the United States. They included Woodville Latham, Robert W. Paul, Louis Lumiere, C. Francis Jenkins, and Thomas Armat. The latter was a particularly vital figure whose efforts, states Ramsaye, "really did the most to take the motion picture out of the peep show." Edison himself improved his early device and intro- duced the Edison Projecting Kinetoscope. But he never achieved the practical talking picture he sought and his interest waned. Out of this state of affairs, legal tangles were to be expected, and suits were filed by various claimants. A decade of dispute ensued, to be settled December 18, 1907, when conflicting factions, represented by the [16]