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A film history timeline
When you’re ready to learn more about movies or if you want to know how they started, there are many different ways to find out. One way is by watching a movie history timeline. These can be found online for free and show what events happened in history.
By having a look at this time line, you can start to put together your own idea of why films were created and which films were popular. You can also see sample scenes from well-known films.
There have been hundreds of movies released over all these years, so finding information on them all would take a very long time. Instead, only key details such as release dates are covered, along with first lines.
What starts off as a complete overview becomes much shorter once modern sensibilities infect those responsible for creating, publishing and distributing the film.
In conclusion, while some may think that learning about film history takes too long, it actually gives you an understanding of not just where things came from but how they got here too.
George Washington Carver
Although he’s most famous for his work with peanuts, George Washington Carver also invented several products including Coca-Cola and Pepto-Bismol. He was even awarded three U.S. patents.
As an agriculturalist and chemist, Carver researched and developed hundreds of recipes that improved crop yields by as much as five percent. Among these discoveries were methods to reduce citrus fruit decay and control pea pod rot.
In 1892, pharmacist John Stith introduced the liquid form of Coca-Cola based on one of Carver’s recipes. The next year, businessman Asa Griggs built a still capable of producing Coke’s signature flavor and added it to Dr Pepper, which had been selling since 1895. By 1905, Pepsi One hit the market, followed by Pepsi in 1906 and Mountain Dew in 1988.
Carver also helped develop Pepto-Bismol, Lypsylate (an antiseptic), Cocoa Rose (a sweetner), Nutrilon (a candy bar) and Tums (to prevent stomach upset).
Although he did not discover film, he was an innovator in many ways. He invented a sound system that worked well enough to compete with another company’s Wurlitzer invention while avoiding using electric batteries, which were prone to overheating and malfunctioning. He also came up with a way to make that system portable, so it could be used anywhere there was a need for sound — office, factory, home.
This is what made his brand of Portative Reproduction (a very early name for videotape) technology popular. Before long, people were asking him how he had done something about that noisy pen ink tablet. His inventions helped shape the future of media.
His answers always sounded like this: “Well, you know I don’t care much who puts out the red paper; just give me the green one.”
In other words, as long as someone else has already created a solution, why should I bother? The more solutions exist, the better off we all are. This can lead to competition, which makes everything cheaper and improves quality.
Competition is a beautiful thing.
While studying at Harvard University, filmmaker Ken Burns discovered a cache of letters in his grandfather’s files that revealed the true story behind how his family made their fortune.
The letters showed that Benjamin R. Lewis (1863-1932) was not as famous as he was portrayed in the history books. He had taken credit for other people’s discoveries and inventions.
For example, Edwin Scott told stories about his friend Ben who was the real inventor of movies. Ben was never able to get recognition for it because he hadn’t published many articles or books, nor had he patented his invention.
Scott didn’t know him well enough to dispute these things himself, but he gave interviews explaining what Luke White did before moving onto another town. These were mostly ignored.
Younger brother Edwin, frustrated by all the attention given to their father, invented “Kinetoscopeso they could be sold easily and left his brothers some money.” Kinetoscopes allowed you to see your first motion picture experience.
The earliest known film is from China, made of oil Slur pictures wrapped in bamboo sheets. This was around 1800. By the late 1890s, various inventors and developers were making films. Two Americans created the first commercially produced film system in 1906. It consisted of eleven cameras mounted on a platform that moved along the strip of adhesive photographs attached to the wall. To show only separate frames, each frame was painted so color couldn’t be used.
The invention of the motion picture is generally given to Thomas Edison or William Cameron Menzies. But there’s another famous inventor also associated with movies: Robert Young. He invented an optical effects generator for solar telescopes that contributed to the development of cinematography.
But while everyone knows about Edison and Menzies having inventions related to cinema, few know of his contribution. So I will describe what he did and then give you some information about how history repeated itself.
Although some credit American inventor Charles Fessenden as the inventor of film, many historians say he didn’t quite match German physicist Carl Zeissig for the title.
In 1884, both men made an important discovery; we now call it microscopy. But instead of setting it free, they decided to make portraits using either camera-like apparatus or cameras themselves.
Fessenden used a rudimentary movie projector to show his pictures in public performances between 1886 and 1888. Later adapters of this invention included putting images onto sheet films and adding sound effects.
Zeissig patented an analogous process later that same year but did not produce movies until eight years later. He called his moving image system “artificial photography.” Like Fessenden, he projected his images with homemade projectors at public screenings throughout Germany.
Although neither man received financial reward for their work, both men had success in developing their inventions. Fessenden developed a method of storing silver halide crystals which resulted in the first durable color prints. The patents awarded to each man also helped encourage future development of technology.
The invention of film by Robert Canoa would probably not have occurred without a small contribution from someone else. That person was George Albert Smith, also known as George Harrison.
Cohorts of filmmakers credit him with the first real motion picture to use photography. However, that claim is disputed by some who believe a silent short film made by Georges Méliès years earlier was the first actual movie.
Regardless, it was thanks to Smith’s efforts that cinema became a true international business. By 1915, he had organized two trade shows for photographers in New York City and another called “The Greater New York Photographers Association Exhibition.”
These shows brought together manufacturers and sellers of photographic equipment including processing units, paintings or slides, cameras, films, optics and lighting devices. Co-exhibitors included large companies like Eastman Kodak, and smaller enterprises such as Apex Art Photo Supply Company, which sent samples and brochures along with reduced prices on products.
Before there was film, there was nichts — nothing.
This is what people used before they invented movies. The process of filmmaking begins with an idea or a topic and then creates a movie out of it.
Filmmaking translates ideas into film by capturing moments in time. It produces a very specific effect that you can see in still photographs but not usually experiences.
With photography, even slightly imperfections and details are captured forever as long as you convert them onto your image. This is why serios portraits look bad ass even when they’re taken with cheap smartphones.
That “something more” that makes cinema unique comes from its decentralized production. Rather than having content produced in one place, like television stations, films are created by many individuals working independently or together via the internet.
This way, hundreds of different stories can be told at once, all within one medium. Films have evolved over the past few decades through various technologies and techniques.
Though most people are aware of one famous film director, Louis Bénédy, there was another Frenchman in Hollywood in the early days who also became rich with his movies. His name is Jacob J. Bell and he too made short films that are considered to be some of the earliest examples of American filmmaking!
Though many years passed before Bell’s works were appreciated for what they were, once he had an established reputation as a filmmaker; by 1913 everyone from students to stars sought him out to learn technique at which he costumed himself as ‘Doctor Robert Hopping’ (using only first names) while teaching.
Among those attending his lectures were Virginia Mayo, Louise Fazenda, Betty Compson, Judy Garland, Charlie Chaplin, David O Selznick, Grace Cason, George Barnes, Donald Ogden Stewart, Otto Brower, Roy E. Larsen and Jack Black.
In total, Bell directed over 400 films throughout his career. Yes, that’s more than James McTeigue, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Donner and Stephen Spielberg combined.
Film historians estimate that he produced roughly half a dozen motion pictures a year for 16 years