Le Prince 16-lens camera, American, 1886.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Devised by Louis Aime Augustin Le Prince (1842-1890?) in New York, this camera took a series of pictures using 16 independent shutters fired in sequence. It was designed to take sequences of pictures on film with a paper base, introduced by George Eastman (1854-1932) in 1885. At the front of the camera are 16 lenses, each controlled by an electro-magnetic shutter. Above these are two viewfinders. In operation each spool of film was moved alternately and positioned behind one of the two sets of eight lenses, shooting around 16 pictures per second.