Birt Acres, pioneer of cinematography, c 1900.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 32cm

Birt Acres, pioneer of cinematography, c 1900.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


American-born Acres (1854-1918) was a pioneer of cinematography in Britain, making the first succesful moving picture, 'Incident at Clovelly Cottage' in 1895. Earlier that year, he had collaborated with the British engineer Robert W Paul (1869-1943) to build the first working English cine camera-cum-projector, which was later used to film sporting events. However, the partnership disolved after only six weeks, after Acres patented his Kinetic Camera - a camera similar to the one the partners had developed together. Acres went on to develop his own projector, variously known as the Kinetic Lantern, the Cinematoscope and the Kineopticon, demonstrating his films to the Royal Photographic Society in 1896.

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