Birt Acres filming the Derby, Surrey, 29 May 1895.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Birt Acres filming the Derby, Surrey, 29 May 1895.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


In 1895 the American-born Acres (1854-1918) collaborated with British engineer Robert W Paul (1869-1943) to build the first working English cine camera-cum-projector. They filmed a number of sporting events, such as the Oxford and Cambridge boat race and the Derby horse race at Epsom racecourse in Surrey. Here, Acres turns the handle of his camera, surrounded by top-hatted racegoers. His partnership with Paul disolved after only six weeks, after Acres patented his Kinetic Camera - similar to the one the partners had developed together. Acres developed his own projector, variously known as the Kinetic Lantern, the Cinematoscope and the Kineopticon.

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