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A screen shot of 'Fred Ott's Sneeze'

1894年的电影「佛瑞德欧特的喷嚏」其中的一幕
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托马斯爱迪生 (Thomas Edison) 于1887831日为电影放映机 (kinetoscope) 申请专利

当他的助理迪克生 (W. K. L. Dickson) 发明电影看片机时,爱迪生认为那只是微不足道的小玩具。不过,后来那却成为相当重要的成就。爱迪生希望这项发明能够刺激录音机与留声机的销售业绩,但是他却不能把声音与图象结合在一起。所以,他开始发明电影放映机,这是一个能够在没有声音的情况下欣赏电影的机器。爱迪生在1887831日为这部机器申请专利。因为影片本身就是酸性物质所做的,所以大多数的电影放映机影片不是不完整,就是已经烧毁了。但是很幸运的,爱迪生为每一部影片都做了纸本的复制品,他称这些作品为「密触版印」 (contact print) 。所以现在你可以看到爱迪生当初所放映的第一部电影,一般都称之为「佛瑞德.欧特的喷嚏」 (Fred Ott’s Sneeze) 。


When his assistant W.K.L. Dickson invented the motion picture viewer, Edison initially considered it an insignificant toy. However, it turned out to be an immediate success. Edison had hoped the invention would boost sales of his record player, the phonograph, but he was unable to match sound with pictures. Therefore, he directed the creation of the kinetoscope, a device for viewing moving pictures without sound. Edison patented this invention on August 31, 1887. Most of those early kinetoscope films disintegrated or burned because of the film's nitrate (acidic) base. But luckily, he had made paper copies of the film's individual frames, called "contact prints." So now you can view one of Edison's first-ever moving pictures, commonly called "Fred Ott's Sneeze."

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VIDEO CREDIT: Edison Manufacturing Co., "Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze," January 7, 1894. Inventing Entertainment: The Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies, Library of Congress.