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 Eadweard Muybridge and the Birth of Cinema   <<

The re-animation below clearly demonstrates the value of Muybridge's pioneering work in analyzing animal and human locomotion.  


A Thrill In The Dark is an introduction to the lost world of Victorian magic lanterns.

The American Magic-Lantern Theater is the only professional touring company recreating Victorian "Magic-Lantern Shows" -- a popular Victorian combination of color pixtures, hilarious comedy and boisterous audience participation.

de Luikerwaal is an English language Dutch magic lantern site, covering the history of lanterns, slides and their makers.

The Laura Hayes and John Howard Wileman Exhibit of Optical Toys. A collection of pre-20th century optical toys and illusionary devices some of wich are illustrated and explained on the site.

The Eadweard Muybridge Bequest
. Kingston Museum holds a vast collection of Muybridge's photographic work, a small portion of which is shown on these pages.

Chronophotographical Projections. Animations from photographs of Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904). This site now includes an excellent introduction to optical toys.

The George Eastman Pre-Cinema Project has lots of examples lantern slides, optical toys and early film projectors.

The Projection Box. Stephen Herbert and Mo Heard are committed to publishing new research and archive documents on the subjects of pre-cinema, early film and optical recreations.

The Magic Lantern Society (UK) includes a Slide Readings Library, which provides the story lines for many popular shows.

MOMI The Museum of the Moving Image opened in London in 1988. It was a huge critical and popular success but was closed in August 1999. This unofficial website revives the spirit of just one section of the museum, the Undercroft, featuring The Precursors of Cinema and Early Film.


A selection of titles currently in stock can be found in the pre-cinema section of our cinema catalogue.

Some Key Pre-Cinema Titles
CERAM, C.W. Archaeology of the Cinema. Thames & Hudson 1965. Still the definitive work on the precursors of cinema and its earliest years.

COOK, O. Movement in Two Dimentions. Hutchinson 1963. The standard work on pre-cinema optical entertainment.

HENDRICKS, G. Eadweard Muybridge. The Father of the Motion Picture. Secker and Warburg 1975. The first full scale biography to examine 'this unusual and complicated personality'.

MACDONELL, K. Eadweard Muybridge. The man who invented the moving picture. Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1972. Presents a full selection of Muybridge's work including his documentary photographs from Alaska, the Yosemite valley, Central America and the Modoc war.

MUYBRIDGE, E. Vol 1 The Human Figure in Motion. Vol 2 Animals in Motion. Dover 1955. Reprints a good selection of his experimental work.

Some Key Early Cinema Titles
BARNES, J. The Rise of the Cinema in Great Britain Vol 2 Jubilee Year 1897. Bishopsgate 1983. Examines the careers of pioneers Robert W Paul and Brit
Acres and other pioneers in detail.

BARNES, J. Pioneers of British Film Vol 3 1898: The Rise of the Photoplay. Bishopsgate 1983. Traces the birth of British film drama in the face of international competition.

COE, B. The History of Movie Photography. Eastview 1981 From pre-cinema optical toys to widescreen and Imax.

LOW, R. & MANVELL, R. The History of the British Film 1896-1906. Allen and Unwin 1946. Includes correspondance with many of the early film pioneers then still alive.


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