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Hyde Park London - Birthplace of Modern Cinema?

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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Hyde Park London - Birthplace of Modern Cinema?

The Royal Parks say on their website that “The world's first moving pictures were filmed near Apsley Gate, Hyde Park Corner, London,  one morning in January 1889 by a British inventor, William Friese-Greene.”

Friese-Greene did indeed use his invention, a camera that could take a jumpy 10 frames per second in the South East corner of the park in 1889. He even wrote to Edison when he was granted a patent on his camera, to say “beat you to it” so to speak. But Friese Greene wasn’t great at follow through, instead of working to perfect his system he simultaneously began work on a two completely different systems one in colour and even more astonishingly one in 3D.

The film he used in Hyde Park could only be developed onto paper so it is difficult to see how he could have ever projected the images he took, though some claim that he did. Perhaps it is fair to say that his system proved to be an evolutionary dead end and did not really contribute to the development of cinema but we can still recognise him as the man who took the very first moving images.

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