Inventor Louis Le Prince
Louis Le Prince
Born28 August 1841
Metz, France
Died16 September 1890 | Age 49

Louis Le Prince - 1888

The first movie-film was shot in Leeds England on the 14 October 1888. Louis Le Prince filmed moving motion picture sequences he called Roundhay Garden, Leeds Bridge, and his son playing the accordion, using his single-lens camera. All this several years before Auguste and Louis Lumière, and William Kennedy Dickson.

Louis Le Prince single lens camera
Louis Le Prince single lens camera

Louis Le Prince was born in Metz, France in 1841 and came to Leeds Yorkshire in 1866 at the invitation of John Whitley. Le Prince became fascinated with the cinematic innovations like Eadweard Muybridge 'Racehorse in Motion' that was captured by arranging 12 cameras in a row to photograph a racehorse. In 1886 Louis created a 16-lens camera.
On the 2nd November 1886, Le Prince applied for a US patent and on 16th November 1888, he received a British patent for his invention.

Mysterious death

After being granted the patents Louis Le Prince mysteriously vanished. This meant Le Prince was never able to perform a planned public demonstration in the US. Coincidentally Edison had by now instructed his Scottish engineer, William Kennedy Dickson, to work on new ideas for a cinematographic contraption. He was last known to be boarding a train on 16 September 1890 to visit his family.

Le Prince's widow and son, Adolphe, felt aggrieved and wanted Louis recognised as the inventor of cinematography. Edison, once again, used the American courts to establish himself as the sole inventor of cinematography. Adolphe Le Prince stood as a witness but was not allowed to present his father's two cameras as evidence! Once again the US courts eventually found in favour of Edison.

He has since been posthumously rewarded his rightful status as the ‘Father of Cinematography’.

The Earliest Movie

The first movie footage Roundhay Garden Scene 1888.

Tags: Cinema Motion Picture Camera Movie Film

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