1896 Timelines: 1890 to 1899

Charles Raff and Frank Gammon buy the Jenkins–Armat phantoscope from Thomas Armat on behalf of Edison.  They rename the projector “Edison’s vitascope”, and it is hailed as Edison’s latest invention.  By selling exclusive vitascope exhibition rights for specific territories, they make a windfall profit.


Charles and Emile Pathè found a company called “Pathé–Frères” in Paris.  By the next decade they will become the largest producer of films in the world.


A French magician, Georges Méliès, becomes the cinema’s first storyteller by producing short dramas in which he attempts to link individual scenes into simple narratives.  He also makes a variety of trick films and fantasies in which he introduces numerous special effects.


Benjamin Keith books the Lumière’s cinèmatographe for his vaudeville circuit in America.  In his New York City theatre alone the cinèmatographe presentations are so popular they run for 23 weeks.


Significant Films:

The Edison film, “The Kiss”, creates a scandal because of its “brazen lack of morality by [showing two people] kissing greedily in front of the camera”.

“The Vanishing Lady” by Georges Méliès.


The Picture Show Man website was established in 2004 to be a comprehensive and free resource for anyone interested in vintage movies. Our focus is the history of motion pictures from the beginning of its development in 1890, to the end of 1960.

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