1915 Timelines: 1910 to 1919

Harry Aitken, former head of the Mutual Film Corporation, and D.W. Griffith form the “Epoch Producing Corporation”.


The Bell & Howell 2709 camera, that was introduced in 1911, starts to be widely used. It is the first high-precision, all-metal 35mm motion picture camera. It has a frame-counter that makes it easier to create special effects, and a turret lens for making close-ups.


William Fox and Winfield Sheehan form the “Fox Film Corporation”. Their new film star, Theda Bara, is nicknamed “The Vamp” because of her exaggerated and exotic makeup.


Carl Laemmle, the president of the Universal Manufacturing Corporation, opens film studios in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California. He calls the studio complex, Universal City.


The U.S. Supreme Court cancels all of the Motion Picture Patents Company’s (MPPC) patents. The “Edison Trust” loses its battle to control the motion picture industry and soon dissolves.


The actor, Douglas Fairbanks, signs on with D.W. Griffith for a salary of $2,000 per week.


Significant Films:

The Mutual Film Corporation releases D.W. Griffith’s, “Birth of a Nation”. It is 12 reels long (185 minutes) and is so popular it runs for 44 consecutive weeks at the Liberty Theater in New York. In some theaters in the South it runs continuously for up to 12 years. It is estimated that the film may have grossed as much as $50 million in its first run.


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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