1st Edition

A History of Pre-Cinema V1

Edited By Stephen Herbert Copyright 2000

    The contents of A History of Pre-Cinema Volume 1 (and its companion volumes 2 and 3) cover the optical devices used for entertainment and instruction that proliferated before the introduction of cinema. To view pre-cinema devices merely as steps towards the cinema, however, would be a very narrow perspective. They were - and in some cases still are - self-contained media with their own peculiarities, differences, potential and limitations. This volume concentrates on items published before the spread of the cinema and later references to devices of that period. Having easy access to original texts in facsimile is a useful resource for researchers. Volume 1 is divided into the following sections: The camera obscura; Photography; Stereoscopy; Moving photographs; Chronophotography; Optical, philosophical toys.

    Part 1: From Camera Obscura to Chronophotography: 1. 'The Camera Obscura' Magazine of Science 6 April 1839 2. 'How to Make a Camera Obscura' Hobbies 14 November 1896 3. 'Photogenic Drawing' Magazine of Science 20 April 1839 4. 'Photogenic Drawings' Magazine of Science 27 April 1839 5. 'The Stereoscope' Robert Hunt, The Art-Journal Februrary 1852 6. 'Improved Stereoscope' The Art-Journal August 1853 7. Stereoscopic Photography Advertisements, The Art-Journal January, September 1856 8. 'On a New Form of Stereoscope' A. Stroh, Proceedings of the Royal Society 7 January 1886. 9. 'Description of a new Optical Instrument called the 'Stereotrope' William Thomas Shaw, Philosophical Magazine December 1861 10. 'The Stereotrope' William Thomas Shaw, Photographic News 10 May 1861 11. 'On the Motoroscope' James Laing, Proceedings of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts 1864 (14 March 1864 Meeting) 12. 'Moving Photographic Figures' A. Claudet, British Journal of Photography 15 September 1865 13. 'Photo-Thaumatropy' Walter Woodbury, British Journal of Photography 17 January 1868 14. 'Photographs of a Galloping Horse' Richard A. Proctor, The Gentleman's Magazine December 1881 15. 'Animal Locomotion in the Muybridge Photographs' The Century July 1887 16. 'The Eelctric Tachyscope' Scientific American 16 November 1889 17. Invention (Cover, based on chronophotography by Etienne-Jules Marey and Charles Fremont, 1894) 16 November 1895 18. 'History of Chronophotography' Smithsonian Report 1901 19. 'The Story of a Smile' The New Penny Magazine December 1901 20. Descriptive Zoopraxography Eadweard Muybridge (1893). Part 2: Optical, Philosophical Toys 21. 'Magic Mirrors [anamorphics]' Magazine of Science 13 April 1839 22. 'Anamorphosis, or Horizontorium' Magazine of Science 1 June 1839 23. 'The Horizontorium' London Mechanics' Register 15 January 1825 24. ' Description, of the patent Kaleidoscope, invented by Dr. Brewster' Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine May 1818 25. ' History of Dr Brewester's Kaleidoscope' David Brewster, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine June 1818 26. 'An Improved Kaleidoscope' Hobbies April/October 1896 27. 'The Thaumatrope' London Mechanics' Register (from Hereford Independent) 16 April 1825 28. [Thaumatrope] John Bull 24 April 1825 29. 'Description of the Thamatrope' David Brewster, Edinburgh Journal 1826 30. 'A New Fact Relating to Binocular Vision' A. Claudet, Proceedings of the Royal Society 1866/7 31. 'Explanation of an Optical Deception in the Appearance of the Spokes of a Wheel Seen Through Vertical Apertures' P. M. Roget Philosophical Transactions February 1825 32. 'Description of an Instrument for Exhibiting a Certain Optical Deception' E. S. Snell, American Journal of Science and Arts 1835 33. 'Singular Optical Illusiton' T. W. Naylor Mechanics Magazine 14 May 1842 34. 'Grandmother's "Movies"' Harold Avery, Strand Magazine Februrary 1919 35. 'On the Properties of the Daedaleum, a New Instrument of Optical Illusiton, W. G. Horner, London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine January 1834 36. 'On the Zoetrope and its Antecedents' and 'The Anorthoscope' William B. Carpenter, Student and Intellectual Observer 1868 37. 'Optical Toy Sport' Dr. Scoffern, Boy's Own Paper 17 December 1881 38. ' The Praxinsocope: How To Make It' L. Marissiaux, Amateur Work c.1891.


    Stephen Herbert trained as a media technician, and spent many years in film exhibition and production. His interest in the origins of the moving image led to Stephen co-editing the influential book and website Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema, and contributions to academic journals. He ran the small press The Projection Box, and has recently retired as a freelance museum consultant.

    'This three volume set is a unique fascimile set of rare documents on "Time Based" Visual Media. The books concentrate on items published beforde the spread of cinema and later references to devices of that period. Priority is given to documents that are rare and/or difficult to consult. For this, the set has great value for researchers by giving insight on vintage documents dating back to the period before the dawn of cinematography & cinema' - Early Visual Media.