FYI October 14, 2020

On This Day

1888 – Louis Le Prince films the first motion picture, Roundhay Garden Scene.
Roundhay Garden Scene is an 1888 short silent actuality film recorded by French inventor Louis Le Prince. Filmed at Oakwood Grange in Roundhay, Leeds in the north of England on 14 October 1888, it is believed to be the oldest surviving film in existence.[1]

The camera used was patented in the United Kingdom on 16 November 1888.[2]

According to Le Prince’s son, Adolphe, the film was made at Oakwood Grange, the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley, in Roundhay, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England on 14 October 1888.[3] The footage features Louis’s son Adolphe Le Prince, his mother-in-law Sarah Whitley (née Robinson, 1816 – 24 October 1888), his father-in-law Joseph Whitley (1817 – 12 January 1891) and Annie Hartley in the garden of Oakwood Grange, leisurely walking around the garden of the premises. Sarah is seen walking – or dancing – backwards as she turns around, and Joseph’s coat tails are seen flying as he also is turning. Joseph and Sarah Whitley were the parents of Le Prince’s wife, Elizabeth. Annie Hartley is believed to be a friend of Le Prince and his wife. Sarah Whitley died ten days after the scene was filmed.[4] Oakwood Grange was demolished in 1972 and redeveloped with modern housing; the only remains are the garden walls at the end of Oakwood Grange Lane.[5]

The original sequence was recorded on Eastman Kodak paper base photographic film using Louis Le Prince’s single-lens camera. In the 1930s, the National Science Museum (NSM) in London produced a photographic glass plate copy of 20 surviving frames from the original negative,[6] before it was lost. The copied frames were later mastered to 35mm film. Adolphe Le Prince stated that the Roundhay Garden sequence was shot at 12 fps (frames per second) and a second film, Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge, at 20 fps; however, this is not borne out by analysis of the sequences, which suggests a frame rate of 7 fps for both, which was the speed of reproduction used in the 2015 documentary about Le Prince, The First Film.[citation needed]


Born On This Day

1861 – Julia A. Ames, American journalist, editor, and reformer (d. 1891)[15]
Julia A. Ames (October 14, 1861 – December 12, 1891) was an American journalist, editor and temperance reformer.[1] She served as associate editor of the Woman’s Temperance Publishing Association’s Union Signal. Ames died in 1891 at the age of 30. The year after her death, the journalist and spiritualist W. T. Stead published automatic writing which was said to have been sent by Ames to her friend. Stead also created “Julie’s Bureau” to allow others to communicate with the dead.




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