Jean-Claude SEGUIN

Davenport est une ville de l'état de l'Iowa (États-Unis).


Le kinetoscope de F. N. Withey (Sheriff's pharmacy, <1er->7 décembre 1894)

F. N. Withey a installé un kinetoscope à la Sheriff's pharmacy :

Forty-six Photographs Reproduced every Second in One Continuous View.
Davenporters are to have an opportunity to wonder at the latest and most wonderful invention of that wonderful genius, Thomas A. Edison. We refer to the kinetoscope. The invention of the kinetoscope was preceded by the kinetograph. Scientists tell us that the human eye is capable of detecting and separating a maximum of about 40 distinct impressions in a second of time. More than 10 distinct impressions blend into what is apparently one continuous view. Realizing this, Mr. Edison set his wits to work and produced an attachment of the photograph camera that records 46 separate and distinct views of moving objects or scenes during a second of time. That was the kinetograph. The kinetoscope was all that was necessary to reproduce these views, and Mr. Edison's fertile brain, as usual, was not at a loss here. The machine as perfected does this in such a manner that all expected occurrences in the future can be recorded and reproduced as unerringly with the kinetograph and kinetoscope as all sounds and speeches can be presented and reproduced by the phonograph.
The film, or series of pictures upon a long celluloid ribbon, constitutes the ammunition of the kinetoscope. When this film, from 60 feet long to an indefinite length, according to the time consumed in the occurrence of the event reproduced, is adjusted upon the rollers on the interior of the kinetoscope, everything is ready to be touched off. The spectator adjusts his eyes over a little glazed opening in the top of the machine, the operator pulls but a little plug, the machinery starts, 46 photographs pass the opening every second, a wheel perforated with a single slot passes in the opposite direction, making 46 revolutions a second, and revealing each picture while hiding from view the intervening ribbon, giving the spectator what to the eye is a continuous moving photograph. The regulation 60-foot film, carrying 1,400 photographs, requires 40 seconds to pass the opening, and reproduces occurrences or scenes taking up just that space of time.
F. N. Withey is in the city with one of these machines, which he is exhibiting at Sheriff's pharmacy. Mr. Withey brings Edison's famous barber shop scene and other films. The fame of this picture, although admirable throughout, is based upon the reproduction of the cigar smoke blown by the man who enters the shop while an occupant of the chair is being shaved and a colored assistant is enjoying a joke in some illustrated paper. The smoke is seen in its natural density at first and fades from view as gradually and naturally as life. The illusion is perfect.
Edison is a great man, and the kinetoscope is one of his greatest triumphs.

The Morning Democrat, Davenport, samedi 1er décembre 1894, p. 4.