This Day in Technology: The Cinématographe Records Its First Film

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On this day in 1895, the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, set their recently-patented cinématographe outside the Lumière factory in the outskirts of Lyon, France and recorded "La Sortie des usines Lumière à Lyon" or "Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory," considered the first commercial motion picture. Later that year, the brothers hosted a private screening at the Salon Indien du Grand Café on the boulevard des Capucines in Paris, showing this film and nine others. The camera was an all-in-one device: recording, production, and projection. Above, it is shown in projection mode. As ubiquitous as motion pictures are today, the early film, (which I've posted below, though this particular version may be a remake), still crackles with the magic it must have once conveyed -- the sight of human images, made of nothing more than light, weaving across a screen.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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