The Oldest Cat Video of All Time?

This 1894 film, one of the earliest produced by Thomas Edison's Black Maria movie studio, features two cats boxing. Obviously it's not actually a video, but it's certainly evidence that even at the dawn of cinema, over a century before YouTube, cats ruled the moving image. 

But is this the first recording of a cat in motion? That credit, it seems, goes to Eadweard Muybridge for his animal locomotion studies, which include this 1887 motion study of a cat running, below. Muybridge pioneered motion capture by inventing a setup of multiple cameras in sequence, which recorded continuous movement, frame by frame. 

Animal Locomotion, Plate 719, courtesy of the Boston Public Library 

For more films from the Internet Archive, visit http://www.archive.org/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

Our Incredible, Microscopic World

Highlights from Nikon's Small World in Motion competition, featuring zebrafish embryos, killer T cells attacking cancer, and much more

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Video

Just In