A Look into the Kinetoscope

Source: ‘A Look into the Kinetoscope’, The Salt Lake Herald, 3 September 1894, p. 1

Text: A LOOK INTO THE KINETOSCOPE

[From the Boston Herald]

I you have not looked into Edison’s kinetoscope delay not but plank down your nickels and behold the wonder of the age. Verily it makes the blood run hot and cold. Edison is well named the wizard; he is the great magician of science and we have grown somewhat accustomed to his inventions through daily and constant use, but when you look into this toy that represents the work of unfathomed genius the average man believes the time has come to get excited. Nothing that I had read about the kinetoscope gave any idea of it, and it is only by personal examination that is by seeing these human pictures of absolute events for one’s self that its marvelous effect can be appreciated. The fight in the bar room, the skirt dancing at Koster & Bial’s, Sandow’s exhibition and the cats’ boxing match are as real as life. If the pictures could be on a larger scale the pleasure would be enhanced, though effect of distance does not destroy the perfection of movement or lessen any detail. The soft fluttering drapery of the dancing girl, her graceful poses and the familiar high kick, are all there, and above the sound of the electricity one can imagine the voices, the aplause [sic], the music, and also maybe the squeak of belligerent cats! It is quite possible to believe, as Mr Edison says, that the time is not far away when a grand opera can be acted and sung in a box, under our very eyes. At all events the kinetoscope will preserve what has never been preserved before save in the word painting of variable writers.

Comment: The first Kinetoscope parlour opened to the public at 1155 Broadway, New York City on 14 April 1894. The films are Boxing Cats, Sandow, Bar Room Scene and possibly Carmencita (all USA 1894).

Links: Available on Chronicling America

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