Kinetograph & Kinetoscope

Many people get confused when talking about the Kinetograph and the Kinetoscope. Well, at least I was when I was doing research on these two inventions for my group presentation. It took me a while to understand which was which, but I eventually was able to explain to my classmates the difference between the two. 

Kinetograph is the first motion picture camera invented by Thomas Edison and W.K.L. Dickson in 1888. The two inventors combined a device adapted from a clock, which allowed the regular motion of the film strip through the camera and a perforated celluloid film strip for precise synchronization. It was able to imprint up to 50ft of film at about 40 frames per second. 

Kinetoscope is another invention by Thomas Edison and his lab assistants. It was an individual viewing device that ran a continuous 47-foot film on spools between an incandescent lamp and a shutter. It was how the first movie “Monkeyshines No. 1” was viewed. 

See the difference now? One captures motion while the other allows people to view it. Both inventions are foundations of how cameras are made. Much has improved since then and it will continue to be enhanced because technology is always changing. 


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