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Roundhay Garden Scene, 1888

Did you know the earliest surviving motion picture takes place in a garden?  No, nor did I!

All of 2.11 seconds long (when viewed at modern frame-rates), the brief garden promenade was shot by French inventor Louis Le Prince in 1888, using a single lens camera and George Eastman's paper film, several years before competing inventors such as Thomas Edison ( 1891) and Auguste and Louis Lumière (1892) produced their own moving pictures.

It features Louis' son Adolphe as well his parents-in-law Joseph and Sarah Whitley, whose home Oakwood Grange in Roundhay (Leeds), Yorkshire was the site of the historic scene.

Regrettably,  its brevity allows little insight into the landscape where it was filmed, and Oakwood Grange was demolished in 1972 to make way for a housing estate.  So sad to have lasted so long into the modern era before it was felled...I am doing some research on an eighteenth century gardener and was disappointed to find that his home had lasted until the 1960s, only to fall victim to urban re-development before anyone knew to care who had inhabited it.
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1 comment:
Judybec said...

I enjoyed this post -- it's wonderful to see that 1st motion picture!!!
So amazing what we loose to re-development-- so sad too.

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