133 Years of Film: 1878 – Sallie Gardner

Thanks to the MAMO guys and their getting me to finally check out Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock ‘N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. I have started to become even more interested in older films. The book focuses on the late 60s and 70s but thinking about the films from that generation made me start thinking about all the films from other generations that I have been negligent in discovering. My plan is to slowly rectify this by going year by year and picking one film which I have not seen and slowly over time watching it and then writing about it here on Row Three. This will not be a daily nor perhaps even weekly journey but as time permits I will visit each year in turn. Over the first few posts there will be some skipping of years up until the point when film was used to make movies.

On June 19th, 1878 at a Palo Alto Farm in California a horse by the name of Sallie Gardner was “filmed” using 24 stereoscopic cameras. Each of the cameras were lined up parallel to the path of a running horse. As the horse passed by each camera it hit trip wires which set the camera off. The moving film was done as an experiment and the film was shown using a device called the zoopraxiscope. The zoopraxiscope projected images from a rotating glass disk which basically used the stop motion technique of filming but with multiple cameras. This is not the first moving image but it seems like a good place to start, for the next film we are going to jump to 1888.

6 comments

  1. Once I hit the 20th century I will take suggestions on which film to cover for the next year. The only requirement is that it must be a movie that I have never seen before.

  2. Great idea for a series, John! I look forward to finding out what you get to see by doing this.

    • I've figured out all the films I am looking at up to 1907. It is pretty interesting to see all these original short films that I had never heard of before.

  3. This should prove to be quite a fascinating series. It should kick up plenty of debates too on what to watch next, especially later on.

  4. 1894 – The Butterfly Dance

    1895 – The Sprayer Sprayed

    1902 – A Trip to the Moon

    1903 – The Great Train Robbery

    Oh, you said you were set through 1907. :) Between 1903 and 1915, I haven't seen much.

  5. You hit one or two of the films I've got in my list but I'll check out the others also. None of the films from this era are long at all so I don't mind watching or mentioning more than one in each post. ;)

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