First described in conceptual terms by U.S. inventor Thomas Edison in 1888, the Kinetograph was developed by his employee William Kennedy Laurie Dickson between 1889 and 1892. The Kinetograph was motion picture camera that used rapid intermittent, or stop-and-go, film movement, to photograph movies for in-house experiments and, eventually, commercial Kinetoscope presentations.
Monkeyshines, No. 1 was shot by William K.L. Dickson and William Heise for the Edison labs. The film was shot either in June 1889 or in November 1890. The film stars either John Ott or G. Sacco Albanese. This film as well as the latter Monkey Shines, No. 2 (also seen in the video below) and Monkey Shines, No. 3 (which is lost to time) were all completed as test projects for the camera.
The films are the first real productions from the United States. Edison continued to develop and design film cameras and projectors over the next few years. What is most interesting about the Kinetograph and Kinetoscope is that Edison never sought an international patent and this allowed for inventors in other countries to develop their own film cameras.