• Nicholas Wong

Brief History of Video

Although Video seems like a new technological advancement of this era and is only starting to be used in live productions, the use of video to entertain has been around for far longer. The earliest use of projection was estimated to have been in 500 B.C. , with a device known as the Camera Obscura. The Camera Obscura makes use of a natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image on a surface opposite to the opening. In the 17th century, a device known as a magic lantern was used in popular form of horror theatre known as "Phantasmagoria", to project images on smoke.


Below are some important dates that mark developments in video technology.


1827 - First still photograph with camera obscura (Using paper covered in silver salts)

1832 - Phenakistoscope invented

1834 - Zoetrope invented

1877 - Praxinoscope invented

(The Phenakistoscope, Zoetrope, and Praxinoscope were illusion toys that made use of moving frames, and were the early precursors to animation)

1878 - Eadweard Muybridge captures horse running with 12 cameras

1882 - Etienne Jules Marley invents photographic gun

1888 - Still camera invented by George Eastman (Photographs on sensitised paper)

1888 - Thomas Edison designs machines for showing moving pictures

1894 - Edison's Kinetoscope debuts in London, driven by electric motor

1894 - Mutoscope, a mechanical flip book is invented

1894 - Lumiere family becomes the biggest manufacturer of photographic plates and invent the Cinematographe

(The Cinematographe was a camera which recorded and projected images, it shot at a rate of 16 frames per second, which became a the standard film rate, unchanged for 25 years)

1895 - First film shot with Cinematographe

1902 - George Melies produces "Voyage to the Moon"

1903 - George Smith makes "Mary Jane Mishap", the first use of sophisticated editing in film



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