Edison Patents the Film Camera

 In Technology

edison4On October 17, 1888, Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph with images only 1/32 inch wide. Edison’s claim is that it will  ‘do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear.’

Thomas Edison’s interest in motion pictures began before 1888.  In February of that year, he visited inventor Eadweard Muybridge where Muybridge proposed that they collaborate and combine the Zoopraxiscope with the Edison phonograph.  Although apparently intrigued, Edison decided not to participate in such a partnership, perhaps realizing that the Zoopraxiscope was not a very practical or efficient way of recording motion.  He filed a caveat to his phonograph patent on October 17, 1888, protecting his idea for a device which would “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear” — record and reproduce objects in motion. He called it a “Kinetoscope,” using the Greek words “kineto” meaning “movement” and “scopos” meaning “to watch.”