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Dead medium: Magic Lanterns, Photography, Optical Toys and Early Cinematic Devices
From: (Bruce Sterling)

(((This bibliography, drawn from various sources, makes no pretense at completeness. Further submissions and corrections are welcome. This list does demonstrate the great extent of the topic, and it offers many glowing opportunities for research, especially for the growing numbers of

Dead Media Lurkers in Europe. If you can hack Latin, German and/or French and you haunt used bookstores, do think of the rest of us and write us some working notes. I must apologize for the lack of accents and umlauts in ASCII. --Bruce Sterling)))

Alhazen (Ibn al Haitam): Opticae Thesaurus Alhazen Arabis. Basel, 1572

(((earliest known work on the camera obscura. Alhazen died 1038 AD)))

Allister, Ray: Friese-Greene. Close-up of an Inventor. London, 1848

(((British cinema-projection pioneer and crank -- "must be read with


Bardeche, Maurice and Brasillach, Robert: Histoire du Cinema. English

translation New York, 1938 (((original date of French publication


Blum, Daniel: A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen. New York, 1953

Bode, Walter: Das Kleine Filmlexikon. Ein Taschenbuch uber das gesamte

Filmwesen. Frankfurt and Vienna, 1954

Bossert, H and Guttman, H.: Aus der Fruhzeit der Photographie 1840-70,

ein Bildbuch nach 200 Originalen. Frankfurt, 1930.

Brunel, Georges: La Photographie pour tous. Paris, 1894

Cameron, J. R.: Sound Motion Pictures. Cameron Publishing Company, 1959

Ceram. C. W.: Archaeology of the Cinema. Harcourt, Brace and World, New

York (1964?) (((a fine work with an excellent bibliography)))

Coe, Brian: The History of Movie Photography. Eastview Editions,

Westfield NJ, 1981 (((a highly informative and also very pretty book)))

Cornwell-Clyde. A.: 3-D Kinematography. Hutchinson, London, 1954

Croy, Homer: How Motion Pictures are Made. London, 1899

Daguerre, Louis Jacques Mande: Histoire et description des procedes du

daguerrotype et du diorama. Paris, 1839

Deslandes, Jacques: Histoire Comparee du Cinema, Vol. 1, Casterman, 1966

Demeny, Georges Emile Joseph: Les Origines du cinematographe. Paris,


Dickson, W. K. L. and Dickson, A: History of the Kinetograph, Kinetoscope

and Kinetophonograph. London, 1895

Dost, Wilhelm: Vorlaufer der Photographie. Beitrag zur allgemeinen

Geschichte der Photographie. Berlin, 1931

Dost, Wilhelm and Stenger, Erich: Die Daguerrotype in Berlin 1839-1860.

Berlin, 1922

Duca, Lo: Hippolyte Bayard, der erste Lichtbildkunstler. Paris, 1943

(((Bayard was a French treasury official and purportedly "the first

photographic artist," though completely overshadowed by Daguerre and


Fescourt, Henry (ed.): Le Cinema des origines a nos jours. Paris, 1932

Fielding, Raymond (ed): A Technological History of Motion Pictures and

Television, University of California Press, 1967

Forch, Carl: Der Kinematograph und das sich bewegende Bild. Geschichte

und technische Entwicklung der Kinematographie bis zur Gegenwart.

Vienna and Leipzig, 1913

Fouque, Victor: La Verite sur l'invention de la photographie. Nicephore

Niepce, sa vie, ses essais, ses travaux. Paris, 1867

Freund, Gisele: Histoire de la photographie en France. Paris, 1935

Fulop-Miller, Rene: Die Phantasie-maschine. Eine Saga der Gewinnsucht.

Berlin-Vienna-Leipzig, 1931.

Gernsheim, H. and A.: L. J. M. Daguerre. The History of the Diorama and the

Daguerreotype. London, 1956.

Griffith, Richard and Mayer, A.: The Movies. The sixty-year story of the

world of Hollywood and its effect on America. From pre-Nickelodeon days

to the present. New York, 1957.

Grimoin-Sanson, Raoul: Le Film de ma vie. Paris 1926. (((Grimoin-Sanson

was the inventor of the Ballon-Cineorama, a ten-projector, audience-

surrounding virtuality system that premiered at the Paris Exhibition of


Guyot, Abbe: Nouvelles Recreations physiques et mathematiques. Paris,

1770 (((optical toys?)))

Hendricks, Gordon: The Edison Motion Picture Myth. Berkeley and Los

Angeles, 1961. (((Champions W.K.L Dickson against Edison as a "pioneer."

Might have interesting dirt on Edison's purported "goon squads," who are

said to have threatened the lives of French cinematographe salesmen)))

Hepworth, Cecil M.: The ABC of Cinematography. London, 1897

Hepworth, Cecil M.: Came the Dawn. Memories of a Film Pioneer. London,

1951 (((Hepworth was the son of a famous magic-lanternist, worked on

Paul's Theatrograph and invented several cinematic lighting and

developing devices)))

Hooper, William: Rational Recreations. London, 1774 (((Magic lanterns)))

Hopwood, H. V.: Living Pictures. Their History, Photo-Production and

Practice Working. London, 1899

Jeanne, Rene and Ford, Charles: Histoire encyclopedique de cinema. Paris,


Kircher, Athanasius: Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae. Rome, 1646; Amsterdam,

1671, etc (((first known description of the magic lantern. Apparently

Father Kircher had a rather vague idea of how the device worked and was

repeating what conjurers and tregetours may have known for centuries;

see Dead Media Working Note 0.02)))

Kubnick, Henri: Les freres Lumiere. Paris, 1936. (((Justly famed early

filmmakers and inventors of the Lumiere cinematographe)))

Liesegang, F. Paul: Marey, der Begrunder der modernen Kinematographie.

Dusseldorf, 1910 (((Etienne-Jules Marey, a physiologist studying animal

movement, invented the "fusil chronophotographique" and the


Liesegang, F. Paul: Lichtbild und Kinotechnik. Munchen-Gladbeck, 1913

Liesegang, F. Paul (ed.): Die Projektionskunst und die Darstellung von

Lichtbildern. Mit einer Anleitung zum Malen auf Glas und Beschreibung

chemischer, magnetischer, optischer und elektrischer Experimente.

Leipzig, 1909

Londe, Albert: La Photographie Moderne. Paris, 1895

Low, Rachel and Manvell, Roger: The History of the British Film. in three

volumes, 1949-1950

Marey, Etienne Jules: Le Mouvement. Paris, 1894 (((may be a scholarly

treatise on physiology rather than a description of his proto-cinema

laboratory equipment)))

Mayer, J.P.: British Cinemas and their Archives. London, 1948

Melies, Georges: Mes memoires. (date?) (((The memoirs of the father of

science fiction film, the "Roi de la Fantasmagorie" and the "Jules Verne du

Cinema," are said to be highly inaccurate)))

Musschenbroek, Pieter van: Physicae experimentalis. Leyden, 1729

(((Musschenbroek, a Dutch mathematician, theorized that overlapping glass

plates, subjected to a beam of light, could show animated movements; he

may have built such a device)))

Newhall, Beaumont: The History of Photography from 1839 to the Present

Day. New York, 1949

Noverre, Maurice: Emile Reynaud, sa vie et ses travaux. Brest, 1926

(((Reynaud invented the Praxinoscope, an optical toy, and also the Theatre

Optique and the Cabinet Fantastique, machines that manipulated strips of

film with animated drawings)))

Pathe, Charles: Souvenirs et conseils d'un parvenue. Paris, 1926 (((the

self-proclaimed upstart was the world's first true cinema tycoon)))

Peck and Snyder: Catalog (aka "Price List of

Out & Indoor Sports and Pastimes") 1886, reprinted 1971

by Pyne Press (LC# 75-24886, ISBN 0-87861-094-4) (((a period catalog

offering many optical and electrical toys and devices)))

Porta, Giovanni Battista Della: Magia naturalis, sive de miraculis rerun

naturalium. Naples, 1558 (((describes the "deviltries" of the camera


Potonniee, Georges: Histoire de la decouverte de la photographie. Paris,


Potonniee, Georges: Les Origines du cinematographie. Paris, 1928

Quigley, Jr., Martin: Magic Shadows, the Story of the Origin of Motion

Pictures. Washington DC, 1948

Ramsaye, Terry: A Million and One Nights. New York, 1926. (((said to be

"the most original work on international cinema history" and "a real


Robert (Robertson), Etienne Gaspard: Memoires recreatifs, scientifiques

et anecdotiques du Physicien-Aeronaute. Paris, 1831. (((Robert aka

"Robertson" was a phantasmagoria entrepreneur and magic lanternist; his

daring lantern show made him the victim of political censorship)))

Rotha, Paul and Manvell, Roger: Movie-Parade 1888-1949, a Pictorial

Survey of World Cinema. London and New York, 1950

Sadoul, Georges: Histoire de l'art du cinema des origines a nos jours.

Paris 1949 (((A four-volume work said to be very thorough and


Sears and Roebuck: Consumers Guide Catalogue No. 110, 1900, reprinted

1970 by DBI Books, Northfield, IL. (((features magic lanterns, optigraphs

and stereopticons, as well as graphophones and toy telegraphs)))

Talbot, Frederick A.: Moving Pictures: How they are made and worked.

London, 1912

Taylor, Deems: A Pictorial History of the Movies. New York, 1943. (((is

this author also the narrator of Walt Disney's Fantasia?)))

Thomas, David B.: The Origins of the Motion Picture. HMSO, London, 1964

Thorndyke, Lynn: History of Magic and Experimental Sciences. New York,

1923 (((magic lanterns?)))

Vivie, Jean: Traite general de technique du cinema. 1. Historique et

developpement de la technique cinematographique. Paris, 1946

Zahn, Johannes: Occulis Artificialis 1685 (((Zahn invented the table-

mounted magic lantern; he used it as an automatic wind-direction

indicator by hooking it to a weathervane in the roof)))

Zglinicki, Friedrich von: Der Weg des Films. Berlin, 1956 (((said to

feature "proverbial German thoroughness" and to "cover the subject with

prodigious industry." Would that we could all do likewise *8-) )))