Living Pictures by Henry V. Hopwood (1899)
Hopwood's Living Pictures by R.B. Foster (1915)
on one CD
£12.50 plus £1.00 mailing in UK
Introduction to the CD-ROM facsimile editions.
In 1899, when Hopwood's Living Pictures was published, the creation and projection of motion picture films was a new art based on a variety of complex and competing technologies. As Custodian in the library of the Patent Office in London, Henry Vaux Hopwood (1866-1919) was well placed to compile this comprehensive history and handbook of the new medium. Throughout 1898 he gathered material for the book with appeals for information in the Optician and Photographic Trades Review, who published it the following year. It is a thoroughly researched and lucid account of a difficult subject, detailing patents and giving advice on production and presentation.
Although naturally biased towards developments in England, the work of some overseas inventors is included, especially where covered by British patents. The complexities of the technology are tempered with a final philosophical reverie: 'The whole history, not of this world alone, but of every sphere that is or has been, is still in vibrating existence, and one universal perception extending through the infinity would embrace within the tremblings of the boundless ether an eternal and universal living picture of all past events.'
Hopwood retained an interest in cinematography but was unable to find the time to produce a revised edition of his book. That task eventually fell to a trusted colleague, R. B. Foster. In 1912 Hopwood contributed a preface to the new edition, which was eventually published in 1915. It was extensively re-written and included new chapters on colour films and 'Speaking Pictures', and legal aspects. Both books are reproduced here in full, including the interesting and evocative advertising pages.
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