Ottomar Anschütz and his Electrical Wonder

By Deac Rossell

The full role of Ottomar Anschütz in the story of the first moving pictures is not well known. In 1892, two years before Edison's peepshow Kinetoscope was first shown to the public, Anschütz' moving photographs were being shown in arcade machines - the 'Electrical Wonder' - in Europe and America. His improved cardboard Zoetrope, for photographic series pictures, had been developed some years previously. By 1894 his motion sequences of animals and human figures, very brief but of fine quality, were being projected onto large screens in Germany by means of his 'Projecting Electrotachyscope'; the world's first projected photographic (unposed) motion picture sequences.

Deac Rossell is a researcher specialising in the study of pre-cinema and the early years of film. He is a contributor to Who's Who of Victorian Cinema (BFI, 1996) and author of '...The New Thing with the Long Name and the Old Thing with the Name That Isn't Much Shorter...' Film History (Summer 1995), a major chronology of the cinema to the end of 1896.

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A5, 40pp, 14 illustrations
ISBN 0 9523941 8 9
£4.50

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TITLE IS NOW OUT OF PRINT

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