Annabelle (Whitford) Moore performs one of her popular dances. For this performance, her costume has a pair of wings attached to her back, to suggest a butterfly. As she dances, she uses her long, flowing skirts to create visual patterns.
A stationary camera looks across the boulevard at a diagonal toward one corner of Lyon's Cordeliers' Square. It's a long shot, with a great deal of depth of focus. We can see the sky and ... See full summary »
Outdoors, with a nondescript building in the background, four men stand, each holding the corner of a blanket stretched parallel to the ground. They wear the clothes of laborers. By the ... See full summary »
A man holds a child of about 10 or 11 months so the child can stand on a table and look down into a large clear goldfish bowl, nearly full of water, with two goldfish swimming in it. The ... See full summary »
In the background, five fans lean on the ropes looking into the ring. The referee is to the left; like the fans, he hardly moves as two fighters swing roundhouse blows at each other. Mike ... See full summary »
A man (Edison's assistant) takes a pinch of snuff and sneezes. This is one of the earliest Edison films and was the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States. Written by
Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>
One contemporary account of this two-second film (which was viewed not on a screen but as a film loop in a single-person viewing device) says that it was accompanied by a phonograph recording of a sneeze. See more »
This ultra-short feature has historical significance in addition to its novelty value. As one of a number of surviving features that the Edison Company made not for exhibiting commercially, but as experiments or for other purposes, it is part of the interesting historical record of the very earliest stages of motion picture development.
Made just a couple of months before Edison's Kinetoscopes were opened for public viewing, this feature was originally filmed for a magazine article, in which the individual frames could illustrate the way that the Kinetoscope would produce the effect of motion. Naturally, for such a purpose they did not need or want more than a few seconds of film.
One thing that is interesting about the earliest movies is their choice of material. A good many of the Edison Company's movie subjects, whether commercial or experimental, are either offbeat or provocative. This contrasts with, for example, the early Lumière movies, which featured so many aesthetically pleasing and even lyrical sights. This subject is one of the offbeat ones, recording Edison employee Fred Ott in the act of sneezing.
For its original purpose this was a suitable subject, since the action would all be contained within a narrow camera field, and it would last only a very short time. Now, so many years later, it is useful in a different way, as a record of one of the many steps on the way to commercially-made movies. It should also be noted that the footage, very short and simple though it is, succeeds in recording motion clearly and smoothly.
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