In the 19th century moving images were everywhere. Illusionists cast tricks using mirrors and shadows, whilst flick books, magic lanterns and Zoopraxiscopes unveiled the hidden mysteries of motion to a wide-eyed audience. By the later part of the century, new advancements in photography had made the dream of motion pictures reachable for a few genius inventors, who toiled away in dingy workshops, setting fire to volatile chemicals as they cranked the handles of their machines, hoping to capture moments in time. Most now attribute the birth of cinema to either Thomas Edison, the famous American inventor, or the French Lumiere Brothers, whose projection of a train pulling into a station terrified its excited audience. But there was another man who had been working on the problem of moving photographs and had seemingly cracked it several years earlier. On the dawn of his machine’s great unveiling, however, he disappeared, leaving those behind to question, where in the world was Louis Le Prince?
Leeds Mercury (1930) Inventor Who Vanished. Leeds Mercury, Tues 09 Dec 1930. p1. Leeds, UK.
Yorkshire Evening Post (1930) Leeds Street In First Successful Moving Picture. Thurs 11 Dec 1930. p6. UK.
Fischer, Paul (2022) The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures. Faber & Faber Ltd. London, UK.
Rawlence, Christopher (1990) The Missing Reel: The Untold Story of the Lost Inventor of Moving Pictures. Atheneum. London, UK.
New York Sun (1891) The Kinetograph. New York Sun, Thurs 28 May, 1891. P1. New York, USA.

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