Autochromes Lumière


Friends in Photography and Film-Making

The Manufacturer of Cinema
Technician and engineer, and specialist in electronic devices, Jules Carpentier Jules Carpentier
Carpentier, Jules-Adrien-Marie Louis, engineer and manufacturer of electronic devices, b: Paris, August 30, 1851 - d: ibid. July 3, 1921

was a member of the Bureau des longitudes and of the Académie des sciences. A commandant in the Legion of Honour, he was the tenth president of the Société française de photographie (1909-1911). Successor of the Maison Ruhmkorff in 1877, his workshops were situated at 34, rue du Luxembourg and 20, rue Delambre in Paris. An indefatigable inventor, he devised a number of original photographic optical devices. He created the first pair of photo-binoculars in 1891 and some of the first periscopes. On the instruction of Louis Lumière, he manufactured 400 Cinematographs, in which the driving of the film was performed by a system of claws rather than with pincers as with the first prototype constructed by Charles Moisson. In 1898, he proposed the candidature of Louis Lumière to the Académie des sciences, Lumière  however would not be elected until 21 years later.

The Creator of the Cinematographic Show
"Méliès was a man, a grown-up man, who would for all his life remain a little boy" Henri Jeanson

Director of the Robert-Houdin Theatre in Paris, which was situated on the boulevard des Italiens, Georges Méliès Georges Méliès
Méliès, Marie-Georges-Jean, artist, illusionist and film-maker, b: Paris, December 8, 1861 - d: ibid. January 21, 1938

was one of the four main pioneers of French cinema. Antoine Lumière and  Georges Méliès met at the Dufour notary on the 5th of November, 1894; each had come to rent something different, the one his theatre, the other, a photographic workshop situated just above the hall. Including everything required by this new type of show, Méliès transformed his establishment into a cinema in 1896 and presented his own films. When he launched the cinema, he was under no illusion as to what it involved; he even created most of the rigging himself. Magician of the image, in 1897, he constructed the first glass studio for taking cinematographic images and produced more than a half of all French films between 1896 and 1913. By 1925 however, Georges Méliès was selling toys at the Gare Montparnasse in Paris, totally forgotten by his peers. In 1931, those of his profession proposed to have him awarded the ruban de chevalier of the Legion of Honour. At the grand banquet which he was subsequently offered, the recipient specifically requested to have Louis Lumière as his sponsor. Louis would accept and later say that he had considered this choice to be an honour. If Louis was the inventor of the Cinematograph, George was the inventor of cinema. George Méliès rests at the Père-Lachaise cemetery.

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