On Fri, 25 Jan 2002, michael aronson wrote:

> However, I'm looking for information on when motion picture
> cameras first became available for purchase on the open market
> in the US.  If I had to guess, I would assume it might have been the
> Cinématographe, or equivalent, sometime in the late 1890's but I'm
> not sure where to confirm this.   Any leads/info about companies,
> camera models and costs would be greatly appreciated.

        Barry Salt mentions in passing in his quirky *Film Style and
Technology:  History and Analysis* (p. 41) that the earliest cameras
descended from Edison's Kinetograph, including both Paul's and Melies's
versions, and the Lumiere machine.  The first seventy pages of SMP(T)E
historical papers in Raymond Fielding, ed., *A Technological History of
Motion Pictures* are more devoted to projection, although an interesting
contribution by Oscar Depue relates his journeying to France to purchase a
Demeny camera from Gaumont.  My initial suspicion, given Tom's
predilections, would be that the Edison machine would have been more
available in the United States, although the Trust situation would be
involved.  I'm sure contacting the Edison Papers project in New Jersey
could yield data on Edison prices, terms, and sales.  I would canvas
contemporary photographic supply house catalogues and photography
periodicals of the era to see exactly what was available.  Where one could
locate such material is debatable, but both Eastman House and the old
Engineering Societies Library (formerly in Manhattan, now, I think, at
Kansas City)  would be good starts.

                         William Lafferty, PhD
                          Associate Professor

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