9 Earliest Videos in History

How the movie industry became the giant that it is today is all thanks to the amazing people (back in the 1880s) who experimented with photos, stitching them together to produce the illusion of a motion picture.

Whether you’re a cineaste or just a regular movie buff, these nine of the earliest films ever made will be an enjoyable treat.

1. First film ever made (1878)
The Horse in Motion was successfully filmed in 1878 by English photographer, Edward Muybridge. The series of photos were taken in Palo Alto, California using multiple cameras. The snapshots were assembled to create a single motion picture. It was considered one the earliest forms of videography.

Fun fact: The movie was made to scientifically answer the question: “Are all four of a horse’s hooves ever off the ground at the same time while the horse is galloping?”.

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2. Earliest celluloid film (1888)
Filmed in 1888, the Roundhay Garden Scene is the earliest celluloid film shot by Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince. Using the Le Prince single-lens camera, the scene was shot in Oakwood Grange Road, in the garden of the Whitley family house on October 4, 1888. The film shows Le Prince’s son Adolphe, his mother-in-law Mrs. Sarah Whitley, Miss Harriet Hartley, and Joseph Whitley walking around in circles.

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In 1893, famous inventor Thomas Edison built the first movie studio called the Black Maria which made nearly 1,200 films, some of which captured the first of its kind scenes in film.

3. Earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture (1894)
When Edison finished his Kinetograph, he needed a model to test it out. Fred Ott, the jokester of the Edison labs became the perfect choice. The short film was called “Fred Ott’s Sneeze” and is the earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture.

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4. First cat video(1894)
This easily becomes the top of my favorite cat videos. I mean, two cats in a boxing match complete with gloves and a boxing ring? C’mon! There’s not much info on this one other than it was filmed on July 1984 in Edison’s Black Maria studio.

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5. First recording of American Indians with a motion picture camera (1895)
Edison’s team was the first to film one of the Sioux Tribe’s most peculiar customs. The dancers here are genuine Sioux Indians sporting war costumes and full war paint. This was their first appearance before a motion picture camera.

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6. First hand-tinted motion picture (1895)
The Annabelle Serpentine Dance is the first hand-tinted movie featuring Annabelle Moore, a young dancer from Broadway.

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7. The first kiss for the movie cameras (1896)
In 1896, Edison Company purchased the rights to the “Vitascope”, a motion picture projector. During its first year, the projector was used to capture the first kiss for the movie cameras. The film starred May Irwin and John C. Rice. It was actually a recreation of a scene from their Broadway play “The Widow Jones”.

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8. First ball game on film (1898)
In 1898, Edison filmed the (possibly) first ever video of America’s pastime, the Ball Game motion picture.

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9. First automobile parade (1899)
Recorded here is the first annual automobile parade in downtown Manhattan on November 4, 1899.

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