After learning about Thomas Edison’s Kinetograph in the early 1890s, Auguste and Louis Lumière set out to free motion pictures from Edison’s bulky contraption. In 1895 they succeeded, patenting the Cinématographe, which could record, develop and project film. The Lumière brothers’ all-in-one device was lightweight, portable and operated by hand crank instead of electricity. But its biggest achievement was projection: while only one person could look through the Kinetograph’s peephole at a time, audiences could watch Cinématographe films together.
Alongside their invention, the Lumière brothers premiered 10 short films on daily life, known as actualités, including the famous Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1896). The Cinématographe even inspired the new art form’s name: cinema.
The Lumière brothers famous Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1895)
Not in ACMI's collection
On display until
16 February 2031
ACMI: Gallery 1
The Story of the Moving Image → Moving Pictures → MI-04. Materiality → MI-04-C01