As with most inventions, video recording can be traced back to the 19th century. It began in 1826 when Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (France) captured the first image on a lithographic stone via a process called heliography.
The latent image was developed with white bitumen fumes causing an image to appear. This process was known as heliography.
Then in 1829, Louis Daguerre (France) took over the invention that Niépce left behind and began his own experiments with silver iodide on copper plates instead of stone to capture images.
These were called Daguerreotypes.
This process became popular because it produced incredible detail of the image.
Initially, there was no way to preserve these images because they were on copper plates coated with silver iodide and if exposed for even a short period of time it would decay away.
Then in 1839, William Henry Fox Talbot (England) invented the first negative-positive process by using an immense 100-inch (254cm) camera to take multiple images at once on a single glass photographic plate which were then developed into the first motion picture.
First motion picture
The first motion picture was recorded by Louis Le Prince (France) in 1888, who added an extra lens onto the camera for recording.
His work was called Roundhay Garden Scene, it is said he shot the first moving images in Leeds, West Yorkshire although this is unverified.
However, he did not publicly present his film until August 30, 1888, when he showed it to an audience of more than one thousand people at the Societé française de photographie in Paris.
Le Prince also invented the multi-lens camera for filming which is still in use today.
In contrast, Thomas Edison’s first motion picture was shot in 1891 and called The Blacksmith Scene.
It was a one-shot film filmed at his laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. He used his version of the film camera called kinetograph to shoot this.
The first digital video recorder
The first digital video recorder (DVR) In 1972, the first DVR was invented by Nick Ross and Ken Berry at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
It used a 9-inch (23 cm) Sony CV-2000B tape recorder to record TV shows for playback later.
In 1975, Ampex commercialized their first digital videotape recorder (DVR) called the VR-1000. It recorded Beta-SP video onto a 2-inch (5 cm) videotape.
In 1997, TiVo released their first DVR which used an internal hard drive to store TV shows.
First commercial motion picture
The first commercial motion picture exhibition was held on April 14, 1894, by the Lumière brothers (Louis Jean Lumière) in Paris where they projected their short silent films onto a screen in a private home for an invited audience.
These films were called the Lumière brothers’ Cinématographe.
The first feature-length motion picture was made in 1905 by Georges Méliès and is called Voyage to the Moon.
It was shot over a period of eight months at his studio in Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis.
In 1907, the first animated motion picture was created by Émile Cohl and is called Fantasmagorie.
It was a 2-minute long film made up of 8,000 drawings.
The first color motion picture
The first color motion picture was made in 1935 by MGM and is called Becky Sharp. The process was called three-strip Technicolor and it took a year to complete the entire film.
The first digital motion picture In 1937, the Television Corporation of America created a color television system that used electronic scanning but did not use a camera tube for imaging.
Then in 1942, during World War 2, John Logie Baird (Scotland) demonstrated a color television system using a camera tube called the quatron which was used in radar systems.
The first modern video recorder In 1951, inventor of the video recorder Ampex Corporation created a prototype for a portable videotape recording unit with the initial use to record TV shows from aircraft.
Then in 1956, they introduced their reel-to-reel videotape recorder (VTR) called the VRX8000.
This was used for recording live footage because it was too expensive to shoot on film and re-record it back onto videotape.
It became popular in broadcasting because TV stations could record programs or broadcasts off the air then edit them together before airing them, instead of having to go live all the time.
The first 3D motion picture
The world’s first 3D motion picture was shot and screened in 1922 by the inventor of the modern stereoscope, Sir Charles Wheatstone (England).
It was called The Power of Love and is a short film. He used red-green anaglyph glasses to view it.
In 1924, the first public 3D movie screenings began in Paris using an autostereoscopic display created by Tjassé. It used the principle of parallax to separate and recombine images for each eye.
Then in 1935, Hamilton Luske filmed a short 3D film called The Tortoise & the Hare which won an Academy Award that year. The film was made with a single camera mounted on a boom and used two projectors to screen it onto a screen.
In 1948, the first 3D motion picture with glasses was released called Bwana Devil.
The film was shot in black-and-white and used anaglyph glasses to view it.
In 1972, the first 3D motion picture filmed in color with polarized glasses was released called The Stewardesses. It used Polaroid filters for the glasses.
In 1952, the first 3D feature-length film shot in color was released called Bwana Devil.
It had stereophonic sound and a widescreen format which is only seen today at IMAX theaters.
Then from 1953 to 1954, the first 3D color motion pictures were released with a red-green anaglyph system. They were called House of Wax, The Maze and Inferno.
In 1982, the first commercial 3D movie to be presented in theaters was titled EFX and used polarized filter glasses for viewing it.
The world’s first IMAX 3D motion picture In 1970, the first IMAX 3D motion picture was released in Toronto, Canada called North of Superior.
Boyd McDonald was the director and it used linear polarization to view it through glasses.
The first 4K digital motion picture
The world’s first 4K digital motion picture was created by NHK Science & Technical Research Laboratories in 1995 and called Hi-Vision.
A frame resolution of 8,192 × 4,320 pixels (33.2 megapixels) was used in this prototype camera along with a 5″ display.
As you can see, there have been many different types of motion pictures created over the years. Some were ground-breaking and used new technology while others simply used a different camera angle or format.
However, they all served to entertain and inform us about the world around us.
Thank you for reading! I hope this article has given you a better understanding of the history of motion pictures.