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Early Jamaican Cinema

Before the movies
The first steps

The first steps

Edison's first moving picture machine
- the Kinetoscope

At first I had thought the original Kinetoscope for individual viewers had not reached Jamaica. However, the two newspaper items below suggest that it did reach Kingston, but probably did not 'catch on', as there do not seem to be other references to it. The projecting Kinetoscope made a much greater impact.

Jamaica Post 1895 April 2, page 2 column 6

We understand that “Wizard” Edison’s latest achievement along the lines of electrical invention, the Kienitoscope, has arrived in Jamaica  and will be placed on exhibition. Some of our readers may not yet be aware that this wonderful instrument is used in connection with the equally wonderful but now familiar phonograph. It does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear. Whilst the audience listen to the sweet strains or fervid rhetoric of some famous singer or orator, they also witness the movements and changes of facial expression at every second during the performance. This is not in a series of pictures (apparently) but in a single picture with moving figures: for the eye cannot appreciate the electric victory with which the picture belt flashes the plates before it. Dramatic representations, circus performances, prize fights, etc., are reproduced with equal faithfulness.


 Daily Gleaner 1895 April 8 page 2 column 7

A Wonderful Invention.

Edison's latest invention, the Kinetoscope is truly a wonderful invention. It preserves and reproduces pictures of the natural movements of life the same as the natural voice is reproduced on the phonograph. The Kinetoscope is now on view at 68 King Street and is well worth seeing. Looking at the picture before you, you forget all about the wonderful mechanism of the machine in wonderment at the naturalness of the scene. Staring at the Sun Dance, for instance one can easily imagine he is watching Loie Fuller on the stage. Every change of expression, every movement is most clearly shewn and it is the same with all the other scenes. In connection with the Kinetoscope is exhibited a phonograph. We advise all those who have not already done so to examine this truly marvellous invention.

Shortly afterwards 68 King Street was advertised for rent -

Daily Gleaner 1895 April 25

the worthy frog
the worthy frog
Joy Lumsden 2004

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the worthy frog
Joy Lumsden 2004

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