| What made it popular | How
it works | What became of it
Video Demonstrations | Sources
to Optical Toys
Kinora was the most successful home movie machine in Britain
before 1912. Because of its design and inability to
project moving pictures, its use was limited to one or a few
people, and therefore became popular at home where public
screen projection was unnecessary. It is interesting
to note that 17 years earlier, the Lumiere brothers had created
a device capable of projecting movies to large audiences.
Many today consider their invention, the Cinematographe, the
start of modern cinema. Yet despite the public's newfound
interest in projected movies, the Kinora continued to be highly
popular in Britain for nearly 20 years after the birth of
made it popular:
Kinora's popularity can be traced to several features that
made it ideal for home use. Kinora Ltd., an English
company, converted the Lumiere brothers' invention into a
form that made it perfect for the home. This company
was a large contributor to the Kinora's popularity in Britain.
First, Kinora Ltd. supplied Kinora reels printed from professionally-shot
films that people could buy or rent for personal viewing.
Even today, movie rentals are still a popular industry, compared
with the theatre industry. Second, people could have
motion portraits of themselves taken in a photographic studio,
and view them later on their Kinora. Lastly, the company.
supplied an amateur camera in 1908 so that people could make
their own Kinora movies. The rolls of 25.4 mm paper
or celluloid were processed and printed by Kinora Ltd., then
made into reels.
wheel, 14 cm in diameter, holds a set of small individual
pictures. The wheel is rotated by a handle, allowing
each picture to become fixed for a short moment in front of
a lens. Because of its design, only one person at a
time can view the movie through the single lens. At
the right turning speed, the succession of pictures gives
the illusion of motion. Each wheel has 25 seconds of
became of it:
all of the home movie machines, interest in the Kinora was
essentially lost after the public developed a newfound interest
in cinema. Also, the Kinora Ltd. factory in London burned
down in 1914, and the company apparently saw no need to rebuild
itself after public interest in the Kinora had declined.
to video demonstrations:
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Coe, Brian. The History of Movie Photography.
Eastview Editions, 1981. pp 163.