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Throwback Thursday: The Oldest Surviving Video Recording In History

The oldest surviving video recording in history is titled the Roundhay Garden Scene and it is 2.11 seconds long. With how commonplace videos have become today, it is easy to disregard the history of videos. But they have not always been around.


While cameras have been available for a while, video capturing came much later. This is evident in the fact that the oldest surviving photo dates back to around 1826 while the oldest video is placed around 1888.


Here is a clip of the video below:



Louis Le Prince allegedly recorded it in Leeds, England. According to Louis’ son Adolphe, the film was made at Oakwood Grange, the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley.


Characters in the above shot are Louis’s son Adolphe Le Prince, his mother-in-law Sarah Whitley, his father-in-law Joseph Whitley and Annie Hartley in the garden. However, before unveiling his invention to the public, Louis mysteriously vanished.


Currently, Le Prince’s historic equipment and footage reside in the National Media Museum in Bradford. However, before this achievement, Louis had previously shot a series of times with 16 lenses.


Before this video became popular, Thomas Edison got all the credit for creating the first video and pioneering motion pictures. Edison working with W. K. L. Dickson invented a motion picture camera and a peephole viewing device called the Kinetoscope.

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Another reason for Edison’s popularity is that his inventions first got public showing in 1893. Also, the following year the first Edison films exhibited commercially as well.


However, it is undisputed that Louis Le Prince is quite older than Edison’s productions. It was even rumoured that Thomas Edison had something to do with Le Prince’s disappearance. However, nothing came out of these claims.


After these predecessors of the modern cinema, the Lumière brothers also played important roles in reinventing entertainment.


history of video
Auguste and Louis Lumière


Auguste and Louis Lumière had invented a camera that could record, develop, and project film completely. They even also got a public premiere of their film. However, Louis had wrongly said: “Cinema is an invention with­out a future.”


With the production of such films as Gone With The Wind, Titanic, Schindler’s List, The Godfather, The Avengers, The Lord of the Rings and Living in Bondage, cinema is uncontestably a major invention.


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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.

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