Louis Le Prince - Career - Late Recognition

Late Recognition

Le Prince is considered by many film historians as the true father of motion pictures.

"Le Prince had indeed succeeded making pictures move at least seven years before the Lumière brothers and Thomas Edison, and so suggests a re-writing of the history of early cinema."

Even though Le Prince's solo achievement is unchallenged, except for proponents of William Friese-Greene, his work has been long forgotten since he disappeared on the eve of the first public demonstration of the result of years of toil in his Leeds workshop and test conducted at the New York Institute for the Deaf. His pursuit of trademarks over in the United States, the dominance and influence of his countryman rival Thomas Edison, founder of the oligopolistic Edison Trust, became unstoppable.

For the April 1894 commercial exploitation of his personal kinetoscope Parlor, Thomas Edison is credited as the inventor of cinema in the USA, while in France, the Lumière Brothers, are coined inventors of the Cinématographe device and inventor of cinema for the first, collective, commercial exploitation of motion picture films in Paris. Like Le Prince, another untold proto-cinema figure is the French inventor, Léon Bouly, who created the first "Cinématographe" device and patented it in 1892 (Patent N°219,350). He was never credited, and two years later his left unpaid patent was bought by the Lumière Brothers (Patent N°245,032).

However, at Leeds, West Yorkshire, in the UK, Le Prince is celebrated as a local hero. On 12 December 1930, the Lord Mayor of Leeds unveiled a bronze memorial tablet at 160 Woodhouse Lane (then Auto Express Engineering Company), Le Prince's workshop. In 2003, the University's "Centre for Cinema, Photography and Television" was named in his honour. Le Prince's workshop in Woodhouse Lane was until recently the site of the BBC in Leeds. The former Blenheim Baptist chapel, at the junction of Woodhouse Lane and Blackman Lane, is next to the site. (coordinates: 53°48′20.58″N 1°32′56.74″W / 53.8057167°N 1.5490944°W / 53.8057167; -1.5490944). His historic moving pictures are shown in the cinema of the Armley Mills Industrial Museum, Leeds.

In France, an appreciation society was created as "Association des Amis de Le Prince" ("Association of LePrince's friends") which still exists in Lyon.

In 1992, the Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) directed Talking Head an avant-garde feature film paying tribute to the cinematography history's tragic ending figures such as George Eastman, Georges Méliès and Louis Le Prince who is credited as "the true inventor of eiga", Japanese for "motion picture film".

Read more about this topic:  Louis Le Prince, Career

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