| What made it popular | How
it works | What became of it
Video Demonstrations | Sources
to Optical Toys
The 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 cinema.
What made it popular:
The 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
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 motion.
became of it:
Like almost 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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higher video quality in a downloadable file
Video for Windows
Coe, Brian. The History of Movie
Photography. Eastview Editions, 1981. pp 163.