Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Biograh* and Biogrp* (for Biography)

Or, I assume it’s Biography. When I saw the misspellings, however, I immediately thought of Biograph, the early motion picture camera/projector/processor all wrapped into one. Biograph is also the shortened name of the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, an early producer of films, started by William K. L. Dickson, who invented the Kinetoscope in 1891 at the Edison laboratories. However, while it did use a film loop, the Kinetoscope was a single-person peepshow. The first machines to project a moving image on film appeared in 1894 and 1895, the Bioscop in Berlin and the Phantoscope and Cinematograph in France. The Vitascope and the Eidoloscope were then introduced in the United States within six months. In the years that followed, we can’t forget the Kineopticon, Magniscope, Cieroscope, Plattenkinematograph, Filoscope, Cinegraphoscope, Criterioscope, Phenakistoscope, Hypnoscope, Centograph, Animatoscope, Chronophotographoscope, Variscope, Criterioscope, Vitropticon, Vivrescope, Diaramiscope, Venetrope, Motograph, Zinematograph, and, well, you remember the rest.

Biograh* and Biogrp* are in section B of the Ballard list, with 16-99 hits in OhioLINK. Evidently no one has problems spelling the sundry film projector names as none of them made the list.

(Photo taken from Public Domain Review, originally shot with the Zoopraxiscope—the one that really started it all.)

Brian Dahlvig

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