Ivan Akimovich Akimov
Russian photographer, writer, inventor
Too little is known of Akimov's life, but there are some signs of an ungentle origin (he may have been the illegitimate child of unknown parents). He called himself a 'retired quarter-master-sergeant'. Little too is known of his professional activities: he is mentioned as a member of the Russian Photographic Society, an expert at the Moscow Photographic exibition of 1896, the inventor of a professionally recognised photometer, and the author of A Guide for Beginning Photographers (Rukovodstvo dlya nachinayushchikh fotografov) which had passed through five editions. On 12 January 1896 Akimov received an official certificate for his invention of the Stroboscope - an apparatus designed for shooting moving photographic images on special film with a speed of fifteen to twenty frames per second. The same apparatus served for the projection of mages on a screen 'transmitting original natural movement'. In his design Akimov used a German Petzvald lens, and designed an original friction clutch device for interrupted film movement. For projection he implemented a special lamp with condensor and reflector. Akimov's apparatus was only patented on 22 August 1898, by which time the inventor had completely lost interest in his invention, beaten by the general success of the Lumière Cinématogaphe. One may be sure that Akimov's apparatus was never used and no films were made by it. According to some evidence, only one acting model of his Stroboscope existed which was deposited in the Moscow Museum of Polytechnics, to be destroyed and thrown away in the Soviet period. Today only a technical description, some drafts and official papers mark the fact that it had ever existed.