Hermann O. Foersterling
German manufacturer, promoter
A small-time manufacturer of advertising novelties in Berlin, the firm of H.O. Foersterling & Co. was one of several companies in Germany (George Bartling Co., Gliewe & Kugler, Ed. Liesegang & Co., Oskar Messter) to begin making cinema apparatus in the first half of 1896. Foersterling's projector was taken from a design by Victor Continsouza in Paris, and sold for 1250 Marks at a time when Messter was selling his first equipment for 2000 Marks. Foersterling equipment was used in Germany, Holland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Switzerland by the end of the year. Not only a cut-price manufacturer, Foersterling devised a clever scheme to promote his apparatus and associate it with the inventions of Thomas Edison, the Lumière brothers, and, later, Oskar Messter, invariably identifying it as 'Edison's Ideal - the invention of A. and L. Lumière'. At a time well before the nomenclature of the cinema had been resolved in any language, he established a consistent advertising campaign of designs and slogans which was provided to travelling showmen using his equipment across Europe.