This section contains a number of special presentations on aspects of Victorian cinema. Follow the links on the left-hand menu for individual features.


The world's first film productions, and first film shows, are the subjects of this chronology, originally published in 1994 as a booklet, by The Projection Box. This new web edition is in continuous revision - we welcome your additions and corrections.

Establishing exactly who did what, and when, has always been a contentious area in the field of motion pictures. The facts listed here include findings by researchers in many parts of the world. Today, more than a century after the introduction of the Kinetoscope and Cinematographe, new information is still being discovered. Read full introduction.



AB: Aldo Bernardini, Cinema Muto ltaliano, Ambiente, Spettacoli e Spettatore, 1896-1905 (1980)
ABr: Adriaan Briels, De Intocht van de Levende Photographie in Amsterdam (1971)
AF: Antonio J. Ferreira, Afotografia animada em Portugal, 1894/5/6/7 (1986)
AN: Albert Narath, Max Skladanowsky (1970)
BC1: Brian Coe, 'William Friese Greene and the Origins of Cinematography', reprint, Screen: JSEFT (March/April, May/June, July/October 1969)
BC2: Brian Coe, The History of Movie Photography (1981)
BC3: Brian Coe, Muybridge and the Chronophotographers (1992)
BCh: Bernard Chardère, '1895...ou 1894?', 1895 (no. 11)
CC: C.W. Ceram, Archaeology of the Cinema (1965)
CJ: Charles Francis Jenkins, Animated Pictures (1970)
CL: Chris Long, 'Australia's First Films', Cinema Papers (91)
CM1: Charles Musser, The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907 (1990)
CM2: Charles Musser, Before the Nickelodeon: Edwin S. Porter and the Edison Manufacturing Company (1991)
DA: Dominique Auzel, Emile Reynaud et l'image s'anima (1992)
DR: David Robinson, Georges Méliès, Father of Film Fantasy (1993)
DRos: Deac Rossell, ‘A Chronology of Cinema 1889-1896’, Film History special issue (Vol. 7 No. 2, Summer 1995)
EB: Eric Barnouw, The Magician and the Cinema (1981)
EL: E. Lehmann, Kinotechnik (1931)
EN: Erik Norgaard, Levende Billeder i Danmark. Fra “Den gamle Biograf” til moderne tider (1971)
FL: Franz Paul Liesegang, trans & ed Hermann Hecht, Dates and Sources: a contribution to the history of the art of projection and to cinematography (1986)
FV: Frank van der Maden, 'De Komst van de Film', in Karel Dibbets & Frank van der Madenn eds. Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Film en Bioscoop tot 1940 (1986)
GC: G.-Michel Coissac, Histoire du Cinématographe de ses origines a nos jours (1925)
GH1: Gordon Hendricks, The Edison Motion Picture Myth (1961)
GH2: Gordon Hendricks, The Beginnings of the Biograph (1964)
GH3: Gordon Hendricks, The Kinetoscope (1966)
GP: George C.Pratt, Spellbound in Darkness (1973)
GS: Georges Sadoul, Histoire Generale du Cinéma: Vol l. L'invention du cinéma 1832-1897 (1946/1948)
HF: Henri Fescourt, Le Cinéma des origins a nos jours (1932)
HG: H.Mark Gosser, Selected Attempts at Stereoscopic Moving Pictures and their Relationship to the Development of Motion Picture Technology, 1852-1903 (1977)
HI: Bengt Idestam-Almquist, När filmen kom til Sverige. Charles Magnusson och Svenska Bio (1959)
HT1: Hans Traub, Als man anfing zu filmen - die Erfindung der Kinematographie und ihrer Vorläufer: Vol II der Schriften der UFA Lehrschau (1940)
HT2: Hans Traub, Die UFA - ein Beitrag zur Entwicklumgsgeschichte des deutschen Filmschaffens (1943)
JA: Jacques and Marie André, Une saison Lumière à Montpellier (1987)
JB1: John Barnes, The Beginnings of the Cinema in England (1976)
JB2: John Barnes, The Rise of the Cinema in Great Britain: 1897 Jubilee Year [series: The Beginnings of the Cinema in England 1894-1901, Vol.2] (1983)
JD1: Jacques Deslandes, Le boulevard du cinéma a l'epoque du Georges Méliès (1963)
JD2: Jaques Deslandes, Histoire Comparée du Cinéma (1966-68)
JE: Josef Maria Eder, Geschichte der Photographie Vol I & II 4th ed. (1932)
JM: Joseitna Martinez, Los primeros veinticinco anos de cine en Madrid, 1896-1920 (1992)
JN: Joseph H.North, The Early Development of the Motion Picture 1887-1909 (1949)
JR1: Jacques Rittaud-Hutinet, Le Cinéma des Origines: les frères Lumière et leurs opérateurs (1985)
JR2: Jacques Rittaud-Hutinet, Auguste et Louis Lumière: Les 1000 premières films (1990)
JR3: Jacques Rittaud-Hutlnet, 'Les Premières projections publiques en France', La Lettre du Premiere Siecle du Cinema 3 (January 1994)
KM: Kenneth Macgowan, Behind the Screen (1965)
KR: Kevin Rockett, Luke Gibbons, John Hill, Cinema and Ireland (1987)
LM: Laurent Mannoni, '1894: les annees parisiennes du Kinetoscope Edison', Cinémathèque 3 (Spring/Summer 1993)
MC: Merrit Crawford, 'Jean Acmé leRoy - Projection Pioneer', Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (January 1931)
MD: Maurice Bessy and Lo Duca, Louis Lumière, Inventeur (1948)
MH: Michael Hanisch, Auf den Spuren der Filmgeschichte: Berliner Schauplätze (1991)
MHe: Malgorzata Hendrykowska, Sladami tamtych cieni. Film w kulturze polskiej przelomu stuleci 1895-1914 (1993)
ML: Manfred Lichtenstein, 'The Brothers Skladanowsky', in Prima di Caligari: Cinema tedesco, 1896-1920 (1990)
MLo: Martin Loiperdinger, Ludwig Stollwerck, Wie der Film nach Deutschland kam, KINtop 1: Früher Film in Deutschland (1992) MP: Le Magazine Pittoresque, 1 August 1894
MQ: Martin Quigley,Jr., Magic Shadows: The Story of the Origin of Motion Pictures (1948)
NF: National Film Archive, Catalogue: Part 1, Silent News Films 1895-1933, second edition (1965)
NS: Nick Smedley, First Screenings (1992)
OP: Olivier P.Poupion, 'Les prèmieres séances Lumière à Rouen (Avril-Octobre 1896)', 1895 (no.7)
PU: Paolo Cherchi Usai and Lorenzo Codelli eds. '1896 - The Arrival in Germany of the Cinématographe Lumière', in Before Caligari. German Cinema, 1895-1920 (Prima di Caligari : cinema tedesco, 1895-1920) (1990)
RB1: Richard Brown, 'England's First Cinema', British Journal of Photography (24 June 1977)
RB2: Richard Brown, 'England's First Film Shows', British Journal of Photography (31 March, 7 April 1978)
RB3: Richard Brown, The Lumière Cinématographe: The First Six Months in England (1993)
RF: Raymond Fielding ed, A Technological History of Motion Pictures and Television (1967)
RH: Robert Bartlett Haas, Muybridge: Man in Motion (1976)
RW: Rune Waldekrantz, Saföddes Filmen: Ett massmediums uppkomst och genombrott (1976)
SH: Stephen Herbert - personal research
TA: Thomas Armat, 'My Part in the Development of the Motion Picture Projector', Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (March 1935)
TR: Terry Ramsaye, A Million and One Nights: A History of the Motion Pictures Through 1925 (1926)
VS: Vanessa Schwartz and Jean-Jacques Meusy, 'Le Musée Grévin et le Cinématographe; l'histoire d'une recontre', 1895 (No. 11) WH: Wiltrud Henningsen, Die Entstehung des Kinos in Münster (1992)
FZ1: Friedrich van Zglinicki, Der Weg des Films (1979)
FZ2: Friedrich van Zglinicki, Die Wiege der Traumfabrik (1986)