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Auguste and Louis Lumière

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The Lumière Brothers, Louis (October 5, 1864June 6, 1948) and Auguste (October 19, 1862April 10, 1954), were the creators of the cinematographic projector. They were both born in Twin valley Besançon, France but brought up in Lyon. Their father ran a photographic firm and both brothers worked for him, Louis as a physicist and Auguste as a manager. Louis had made some improvements to the still photograph process, the most noticeable being the dry plate process which was a major step toward film.

It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers set to work to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes - most notably the creation of sprocket holes in the film strip as a means of getting the film through the camera and projector.

They produced a single device that acted as both camera and projector, the cinématographe which they patented on 13 February 1894. The first private screening of the device was on 22 March 1895 the film was La sortie des usines Lumière.

The first paying show was on 28 December in Paris at the Grand Café in the Boulevard des Capucines. They went on tour with the cinématographe in 1896 visiting both London and New York. The moving images had an immediate and significant impact: not just the fact that people fled from L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de la Ciotat (Arrival of a Train at a Station) but also with the first documentaries such as Le Déjeuner de Bébé (Baby's Lunch) and the first steps towards comedy with the slapstick of L'Arroseur Arrosé (The Sprinkler Sprinkled).

However the brothers stated that "the cinema is an invention without any future" and declined to sell their invention to a dazzled Georges Méliès and so their role in the history of film was exceedingly brief.

They turned their attentions to colour photography and in 1903 they patented a colour photography process, the "Autochrome Lumière", launched on the market in 1907.

The Lumière company was a major producer of photographic products in Europe. The brand name Lumière disappeared from the marketplace following merger with Ilford.

The Lumières also proposed the loudspeaker and Tulle-gras® (to heal burns).

Last updated: 01-28-2005 10:04:04
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01