March 22, 2012 - Anniversary of the First Screening of a Motion Picture

Flickering, slightly jerky movement.
Black and white images.
Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory.
Just 46 seconds of watching...workers leaving the Lumiere factory!

Doesn't sound like a blockbuster motion picture, does it? But this little movie was the talk of the town (to be precise, Paris) when more than 200 invited guests were shown the world's first “moving pictures.”

Brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiere ran a photography business. They thought the big news of the meeting held on this date in 1895 would be the color photography (stills) – but people were even more amazed by the moving pictures. The illusion of movement is created, of course, by the rapid succession of still images – our brains blends all the stills into a seemingly seamless moving picture.

Soon after this private screening, the Lumiere brothers began making short films that the public could pay to see—and the rest is history!

(Here is a more detailed explanation.)

Play with the illusion of motion by making a flip book. Here's how.  
  • You can deal with the science of animation with a science fair project, too. 
  • Or have fun with a computer program that makes animation easier than ever before, such as ABC Ya's animation program, or Flux Time

Also on this date:

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