Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1902

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
Introduction | Pre-1900s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909

The Year 1902
Year
Event and Significance
1902
One of the earliest permanent movie houses exclusively designed for showing motion pictures was Thomas Tally's Electric Theater, built in Los Angeles (on South Spring Street) in 1902 - the first for the city. It was also a precursor to the more ubiquitous nickelodeons that opened in 1905. In 1912, Tally became the first to show some kind of process color film in the theater, a first for Los Angeles. [See entry for 1896 for the first permanent movie house.]
1902
Another of the earliest surviving examples of stop-motion (or stop-action) animation was Fun in a Bakery Shop (1902), a trick (experimental) film by Edwin S. Porter, released by Thomas A. Edison's Manufacturing Company. [See also 1900 entry for the earliest "stop-motion" animation.] The 80-second film was a combination of stop-action photography and object manipulation. In the short, a baker's assistant sculpted dough thrown onto the side of a flour barrel, making various faces and comical shapes - executed with smooth edits between "freezes."
1902
Georges Méliès, a magician-turned-filmmaker, introduced innovative special effects in the first real science fiction film, Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902), aka A Trip to the Moon. This was his 400th film - a narrative fantasy of long shots strung together, punctuated with disappearances, double exposures, and other trick photography and elaborate sets.
1902
As a way to eliminate competition and to protect its inventions and profits, in 1898 the Edison Manufacturing Company brought a patent infringement claims lawsuit against its rivals - including its major competitor, The American Mutoscope & Biograph Company (founded in 1895 by one of Edison's past associates W. K.L. Dickson). In July of 1901, a U.S. Circuit Court in New York ruled that Biograph had infringed on Edison's patent claims. Biograph appealed the ruling, claiming it had a different camera design, and the decision was reversed in March 1902 by a US Court of Appeals. It ruled that Edison did not invent the motion-picture camera, but allowed that he had invented the sprocket system that moved perforated film through the camera. The new ruling essentially disallowed Edison from establishing a monopoly on motion picture apparatus - and ultimately on the making of films.
1902
French engineer Leon Gaumont demonstrated his rudimentary sound-on-disk Chronophone system (an attempt to better Edison's earlier Kinetophone invention) to the French Photographic Society using an electrical connection between the film projector and the turntable. Gaumont's device was a synchronized sound system using phonograph cylinders, to allow synchronized sound while viewing films.


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