Click here to read about the inventor

In 1890, Frederick Varley patented a sequence camera for stereoscopic images. Friese-Greene demonstrated this camera and in 1893 patented his own version, which was almost identical. A replica of this camera is featured in several scenes and publicity shots for the feature film biography The Magic Box (1951), in which actor Robert Donat played Willie Friese-Greene, establishing it as one of the icons of early cinema. An initial test of the replica indicates that it works well, albeit at a low frame rate (as expected), and the resulting images can be viewed stereoscopically to good effect. Despite the famous scene in The Magic Box which has Friese-Greene using the mechanism as a projector to the amazement of a watching policeman (Laurence Olivier), there is no workable provision for successful motion picture projection. The frame rate is too low, unperforated film would not have registered sufficiently well, and the flicker would have made the result completely unwatchable. But we shall, nevertheless, make an attempt to project with the camera, just to confirm our conclusions.


 stereo test thumb  stereo anag test thumb  varley-stereo-vid  fgs3_thumb fgs3ana_thumb
 Replica Camera Test No.1  Replica Camera Test No.1(anaglyph version)  Replica Camera Test No.2  Replica Camera Test No.3 Replica Camera Test No.3(anaglyph version) 
 fgsv_stereo_thumb  fgburder_thumb
 Replica Camera mechanism Rebuilt original Friese Greene anaglyph