Léon-Guillaume Bouly

boulyFrench inventor

We know little about this early experimenter in chronophotography. On 12 February 1892, he deposited a patent for a sequence camera called a Cinématographe (the term the Lumières took up without fear of a lawsuit, as Bouly had not paid the annuities on his patent), and intended ‘to obtain automatically and without interruption a series of analytical negatives of movement’.

In the Bouly Cinématographe, the film is driven by a segmental roller, and stopped intermittently by a pressure pad. Bouly deposited a second patent, 27 December 1893, for a machine said to be capable of both filming and projecting. The Bouly bands were not perforated, and would not have given a steady projection. Two Bouly Cinématographes are conserved at the Conservatoire Nationale des Arts et Métiers, Paris.

Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema