This chapter concludes all our experiments with the pioneer cameras, proving without a doubt that most of these machines were capable of achieving everything that the pioneers claimed, and in some cases more than surviving clips would suggest. Unfortunately we were unable to work with original nitrate film stock without actually manufacturing the film ourselves. On the other hand, we were able to use modern emulsions on stock not too dissimilar to original materials, and also digital techniques to reproduce the elusive effect of projection, which the pioneers struggled to achieve.


This section includes all the film tests taken with the pioneer replica cameras, including those clips that would normally end up on the cutting room floor! We wanted to show the viewer the kind of progress and modifications that the pioneers themselves would have had to make in order for these machines to work to their best effect. 


As for images from surviving frames of original film from those early days, in our opinion it’s possible that most surviving clips comprise not the first technical tests, but secondary or later tests when the bugs had been mostly ironed out. Unfortunately for posterity, it seems likely that in many cases the earliest film tests have been lost or destroyed.


Click on a camera below to view the test films


Le Prince 16 Lens Camera 1886-1887

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Le Prince 16 Lens Camera Le Prince 16 Lens – Test No. 1 Le Prince 16 Lens – Test No. 2 Le Prince 16 Lens – Test No. 3


Le Prince Single Lens Camera 1888

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Le Prince Single Lens Camera Le Prince Single Lens – Test No. 1 Le Prince Single Lens – Test No. 2
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Le Prince Single Lens – Test No. 4  Le Prince Single Lens – Test No. 5


Friese Greene/Evans Photoramic Camera 1889

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FG/Evans Photoramic Camera FG/Evans Camera. Test No.1 FG/Evans Camera. Test No.2 FG/Evans Camera. Test No.3
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FG/Evans Camera. Test No.4  FG/Evans Camera. Test No.5


Donisthorpe/Crofts Kinesigraph Camera 1889

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Donisthorpe/Crofts Camera Donisthorpe Camera Test No.1 Donisthorpe Camera Test No.2 Donisthorpe Camera Test No.3
Donisthorpe Camera Test No.4


Friese Greene/Evans Smaller Version Camera 1890

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FG/Evans Small Camera FG/Evans Camera Test No.1 FG/Evans Camera Test No.2 FG/Evans Camera Test No.3


Edison Kinetograph Horizontal Camera 1891

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Edison Kinetograph Camera Edison Kinetograph. Test No.1  Edison Kinetograph. Test No.2 Edison Kinetograph. Test No.3


Bouly Cinematographe 1892

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Bouly Cinématographe Camera Bouly Cinématographe Test No.1 Bouly Cinématographe Test No.2 Bouly Cinématographe Test No.3
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Bouly Cinématographe Test No.4  Bouly Cinématographe Test No.5 Bouly Cinématographe Test No.6


Edison Kinetograph Camera 1892

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Edison Kinetograph Camera  Edison Kinetograph Camera Test No.1 Edison Kinetograph Camera Test No.2 Edison Kinetograph Camera Test No.3
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Edison Kinetograph Camera Test No.4  Edison Kinetograph Camera Test No.5  Edison Kinetograph Camera Test No.6


Friese Greene/Varley Stereoscopic Camera 1893

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FG/Varley Stereo Camera Friese Greene Stereo Test No.1 Friese Greene Stereo Test No.1a Friese Greene Stereo Test No.2
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Friese Greene Stereo Test No.3  Friese Green Stereo Test No.3a


Jenkins 4 Lens Camera 1893

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Jenkins 4 Lens Camera Jenkins Camera Test No.1 Jenkins Camera Test No.2


Demeny Chronophotographe Camera 1893

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Demeny Chronophotographe Camera Demeny Camera Test No.1


Skladanowsky Bioskop Camera 1894

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Skladanowsky Bioskop Camera Skladanowsky Bioskop Camera Test No.1


Acres/Paul Camera 1895

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Acres / Paul Camera Acres / Paul Camera Test No.1 Acres/Paul Camera Test No.2 Acres/Paul Camera Test No.3
Acres/Paul Camera Test No.4


Robert Dempsey Gray Camera 1895

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Robert Dempsey Gray Camera Robert Dempsey Gray Camera – Test No.1 Robert Dempsey Gray Camera – Test No.2


Lumière Cinématographe Camera 1895-1896

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Lumière Cinématographe Camera 1896 Victorian Procession