Part of original 35mm print (7 feet) positive film, "Sea Waves at Dover", made by Birt Acres in 1895. also known as 'Rough Sea at Dover'.
One of the oldest surviving British films, Rough Sea at Dover was shot in 1895 and intended for exhibition in peephole kinetoscopes. Birt Acres, a professional photographer, shot the film with a camera designed and built by R.W.Paul, based on Thomas Edison's invention (Paul took advantage of Edison's failure to copyright his kinetoscope in Britain).
The film received its premiere (or, to be strictly accurate, its projected premiere in front of an audience) on 14 January 1896 at the Royal Photographic Society in Hanover Street, London - the first public film screening in Britain, a month after the Lumière Brothers showed their films in Paris. It seems to have been a success, as projected screenings were subsequently a regular feature of RPS meetings.
Rough Sea at Dover subsequently crossed the Atlantic, being included in a programme shown on April 23 at Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York, alongside films made by Edison's company. The projectionist was Edwin S Porter, who would go on to make the pioneering American films The Life of an American Fireman (1901) and The Great Train Robbery (1903).
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- The National Media Museum, Bradford
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