L Gaumont & Cie 1899

Paris, Ville de Paris, Île-de-France, France

Léon Gaumont became director of the Comptoir Général de la Photographie, a maker of optical and photographic equipment. Due to a dispute, Gaumont was able to buy the company in 1895, renaming it Léon Gaumont et Cie. At first producing equipment for still photography, Gaumont was quick to recognize the potential of the Cinématographe, producing his own motion picture camera, the Chrono, 1896. To sell the camera, Gaumont needed a means to demonstrate its usefulness. Film production was therefore added to the Gaumont enterprise and would establish the company worldwide as a leading manufacturer and production house. The company soon opened its first studio, the Théâtre Cinématographique in Buttes-Chaumont, in 1905. In need of additional finance Gaumont reorganized the company in 1906, renaming it as Société des Etablissements Gaumont.