Movie Poster Showing Two Boxers, circa 1905

Summary

This early movie poster was probably used by traveling exhibitors or at amusement parks to advertise short motion pictures viewed on the Edison Projecting Kinetoscope in small movie houses throughout the United States. This generic poster, by not specifying the boxers, might have advertised the variety of fight films that enjoyed a resurgence in 1905-1906.

This early movie poster was probably used by traveling exhibitors or at amusement parks to advertise short motion pictures viewed on the Edison Projecting Kinetoscope in small movie houses throughout the United States. This generic poster, by not specifying the boxers, might have advertised the variety of fight films that enjoyed a resurgence in 1905-1906.

"I am experimenting upon an instrument which does for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear." -- Thomas Edison, caveat #110, filed with U.S. Patent Office, October 17, 1888

Over one hundred years ago, Thomas A. Edison conceived of moving pictures as home entertainment. Experiments on the Kinetograph (camera to take moving pictures) and the Kinetoscope (machine to view moving pictures) began in 1888, when Edison directed his team of experimenters to make his idea a reality.

The first commercially successful Kinetoscope in 1894 was a peepshow where one person at a time could look at the motion pictures for about 15 seconds. Each machine cost several hundred dollars and like Edison's first Phonograph, was used at coin-operated arcades in cities and amusement parks. Edison thought that once people saw this marvel they would want to look at moving pictures in their home parlors, just like people had bought Phonographs for home use. For a nickel per view, people could see short action skits of dancers, boxers, circus performers, comedians, and other novelty acts.

Starting in 1897, the Projecting Kinetoscope was used in small movie houses throughout the United States where groups of about 100 people could see the movies usually lasting 16 minutes. The fire-proof Kinetoscope, with take up reels in metal boxes, became available in 1904-1905. Traveling exhibitors probably used this early movie poster to advertise a showing of these short motion pictures.

Detailed Description
Artifact

Poster

Date Made

1904-1906

Subject Date

1904-1906

Creators

Hennegan Company 

Place of Creation

United States, Ohio, Cincinnati 

Creator Notes

Printed by Hennegan & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Collection Title

Poster Collection 

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

00.4.737.5

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Paper (Fiber product)

Technique

Lithography

Color

Multicolored

Dimensions

Height : 28.25 in

Width: 21.25 in

Inscriptions

Logo on lower right side reads: HENNIGAN & CO. / SHOWPRINT / CINCINNATI, O.

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