Friese-Greene, William


Friese-Greene, William

▪ British motion-picture pioneer
born September 7, 1855, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
died May 5, 1921, London
 British photographer and inventor, sometimes credited with the invention of cinematography.

      Friese-Greene constructed a camera for taking a series of photographs on a roll of perforated film moving intermittently behind a shutter, the basic principle of a motion-picture camera. It would appear, however, that the camera was incapable of taking pictures at a sufficient rate for animation, for no successful presentation of moving pictures was given by him, and the credit for a successful cinematographic device must go to Thomas Edison.

      Friese-Greene later pioneered stereoscopic and colour cinematography but lacked the technical knowledge necessary to bring his ideas to fruition.

Additional Reading
A biography by Ray Allister (pseud. for Muriel Forth), Friese-Greene: Close-up of an Inventor (1948, reprinted 1972), includes photographs from the 1951 film The Magic Box, based on this book.

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Universalium. 2010.