Birt Acres (1854-1918)

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Birt Acres (23 July 1854 – 27 December 1918) was a photographer and film pioneer.Born in Richmond, Virginia, to English parents, he invented the first British 35 mm moving picture camera, the first daylight loading home movie camera and projector, Birtac, was the first travelling newsreel reporter in international film history and the first European film maker who had his films shown in the United States in public performances. He contributed much to the introduction and development of cinematography in all its aspects, from the construction of cameras, projectors, film viewers, coating- and slitting machines and the manufacture of highly sensitized 35 mm raw film stock, to mobile newsreel reporting and the public projections of moving pictures.[citation needed]With his partner Robert W. Paul, he was the first person to build and run a working 35 mm camera in Britain. The pair fell out after Acres patented their design in his own name on 27 May 1895. He made some very early silent films during the Victorian era including in 1895: a film of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, The Arrest of a Pickpocket, The Comic Shoeblack, The Boxing Kangaroo and Performing Bears.Acres was a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. On 14 January 1896, he demonstrated his Kineopticon system to members and wives of the Society, at the Queen's Hall in London. This was the first public film show to an audience in the United Kingdom. Robert Paul's first solo theatrical programme was at the Alhambra Theatre on 25 March 1896.

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