Auguste and Louis Lumiere

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The Lumiere Brothers

Louis (1864-1948) and Auguste (1862-1954)

The creators of cinematographe/projector.

They were both born in Besancon, France but brought up in Lyons. Their father ran a photographic firm and both brothers worked for him, Louis was a physicist and Auguste a manager. Louis had made some improvements to the still photograph process but it was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers set to work to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes - most notably the creation of sprocket holes in the film strip as a means of getting the film through the camera and projector.

They produced a single device that acted as both camera and projector, the cinematographe. The first paying show with this device was on the 28th December 1895 in Paris at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines. They went on tour with the cinematographe in 1896 visting both London and New York.

The moving images had an immediate and significant impact and not just that people fled from L'Arrivee d'un Train but also with the first documentaries such as Le Dejeuner de Bebe and the first steps towards comedy with the (sigh) slapstick of L'Arroseur Arrose.

However the brothers stated that "the cinema is an invention without any future" and declined to sell their invention to a dazzled Georges Melies and so their role in the history of film was exceedingly brief.