If you want to be a photographer or filmmaker you need to know your art form's history, and how it came about. You need to know what has been done in the past that gives you the opportunity to hold these devices our hands today. What makes it so incredibly special is that within just over a hundred years we have seen the invention of the first motion picture camera and the progression in technology to what we have today. This video is a quick summary of how the technology came about. Edison and his assistant W.K.L. Dickson developed the way to display still images consecutively, creating the illusion of motion, a technology still used today.
The first investment made to buy a shed and make it into a studio was $600. Here performers were filmed against a large black background with no real props or story. Performers, dancers, body builders, and magicians like Harry Houdini would all have their sixteen seconds of unedited fame. These movies weren't projected like we know the cinema today. It was displayed in small peep-hole like boxes that gave one viewer at a time the chance to see it.
If you try compare it to what we have today, it's miraculous to even think what a great time it is to be in the photography and film-making industries.