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1891 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


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January  The Phonogram, monthly ‘official organ of the phonograph companies of the United States’, edited by V H McRae, is first published in New York. Effectively Edison’s house journal, it argues in favour of business use as a dictation machine and against ‘coin-in-the-slot’ music applications.  
March 14  Completion of laying the first submarine telephone cable across the English Channel.  
March 18  Edison company buys its first 50ft lengths of celluloid-based film from Merwin Hulbert. At first it is used without perforations and advances horizontally.  
May 22  Edison stages the first public demonstration of peep-show moving pictures at his West Orange laboratories in New Jersey to members of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs. The film is 18mm wide.  
May 26  Wordsworth Donisthorpe (barrister of 32 Pembridge Villas, Bayswater, London W) and William Carr Crofts (gentleman of Westminster Chambers, 7 Victoria Street, London) are granted a US patent (no 452,966) for a camera capable of 'producing instantaneous photographs'.  
August 24  Kinetoscope is patented by Edison and W K Laurie Dickson.  
November  When problems arise with the quality of Eastman film stock, W K Laurie Dickson buys from Blair Film Company, which becomes the regular supplier to the Edison Company until 1896.  
  William Gray of Hartford, Connecticut founds the Gray Telephone Pay Station Company to exploit his patent for coin-operated telephone boxes by selling units to American stores.  
  North American Phonograph Company, now under Edison's control, abandons the equipment leasing policy in favour of outright sales. Machines cost $150 each.  
  Despite the Edison company's negative attitude to the use of phonographs for entertainment, a drugstore  in New Orleans is reported to be averaging takings of $500 a month from one coin-in-the-slot phonograph.  
  Gerald Philips founds a company, Philips Gloeilampenfabrik, based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, to manufacture light bulbs and other electrical equipment.  
  Ducos du Hauron Anaglyphic projectionArthur-Louis Ducos Du Hauron patents a technique for anaglyph stereoscopic photography, using red and green filtration. He gives lantern shows with the technique.  
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Page updated 30 November 2008
David Fisher