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1897 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


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January 18  Biograph screenings move from Hammerstein's Opera House to the Union Square Theatre in New York. > 1905 July 15
January 24  Lumière films are shown at Teatro Tacón in Havana, Cuba by Gabriel Veyre.  
January 28  Edison films are shown at the Teatro Baralt in Maracaibo, Venezuela by Manuel Trujillo.  
January  Karl Emil Ståhlberg, a painter, takes on distribution and exhibition of Lumière films in Finland; outside Helsinki shows are run by Oskar Alonen.  
spring  Guglielmo Marconi transmits wireless signals over a distance of eight miles.  
spring  Georges Méliès’ Star Film Company opens its own film production studio at Montreuil, near Paris. > 1907 late
May 4  Fire kills 121 people, many of them haut-bourgeois women (high society), at the annual Bazar de la Charité, installed this year at 17 rue Jean-Goujon, Paris, when film equipment with a lamp powered by oxygen and ether explodes.  
May 6  Cecil Wray and clockmaker Joseph Oulton, also of Bradford, patent the Perfection Cinematograph.  
June 22  Richard J Appleton of the Bradford photographic and optical lantern firm, films Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee procession in London, in association with the Bradford Telegraph & Argus newspaper. He processes the film in a specially equipped railway van on the journey north and projects it the same evening onto a giant screen next to the newspaper offices. During the following week it is seen by an estimated 250,000 people. [0024]  
June  First Japanese commercial film show given by Katsutaro Inahata in Osaka.  
July 1  US entertainment trade publication Billboard Advertising changes its name to Billboard. It continues as a monthly.  
summer  Lumière films are shown for the first time in Sweden at the General Exhibition of Art and Industry in Stockholm by the Numa Peterson family, who hold exclusive rights to the Lumière catalogue. > October 26
August 22  Charles Urban arrives at Liverpool, England to become manager of Macguire & Baucus in London, where he starts work next day. [0072]  
autumn  Baxter and Wray Cinematograph is imported into Japan by Konishi Photographic Store.  
September  The Lumière film catalogue now contains 1,619 items.  
October 26  Lumière film shows move from the General Exhibition of Art and Industry to the new 63-seat Kinematograf Lumière in Kungsträdgårdsgatan, Stockholm. The shows run until 30 August 1898.  
October  Joseph Perry of the Australian Salvation Army’s Limelight Department begins shooting local scenes on film for use in illustrated lectures. For the next eight or nine years, the Limelight Department is Australia’s leading film producer, distributor and exhibitor.  
December 11  British Mutoscope and Biograph Company is founded. Its studio is at Adelphi Arches in the Strand, London.  
December 25  Programme of Lumière films shown at Montevideo, Uruguay.  
December  Charles Pathé of Pathé-Frères forms a joint stock company with Claude Grivolas' engineering firm Manufacture française d'appareils de précision, headed by Bunzli and Continsouza, who hold a patent for the four-leaf Maltese cross shutter for film projectors. The new company is called Compagnie Générale de Cinématographes, Phonographes et Pellicules and is capitalised at Ffr 1m, its backers including Crédit Lyonnais bank and Jean Neyret.  
•  Cecil Hepworth, aged 23, publishes Animated Photography, or The ABC of the Cinematograph, a pioneering technical work on the subject. At the time he is employed by Charles Urban at Warwick Trading Company, which holds rights to exploit both the Edison and Lumière systems in the UK.  
•  A British agency, L Gaumont et cie, is opened in London by John Le Couteur to distribute equipment and films from French film companies Gaumont and Demeny, initially assisted by Alfred (A C) Bromhead.  
•  Programme of Lumière films arranged by Albert Samama at store on rue Es-Sadika in Tunis, Tunisia.  
•  First films made in
• Argentina: La Bandera Argentina (The Argentine Flag), directed by Eugenio Py;
• Belgium: Le Marché aux Poissons de Bruxelles (The Brussels Fish Market) and other scenes filmed by M Alexandre;
• Canada: Ten Years in Manitoba, scenes of prairie life filmed by James Freer of Brandon, Manitoba;
• India: Cocoanut Fair, probably made by an English colonial ().
India: see also 1899 November
•  William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) is studying cathode rays.  
•  Dr Eugène Louis Doyen at the Sorbonne begins to use a Lumière camera, modified by Clément Maurice, to make teaching films of surgical operations. > 1905 February
•  First cathode ray tube for commercial use is produced by Ferdinand Braun in Germany.  
•  First demonstration of wireless communications in Japan is made by Matsunosuke Matsushiro, chief of the electric experimental station, at Tsukishima Beach in Tokyo Bay.  
•  Mutoscope and Biograph Company builds a film studio at the back of the Tivoli Theatre in the Strand, London. The stage has removable glass walls, it can be rocked for movement effects and rotated towards the sun.  
•  In the US, the Veriscope Company uses a 63mm wide film stock to film a boxing match between (Gentleman Jim) Corbett and Fitzsimmons.  
•  Louis Lumière experiments with 70mm wide film stock with a frame 60mm by 45mm.  
•  In France E Abbé experiments with anamorphism.  
•  Walker and Turner, British travelling showmen, rent copies of their films to others for single screenings, using the trade name Walturdaw.  
•  By now 18 French travelling fairs include booths showing films. < 1896
> 1902
•  An accusation by German Chancellor Bismarck that the French President Félix Faure did not raise his hat to the Russian flag on disembarking for an official visit to St Petersburg is refuted when the film of the event made by Tsar Nicolas II's court photographer, Boleslaw Matuszewski, is shown.  
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Page updated 25 April 2009
© David Fisher