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1912 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

links and notes
January 1  The Post Office takes over all operations of the National Telephone Company. Thus, all UK telephone systems are nationalised except those owned by the Hull and Portsmouth local authorities. International submarine cables from the UK remain in private hands.  
February 2  Kinemacolor film of the Delhi Durbar opens at the Scala Theatre in London. > May 11
February  In Patents Company v IMP, the US court rules that the Latham loop patent does not apply to cameras. Judge Learned Hand also opines that it would not apply to projectors either as it had been anticipated in practice by others.  
April 14  Sinking of SS Titanic is followed for 72 hours continuously in Morse code radio signals. President Taft issues an executive order to close all other radio communications during the event. David Sarnoff (aged 17) is among telegraph operators following events, although apparently not in the way implied by his self-promotion.  
May 11  King George V and Queen Mary visit the Scala Theatre in London to see the Kinemacolor film of their Durbar at Delhi. [This is probably the first visit by a reigning British monarch to a cinema, although Queen Victoria had seen private film shows.]  
May 13  Institute of Radio Engineers is formed by the merger of the Wireless Institute and the Society of Wireless Telegraph Engineers.  
May 18  Release, as part of a double bill, of the first Indian feature film, Pundalik by R G Torney (1880-?) and N G Chitre, shot on a Bourne & Shepherd camera.  
•  Carl Laemmle merges his Independent Motion Pictures Company with several others, including Champion Films, to form Universal Pictures.  
June 1  Adolph Zukor incorporates Famous Players Film Company in New York. > 1916
June  Première of Oliver Twist, the first US film release to last more than one hour, produced as a five-reeler by H A Spanuth.  
July 12  Queen Elizabeth is the first foreign feature-length film released in the USA.  
July  What Happened to May?, a 12-part cinema serial of monthly episodes produced by Edison, is the first of the genre; it is also published in text form in Ladies’ World magazine.  
August 13  First experimental radio transmission licence is granted by the US Department of Commerce to St Joseph's College, Philadelphia.  
August 16  US government files a lawsuit against the Motion Picture Patent Company under the Sherman Antitrust Act. The petition charges that 'On or about April 1910, defendants set out to monopolise the business of all the rental exchanges in the United States, their purpose being to drive out of business all persons so engaged and to absorb to themselves the profits theretofore made therein'. > 1913 January
August  Motion Picture Exhibitors' League of America convention in Chicago votes in favour of legal action to prevent the MPPC from interfering with their right to show indepepdent productions and to abolish the 'extortion' of a two-dollar fee for showing licensed films.  
August  Première of Oliver Twist, first UK film to last more than one hour, made as a four-reeler by Thomas Bentley at the Hepworth Studios at Walton-on-Thames.  
August  Kinemacolor de France is established by Charles Urban.  
September 23  Keystone Comedy, the first of Mack Sennett's comedy films, featuring the Keystone Cops, is released. Keystone Comedy Studio is founded by Mack Sennett, in association with the New York Motion Picture Company.  
September  Film studio complex costing over £10,000 is built at Rushcutter’s Bay, Sydney by Australian producer Cozens Spencer.  
October 17  Palads-Bio (Palace Cinema)—also known as Palads-Theatret—opens in the former main railway station in Copenhagen, Denmark. It seats 3,000.  
October  British Board of Film Censors is set up by Kinematograph Manufacturers’ Association in response to the threat of government action. > 1913
laws link
History of British film censorship
November 15  Gaumont Chronochrome, the first practical three-colour film process, is shown to the French Photographic Society in Paris. A three-lens camera with different colour filters is used, compared with the two-colour approach of Kinemacolor.  
November  Amalgamated Picture Company, West’s Pictures and Spencer’s Pictures combine to form Australia’s largest film company, General Film Company of Australasia. See also 1913 January
December   Release of the first six-reel movie in the USA: The Beloved Vagabond, produced by Gold Rooster.  
•  Charles Pathé introduces his KOK amateur film camera and projector, using 28mm diacetate ‘safety’ film and a frame area almost as large as that on 35mm film. A library of home entertainment films is made available for purchase—an early form of the ‘video publishing’ concept.  
•  Nippon Katsudoshashin Company (Nikkatsu) is formed with the aim of dominating the Japanese film market. Members of the trust are Fukuhodo, Pathé, Yokota and Yoshizawa. Nikkatsu builds the Mukojima Studios in Tokyo to make ‘new school’ (Shinpa) films and uses the former Yokota studio in Kyoto to make ‘old school’ (Kyuhu) films.  
•  Panchromatic film emulsion, sensitive to the whole colour spectrum, is invented by Eastman Kodak for Gaumont. Orthochromatic film stock—the only kind previously available—had good reproduction at the higher frequency (blue) end of the colour spectrum, low response to yellow and green and complete insensitivity to reds.  
•  Skating rink at Alexandra Palace in north London is converted into a film studio by Pathé subsidiary Union Film Publishing Company, also known as Big Ben Productions, which had previously operated from a basement studio in Great Portland Street, Westminster. See also 1914, 1915
•  Former skating rink at St Margarets, Twickenham in west London is converted into a film studio for Dr Ralph Jupp's London Film Company, which releases its first film, The House of Temperley in 1913.  
•  Captain Kettle Company starts to make films at the Towers Hall Studio in Manchester Road, Bradford, Yorkshire. > 1914
•  Harry Warner sells his film exchanges in Baltimore and Pittsburgh to General Film Company for $100,000. The money is used by Warner and his brothers to rent a studio on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.  
•  Cinema attendances are now 5m a day in the USA.  
•  There are 1,500 cinemas in Germany, 270 in Hungary, two in Iceland.  
•  Edison Home Kinetoscope 22mm film camera is introduced for use with Eastman Safety film stock.  
•  Cinéma, a 'revue dedicated to the seventh art', is first published in France.  
•  Film awards are given in a cinema competition at the International Exhibition, Turin, Italy. Grand prix of Ffr 25,000 goes to Ambrosio Film Co for After Fifty Years, a historical drama.  
•  Fox Films founded in US by William Fox.  
•  Cinematograph Exhibitors Association (CEA) is formed in Great Britain.  
•  Carl Lindström Company becomes the leading German audio recording company before the First World War through the acquisition of Beka, Favorite and Odeon companies.  
•  Albert Einstein formulates the law of photochemical equivalence.  
•  Lee De Forest develops the Audion vacuum tube amplifier.  
•  US Radio Act requires licensing of all stations and operators.  
•  First films made are in
• Colombia: The Triumph of Faith, directed by Floro Maco.
• Egypt: a travelogue, Dans les rues d’Alexandrie, directed by M de Lagarne.
• Guatemala: Agent no 13, directed by Alberto de la Riva.
•  First Austrian feature films are Zweierlei Blut and Das Mirakel, directed by Max Reinhardt (4,200 feet, 70 minutes).  
•  Mihály Kertész directs the first feature-length Hungarian film, Ma és holnap. He later moves to America and under his anglicised name, Michael Curtiz, directs many classic Hollywood movies, winning the Oscar for best director in 1943 with Casablanca.  
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Page updated 2 November 2009
© David Fisher