Assignment #1 by Michael Nicolois

After patenting the first efficient motion picture viewer- the kinetoscope- in 1893, famed American inventor Thomas Edison didn’t have many plans for it. In fact, Edison was hardly responsible for the invention. William Dickson, Edison’s young assistant, was the mind behind the Kinetoscope- which soon became widely popular in carnivals, parlors, amusement arcades, and sideshows. Dickson would later leave Edison to form his own film company, the American Mutoscope Company, which would later become competition for Edison’s own aptly-named, Edison Company.

The Edison Company began producing films in 1891. Companies like the American Mutoscope Company and the American Vitagraph Company would form in 1895 and 1896 respectively. The American Mutoscope Company, founded by the aforementioned Dickson, would soon become the most popular film company in America. As a result of this, Edison filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against the American Mutoscope Company. This become a common practice for Edison- sue-ing, harassing, and buying patents from any and all rival companies.

Edison was interested, as any business man would be, in capitalizing on the budding film industry at the time. In that interest, Edison was taking advantage of his fame and being the original patent holder. Edison did not envision the film industry becoming anything near what it is today- nor did Dickson, or the Lumierie brothers, or any film pioneers for that matter.