The Biograph Story - Pioneers & Patents

This exhibit features extremely rare artifacts to tell the story of the Biograph Company, which was founded in 1895 by Edison employee William Kennedy Dickson, along with inventors Henry Marvin and Herman Casler. 

1899 35mm Mutograph camera

Manufactured by the Biograph Company - this unique camera used non-perforated film and perforated it in the camera to get around the Edison patent of the time. The Mutograph utilized a "beater" movement that facilitated random spaces between each frame.


1899 Biograph printer

This turn-of-the-century printer used a very complex mechanism where the pull down pins sought out the randomly spaced two-perf-per-frame Biograph negative perfs and mated them with standard perf 35 to produce a standard contact print.

This is the actual printer that Karl Malkames restored in order to print from negatives originated from the Mutograph camera. To our knowledge, the camera and printer are among the only surviving pieces in existence.



Completing the Biograph story are three pre-1900 Biograph and American Biograph Posters. This collection is comprised of these rare pieces:

- Strange & Interesting Scenes Around The World - 28" W x 34" H 

- Pope Leo XIII - framed 24" W X 32" H     

- Empire State Express - framed 14" W X 41" H