Source & Evolution

Three historically significant apparatus in a single themed display marking the innovations and progression that led to the origination of the cinema camera. 


1896 60mm DEMENY CHRONOPHOTograph No. 48 

Inspired by the photographic studies of animal and human locomotion by pioneer photographer Eadweard Muybridge, French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey and his assistant Georges Demeny created photographic devices in the mid 1880's that furthered the study of movement. 

Demeny developed patents for the phonoscope and biograph, and eventually parted with Marey, continuing to improve upon his designs for projecting movement. In 1895, he enlisted Léon Gaumont's company to produce the 60mm Chronophotographe for sale.

No 48 is believed to be one of a handful of 60mm Demeny Chronophotographs remaining in the world.


1897 Lumiére Cinématograph No. 419 

This combination camera, printer and projector designed by brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiére, is considered by most to be the first true cinema camera. No 419 was acquired by Don Malkames directly from Francis Doublier, Lumiére's pioneer camera operator. 

In 1972, No 419 was utilized in printer mode by Don to reproduce a collection of Lumiére films that had been discovered in a basement storage area of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. 


1910 35MM Pathé No. 882 

In 1907, the Pathé Frères film company bought a license for the Lumière patent at the cost of 5,000 francs, in order to use the Cinématographe's movement in the construction of the Pathé professional camera.

From form through function, the Pathé professional is considered a direct descendent of the Cinématographe, and for the next 20 years, it's the most widely used cinema camera throughout the world. 

No 882 was American pioneer cinematographer Billy Bitzer’s personal camera, and was used on Birth of a Nation, Intolerance and other classic collaborations with Director DW Griffith. 

Bitzer personally gifted this camera to Don Malkames.