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The Kinora.

London, [1911?]
Physical Description:
1 mutoscope : mahogany, steel, glass ; 16 cm wide x 32 cm deep x 27 cm high (unfolded) and 3 picture reels (photographic prints) : gelatin silver ; 14 cm in diameter
Rare Books and Manuscripts
TR878 .K56 1911 Flat A
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
Title and manufacturer's name from metal plate riveted to the viewer ("Bond's Ltd., 138 New Bond St. W."). Bond's Ltd. was incorporated in 1911. See Brown.
Restricted fragile material. Use requires permission of the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Rossell, D. Living pictures, p. 148-150
Brown, R. Victorian film enterprise : the history of the British Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1897-1915, p. 179-181
The Kinora viewer consists of a hand-cranked spool mechanism with viewing lens. When a reel of sequential photographic images is loaded on the spool and the crank is turned, a moving picture effect is produced. Designed for a single viewer, the resulting experience is akin to that of watching a silent movie short. The present model has a mahogany base with boxwood inlaid line decoration and turned support strut. The rectangular viewing lens is within an anodized steel hood.
The Kinora was a form of mutoscope developed in 1896 by Auguste and Louis Lumière. Several firms were responsible for its manufacture in Great Britain, including Charles Urban from about 1902 (see Rossell) and Bond's Limited. It worked very much like a flip book or a Rolodex, using images which were conventional monochrome photographic prints fixed to strong, flexible cards attached to a circular core. As it was unable to project pictures, it could only be used by one or two people at a time, so was most suitable for home use. In the years before the First World War, the Kinora was the most popular medium for viewing home movies in Great Britain. Kinora Co. supplied a range of moving picture reels produced from professional photographs, which could be bought or hired. Later, owners of a Kinora could have their own motion films produced by a professional photographer. Later still, beginning in 1908, the company supplied a special camera, accompanied by rolls of photographic paper or celluloid one inch wide, to enable people to make their own movies. These could be sent to the company for processing. By 1914, when the company's London factory burned down, public interest in the Kinora had declined, at a time when the cinema screen held greater attractions.
Accompanied by three reels, or flip books, each stamped on the metal core "Kinora Co. Ltd., London": [1] No. 205. The reel is filmed from the front of a train as it passes the platform of a small station and proceeds through a semi-rural landscape towards a small town. The train itself is not visible. Accompanied by a tan paperboard case with the blind-stamp of Kinora Ltd. -- [2] No. 239. The reel depicts a series of traps and other horse-drawn carriages drawn around the curve of a large track, with spectators along the perimeter. Some participants may be racing; others (including a carriage bearing an elegantly dressed woman) are clearly not. -- [3] No. 514. The reel depicts well-dressed men and women (some with parasols) on a large grassy lawn, likely a horse-racing grounds. Two race horses are guided past the camera. Accompanied by a blue-gray paperboard case inscribed in ink: "Driving tandem."
Subject Terms:
Cinematography -- Equipment and supplies -- Specimens.
Horse racing.
Railroad travel -- Great Britain.
Railroads -- Great Britain.
Gelatin silver prints -- England -- 20th century.
Motion pictures (visual works)
Optical instruments.
Flip books.
Kinora Co. Ltd.
Bond's Ltd. (London, England)
IIIF Manifest:

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