Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ian Christie

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226105628

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610115.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022



An Engineer’s Education

(p.35) Chapter 2 Flashback
Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema

Ian Christie

University of Chicago Press

Robert Paul was the oldest of five children, born to a London shipping agent and a clergyman’s daughter in Islington in 1869. The family moved around London, while Robert seems to have been the only one to benefit from a public school education at the City of London, which was also among the first in Britain to offer science. He progressed to a new college, the Finsbury Technical, bringing him into contact with electrical pioneers such as Silvanus Thompson and William Ayrton, who would help him start in business on his own account in 1891, repairing and soon inventing instruments for the emerging electricity industry. By the end of 1895, both Paul and his former associate Acres were at work developing projectors that functioned like magic lanterns, throwing moving pictures on a screen. Paul premiered his Theatrograph in February 1896 on the same day as the first Lumière Cinématographe demonstration in London. Another of his shows led to Paul being hired to screen a programme at Olympia, soon followed by his projector appearing at the Egyptian Hall on Piccadilly, and then at the Alhambra music hall, next door to the Cinématographe at the Empire, both in Leicester Square.

Keywords:   City of London School, Silvanus Thompson, William Ayrton, Theatrograph, Olympia, Egyptian Hall, Alhambra, cinematographe

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.