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Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema$
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Ian Christie

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226105628

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610115.001.0001

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Time Travel

Time Travel

Film, the Past, and Posterity

(p.83) Chapter 4 Time Travel
Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema

Ian Christie

University of Chicago Press

After reading H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine in Autumn 1895, Paul lodged a provisional patent for a theatrical entertainment that would simulate travelling through time, and the two young men met to discuss its feasibility. Although this was never developed, its conception lodged Paul in the popular history of cinema published by Terry Ramsaye in 1926; and Wells would incorporate film into several of his early scientific romances, notably The Sleeper Awakes (1899). During 1897, Paul took stock of the potential of animated photography, copywriting some of his films, and offering samples of his work to the British Museum and seeking investment in a public company, both without success. However, the year brought a major commercial success with the filming of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee procession through London, recorded by Paul and many other companies, thus providing a record of the event for distant audiences and for posterity.

Keywords:   H.G. Wells, Time Machine, Terry Ramsaye, British Museum, copyright, Diamond Jubilee

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