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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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Paul and Early Film History

Paul and Early Film History

(p.217) Chapter 11 Paul and Early Film History
Robert Paul and the Origins of British Cinema

Ian Christie

University of Chicago Press

Paul was an active member of many organisations dedicated to promoting interest in science generally and especially electrical engineering, His major contribution to the 1931 Faraday Centenary exhibition, although largely anonymous, offered a hands-on survey of the history of electrical instrumentation. During the 1930s, he was drawn into recording his role in early film, giving a 1936 speech which appeared in print in Britain and America. However, when the history of British cinema began to be written in the late 1940s, his achievements started to be questioned, except by the French historian Georges Sadoul. Later British historians have challenged Paul’s account of his collaboration with Acres, and in the absence of any records, have attributed much of his more ambitious production to the work of employees.

Keywords:   Royal Institution, Michael Faraday, film history, Georges Sadoul, Rachael Low, Brighton conference, John Barnes

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