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Friday, March 12, 2010

Fred Ott's Sneeze (A.K.A.-Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze) (1894) by William K.L. Dickson (Edison Studios)

Fred Ott's Sneeze (also known as Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze) is an 1894 American, short, black-and-white, silent documentary film shot by William K.L. Dickson and starring Fred Ott. It was the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States.

In the five-second film one of Thomas Edison's assistants, Fred Ott, takes a pinch of snuff and sneezes. According to the Library of Congress, "It was filmed for publicity purposes as a series of still photographs to accompany an article in Harper's Weekly".

The film was produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company, which had begun making films in 1890 under the direction of Dickson, one of the earliest film pioneers. It was filmed within the Black Maria studio at West Orange, New Jersey, in the USA, which was America's first movie studio. It was filmed between January 2, 1894 and January 7, 1894 and was displayed, at the time, through the means of a Kinetoscope.

The earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture, the Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze is a short film made by W. K. L. Dickson in January 1894 for advertising purposes. Often referred to as "Fred Ott's Sneeze," this is is one of the world's earliest motion pictures and America's best known early film production. The star is Fred Ott, an Edison employee known to his fellow workers in the laboratory for his comic sneezing and other gags. This item was received in the Library of Congress on January 9, 1894, as a copyright deposit from Dickson.

Refrence from:

The Sneeze was submitted for copyright as 45 frames from the motion picture printed as positive prints on paper rather than as a reel of film. The prints were mounted on cardboard and submitted to the Copyright Office in this form. The video of the Sneeze on was later rephotographed and turned into a moving image from these mounted frames.

United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1894.

Copyright: W. K. L. Dickson; 9Jan1894; 2887.
Filmed ca. January 2-7, 1894, in Edison's Black Maria studio.

Dickson, W. K.-L. (William Kennedy-Laurie), 1860-1935, production.
Ott, Frederic P., performer.
Heise, William, camera.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Hendricks (Gordon) Collection (Library of Congress)
Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)

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