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An introduction to the development of the camera, to moving pictures and cinemas. Presenter Adam Hart-Davis shares an example of some silver nitrate paper being used to take a 'photo' of a leaf. Queen Victoria was the first British monarch to have a photograph taken. The Victorians enjoyed taking photographs of many things, especially people, but with the invention of celluloid and the mutoscope, they were able to make 'moving pictures'. In 1895, the Luminaire Brothers invented the cinematograph to project films to large audiences.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
24 November 2007

Classroom Ideas

After viewing the clip, pupils could collect examples of Victorian photographs from a variety of sources, such as books and webpages. Ask: "How do these photographs help us to understand life in Victorian times?" Pupils might note clues about clothes, transport, occupations and pastimes from the images, for example. Ask: "How do you think photographs and movie cameras changed life for the Victorians?" Collect pupils' responses. The class could recreate the experience of sitting still for a minute or so while a class photograph is taken, Victorian-style. Ask: “How have cameras changed since Victorian times?” (Film exposure time is much quicker, developing photos is no longer a time-consuming process, camera focus is clearer and simpler and we now have colour film.)

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