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Early Cinema Collection (1855-1930)

Cinema emerged in the late-nineteenth century through a combination of new advancements in technology with old traditions of screen presentation. Although some historians date the emergence of cinema back to 1880 or earlier, our Early Cinema Collection begins in 1904 with The Optical Lantern and Cinematograph Journal, a publication that attests to the continued use of magic lantern presentational techniques into the early-20th century.

The highlight of our Early Cinema collection is the 1907 to 1927 run of the Moving Picture World, one of the earliest trade papers of the motion picture industry. The heyday of the Moving Picture World was during the 1910s and the period that film historians have called cinema’s “transitional era” (lasting roughly from 1908 to 1917). As a series of dramatic changes swept the industry, including the rise of the star system, the transition from short films to features, the decline of the Motion Picture Patents Company (generally associated with its largest stakeholder, Thomas Edison), and the rise of “Independent” companies that became the Hollywood studios. Showmen read Moving Picture World to stay abreast of the rapidly changing marketplace and the latest batch of pictures. Even reading now, one hundred years later, you can feel the dizzying energy of change.

Now complete: Moving Picture World, 1907-1927: The Media History Digital Library presents a complete digital edition of the entire 21 year run of Moving Picture World, the key motion picture trade publication that covered the film business during the transformation of the viewing experience from the nickelodeon to the movie palace. Thanks to Domitor for supporting digitization of the early years and Marc Wanamaker, Eileen Bowser and the Museum of Modern Art for making rare copies available for scanning.

Extensive Runs

Billboard (1894-1921)

Exhibitors Herald (1917-1924)

Motion Picture News (1913-1930)

Motography (1911-1918)

Moving Picture World (1907-1927)

New York Clipper (1855-1923)

Picture-Play Magazine (1915-1938)

Variety (1905-1949)

Select Holdings

The Biograph (Biograph Studios, 1915)

Cinema News (1917)

Close-Up (Los Angeles, 1920-23)

Der Kinematograph (1907-1908)

The Exhibitor (1920)

Exhibitors’ Times (1913)

Exhibitors Trade Review (1921-1926)

Film Fun (1916-1926)

The Film Index (1909-1911)

The Great Selection: First National First Season (1922-1923)

The Implet (1912)

It (1920)

Lubin Bulletin (1914-15)

Mack Sennett Weekly (1919-1920)

The Majestic Monthly (1916)

Motion Picture Mail (1916)

Motion Picture Story Magazine (1913)

Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual (1916-1918)

Motion Picture Supplement (1915)

Moving Picture News (1911-1913)

Moving Picture Weekly (1915-1922)

National Board of Review Magazine (1926-1928)

National Vaudeville Artists Annual Benefit Programs (1923-1929)

The Nickelodeon (1909-1911)

The Photoplay Author (1914-1915)

The Photo-Play Journal (1916-1921)

Photo-Play World (1918-1919)

The Photo Playwright (1912)

Pictures Press (1920)

Picture Show (1920-1921)

Reel and Slide (1918-1919)

Reel Life (Mutual Film Corporation) (1913-1915)

San Francisco Dramatic Review (1899-1901; 1908-1914)

The Screamer (later Motion Picture Times) (1916-1917)

Select Pictures Magazine (Select Pictures, 1918-1919)

Studio Skeleton (Goldwyn Studios, 1919-1920)

U.S. vs. Motion Picture Patents Company (1912-1913)


      These seven volumes contain the testimonies and supporting documents from the U.S. District Court’s antitrust lawsuit against the Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC). Formed in 1908, the MPPC (sometimes referred to as “the Edison Trust” or just “the Trust”) sought to control the American film industry through pooling patents and demanding that producers and exhibitors acquire licenses to those patents. Independent producers and exhibitors, who refused to license the patents, argued that the MPPC was an unlawful monopoly. In 1912 and 1913, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania heard testimonies from both MPPC members, such as Siegmund Lubin, and “Independents” who later became Hollywood moguls, such as William Fox. Ultimately, in 1915, the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which found the MPPC in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and spelled the end for the already weakening MPPC.

      The full title of the published testimonies is “In the District Court of the United States, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the United States of America, petitioner, vs. Motion Picture Patents Company, et al., defendants”. Scanned from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Funded by Domitor, the international society for the study of early cinema.

    Vol. 1: Testimony of Witnesses for the Petitioner | Read | Download | IA Page

      Testimony of Witnesses for the Petitioner

      Marvin, Harry N.

      Pelzer, William

      Rosenbluh, Louis

      Swanson, William H.

      Petitioner’s Exhibits

      Defendants’ Exhibits

    Vol. 2: Testimony of Witnesses for the Petitioner | Read | Download | IA Page

      Testimony of Witnesses for the Petitioner

      Adams, Peter

      Anderson, William J.

      Balsley, Charles H.

      Bates, Thomas H.

      Bennethum, George W.

      Boone, Acton R.

      Boyer, Charles W.

      Carlton, James L.

      Clapham, A. J.

      Devery, William

      Ensor, J. M.

      Fox, William

      Graham, J. C.

      Henry, J. Henkel

      Hopp, Joseph

      Karson, Louis

      Lessy, Michael

      Lodge, James J.

      Mandelbaum, Emanuel

      Michael, Julius H.

      Miles, Herbert

      Pelzer, William

      Rosenbluh, Louis

      Sawyer, A. H.

      Solz, Reuben

      Streyckmans, Hector J.

      Swaab, Lewis M.

      Swanson, William H.

      Thorp, Edgar A.

      Ruling of Judge Ray on Question Asked L. M. Swaabe by Counsel for Defendants

      Petitioner’s Exhibits

      Defendants’ Witness

      Braden, John

      Defendants’ Exhibits

    Vol. 3: Testimony of Witnesses for the Defendants | Read | Download | IA Page

      Testimony of Witnesses for the Defendants

      Berst, J.A.

      Dyer, Frank L.

      Fobster, Joseph

      Hardin, John

      Howard, Frank J.

      Jefferys, Fred.

      Koerpel, Jonas A.

      Machat, Nathan

      Marvin, H.N.

      Smith, Albert E.

      Petitioner’s Exhibits

      Defendants’ Exhibits

    Vol. 4: Testimony of Witnesses for the Defendants | Read | Download | IA Page

      Testimony of Witnesses for the Defendants

      Aiken, Fred C.

      Anthony, Frederick A.

      Armat, Thomas

      Atwater, L. W.

      Auger, Edward

      Bauerfreund, Adolph

      Berst, J. A.

      Blackton, James Stuart

      Brandon, William C.

      Brandt, William

      Cohen, George

      Edwards, Calvin S.

      Etris, Robert

      Gilligham, Albert J.

      Goff, Albert W.

      Greenburg, Abraham

      Hansen, Matthew

      Haring, Charles F.

      Hatch, Stanley W.

      Herbst, William P.

      Keirtscher, William F.

      Kinson, Walter F.

      Landau, William A.

      LeBeau, Ralph

      Long, Samuel

      Marsey, Harry

      Morgan, Joseph P.

      Nichols, Harry E.

      Pearson, Elmer R.

      Preller, William C.

      Sawin, Chester W.

      Scheck, Philip J.

      Schuchert, J. A.

      Schwalbe, Harry

      Shirley, Samuel H.

      Stephens, Thomas W.

      Super, Edward M.

      Tredick, Alton

      Van Ronkel. Ike

      Wates, Herbert C.

      Petitioner’s Exhibits

      Defendants’ Exhibits

    Vol. 5: Testimony of Witnesses for the Defendants | Read | Download | IA Page

      Testimony of Witnesses for the Defendants

      Aiken, Fred C.

      Baumann, Charles O.

      Boehringer, E.

      Braley, Ora L.

      Brandon, William C.

      Brown, Floyd

      Brown, Thomas A.

      Choynski, Morris A.

      Clark, James B.

      Collier, John

      Cook, Frank

      Cross, Glenn A.

      Cummings, Joseph M.

      Denniston, Joseph R.

      Evans, John G.

      Feinler, Charles A.

      Gibbons, N. H.

      Graham, Howell

      Greene, Walter W. R.

      Haas, Otto

      Hall, Otto P.

      Hennegan, John, F.

      Hunter, James W.

      Jones, C. R.

      Katz, Samuel

      Kenney, Frank M.

      Kenney, W. Allen

      Kent, Leland B.

      Kessler, John Daniel

      Lubin, Siegmund

      Matthews, Anna S.

      Milder, Max

      Mogler, Joseph

      Morgan, Houston, N.

      Morris, Samuel E.

      Murray, William T.

      Newsome, H. M.

      Palmer, Warren R.

      Peltier, Robert G.

      Penman, John, Jr.

      Powell, Adolph

      Rosenquest, J. Wesley

      Ruben, Isaac H.

      Scherer, Harry W.

      Simons, Edwin M.

      Slocum, Henry R.

      Smith, Edward M.

      Spoor, George K.

      Stiebel, Joseph L.

      Struble, Cornelius D.

      Thomas, Horace M.

      Warner, Jacob

      Waters,, Percival L.

      Williams, Theodore W.

      Worthington, Charles L.

      Petitioner’s Exhibits

      Defendants’ Exhibits

    Vol. 6: Testimony of Witnesses for the Defendants | Read | Download | IA Page

      Testimony of Witnesses for the Defendants

      Brylawski, Aaron

      Kennedy, Jeremiah J.

      Lubin, Siegmund

      Marvin, Harry N.

      Matthews, Anna S.

      Spoor, George K.

      Talmadge, Arthur E.

      Waters, Pebcival L.

      Beach, Frederick C.

      Brick, Alfred D.

      Brulatour, Jules E.

      Streyckmans, Hector J. (recalled)

      Swaar, Lewis M. (recalled)

      Weiss, Alfred

      Henry, Thomas Yarrow

      Wright, William

      Defendants’ Evidence in Surrebuttal

      Petitioner’s Evidence in Rebuttal


      Petitioner’s Exhibits

      Defendants’ Exhibits

    Vol. 7: Agreement by Parties | Read | Download | IA Page

      Table of Contents

      (1) Alphabetical Index to Agreements by Parties. pages III-X

      (2) Agreements in Chronological Order. pages 3-664

      (3) Appendix. pages 655-664

      (4) Chronological Index of Agreements. pages 665-720

      (5) General Subject Matter Index of Agreements. pages 721-723

    Memorandum for the the Motion Picture Patents Company and the General Film Company concerning the investigation of their business by the Department of Justice, submitted by M.B. Philip and Francis T. Homer. 1913 | Read | Download | IA Page
The Writer’s Monthly (1916)

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