The Lumière family – amazing inventors!

The other day I visited The Lumière museum. It’s situated in their old house in Lyon, France. I must say I’m really impressed by this family!

The father Antoine Lumiére ran a photographic firm in Lyon from 1870. He had 2 sons, Louis and Auguste who worked for him and later took over and developed the business. The family business gave them a natural interest in photography and they made important contributions to both still photography and motion pictures, as well as other scientific endeavors.

They are most known for the cinématographe — a three-in-one device that could record, develop, and project motion pictures — was further developed by the Lumières.  They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera, most notably they invented the film perforations (helps advancing the film through the camera and projector).

Some of the Lumière-cameras

Some of the Lumière-cameras

They also invented and patented the coloured photographs in 1903! It’s really weird to see colored still photographs from 1903, that’s over 100 years old.
And even more weird – in 3D! I thought that was quite new, but no, there were many 3D colored photographed at the museum where you had to wear the blue and red-eyeglasses to see it in 3D. They even made a 3D-film of a train leaving the station in 1895!
And of course –  they invented the a panorama/photorama camera in the 1900´s who could photograph 360 degrees! As if that was something new too. Nope.

Also, they were not only inventors within photography and film, apparently they also developed other products such as the loudspeaker and medical tools, like mechanical hands for the ones who had lost their limbs in the first world war.

Other inventions from the Lumiere, like coloured photography, mechanical hands and audiospeaker

Other inventions from the Lumieres, like colored photography, mechanical hands and the audio speaker.

early photorama/panorama camera

Early photorama/panorama camera. On the upper left is the camera, on the upper right is how it’s looking on the inside – a complicated work with many camera angles! And below, a part of the photorama taken 29th of December 1900.

early in developing 3D in the beginning of the 1900

Early in developing 3D in the beginning of the 1900’s

The cinématographe itself was patented in the beginning of 1895, and the first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on March 19, 1895. This is the first Cinématographe film; the first time that men filmed themselves. It shows workers leaving the Lumière factory.

A funny thing is, that when you see the old posters about the screening of this and other films, it’s never mentioned the name of the film, but only ”Cinématogrape Lumière”, because what was shown wasn’t as important as the experience of watching a film itself.

Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon
(Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory).

The world’s first film poster, 1895.

If you visit Lyon, even if you aren’t as me a fantast of film cameras, I believe this museum will interest you. Have in mind though, that most of the info is in french. They have an audio guided tour in English, but it’s not even half of all the other information there is.


1 tanke på “The Lumière family – amazing inventors!

  1. Så mycket du minns och intressant. Antagligen finns det annat som uppfunnits för länge sen, men som vi tror är en nyhet.


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