On this Day in Movie History, September 13, 1898 : Reverend Hannibal Williston Goodwin Patented Celluloid Photographic Film

It was on this day, September 13, 1898, Reverend Hannibal Williston Goodwin of Newark, New Jersey patented celluloid photographic film. It’s the stuff on which movies are made.

An Episcopal priest at the House of Prayer in Newark, New Jersey, Goodwin patented a method for making transparent, flexible roll film out of nitrocellulose film base, which was used in Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope, an early machine for viewing animation.

He was motivated to search for a non-breakable, and clear substance on which he could place the images he utilized in his Biblical teachings.

On May 2, 1887, the year Reverend Goodwin retired from the church he had served for twenty years, he filed a patent for “a photographic pellicle and process of producing same … especially in connection with roller cameras”, but the patent was not granted until 13 September 1898. In the meantime, George Eastman had already started production of roll-film using his own process.

In 1900, Goodwin set up the Goodwin Film and Camera Company, but before film production had started he was involved in a street accident near a construction site and died from his injuries.

His patent was sold to Ansco who successfully sued Eastman Kodak for infringement of the patent and was awarded $5,000,000 in 1914.

1924 – Scott Brady (Gerard Tierney) (actor: Johnny Guitar, The China Syndrome, Arizona Bushwackers; died Apr 16, 1985)

1939 – Richard Kiel (actor: The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, Silver Streak, Happy Gilmore, Pale Rider, Force 10 from Navarone, The Longest Yard, The Phantom Planet, Van Dyke and Company, The Barbary Coast)

1944 – Jacqueline Bisset (actress: Rich and Famous, The Deep, Airport, Bullitt, Wild Orchid, Murder on the Orient Express, Choices)

1959 – Jean Smart (actress: Designing Women, Project X, The Brady Bunch Movie, The Odd Couple II, Piaf)

Only 15 days until the first Jaxon Film Fest.


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