On this Day in Movie History, May 2, 1887: Hannibal Williston Goodwin Applied for a Patent

Hannibal_Goodwin

It was on this day, May 2, 1887, Hannibal Williston Goodwin of Newark, NJ applied for a patent for celluloid photographic film — the stuff from which movies are shown.

An Episcopal priest at the House of Prayer Episcopal Church and Rectory 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.

Goodwin’s patent was sold to Ansco, the brand name of a photographic company based in Binghamton, New York, which produced photographic films, papers and cameras from the mid-1800s until the 1980s. Ansco successfully sued Eastman Kodak for infringement of the patent and was awarded $5,000,000 in 1914

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