Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)

Roundhay Garden Scene is an 1888 short film directed by inventor Louis Le Prince, considered to be the world's first film ever made using a motion picture camera. According to Le Prince's son, Adolphe, it was filmed at Oakwood Grange, the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley, in Roundhay, Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom on October 14, 1888. It features Adolphe Le Prince, Sarah Whitley, Joseph Whitley and Harriet Hartley in the garden, walking around and laughing. It was recorded at 12 frames per second and runs for only 2.11 seconds. Le Prince later used his camera to shoot trams and the horse-drawn and pedestrian traffic on Leeds Bridge. These pictures were soon projected on a screen in Leeds, making it the first motion picture exhibition. After returning to France, in September 1890, Le Prince was preparing to go back to the UK to patent his new camera, followed by a trip to the US to promote it. Before his journey, he decided to return home and visit friends and family. Having done so, he left Bourges on 13 September to visit his brother in Dijon. He would then take the 16 September train to Paris, but when the train arrived, his friends discovered that Le Prince was not on board. He was never seen again by his family or friends. No luggage nor corpse was found in the Dijon-Paris express nor along the railway. No one saw Le Prince at the Dijon station, except his brother. No one saw Le Prince in the Dijon–Paris express after he was seen boarding it. No one noticed strange behaviour or aggression in the Dijon-Paris express. The French police, Scotland Yard and the family undertook exhaustive searches but never found his body or luggage. This mysterious disappearance case was never solved. (Wikipedia)

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1930 copy of the Roundhay Garden Scene original 1888 frames by the National Science Museum, London. Courtesy of NMPFT (Bradford).

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