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The Louis Le Prince Restoration and Appreciation Society

 

Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince was born in France on the 28th of August 1842 and is rightfully considered by many historians of media to be one of the most important, if not the most important early pioneer of filming technology. He worked in France, the United Kingdom and the United States - conducting his most revolutionary projects in Leeds in 1888.

 

However he was not immediately given the credit for which he was due, several other inventors were working with similar technology around the same time including Thomas Edison and the Lumiére brothers. Until very recently Le Prince was not recognized for the filming of three short films which were decades ahead of their time including the Roundhay Garden Scene, the Leeds Bridge scene and the filming of a gathering at the Keighley Playhouse.

 

Unfortunately for posterity Le Prince's career as an inventor was cut short in 1890 when he vanished under mysterious circumstances - traveling from Dijon to Paris by train. His equipment was either stored away or given to his close friend who worked as a manager at a local Lloyds branch. Other pieces of eqiupment ended up with Le Prince's mechanic Mr Longley and Le Prince's widow - who 50 years later would donate the collection to the National History Museum. Eventually this material would be transfered to the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford before being restored and rereleased.

 

Recent Developments

 

Recently the estate of Mr Longley, an entire century after the initial filming, has passed along a new series of reels containing a film by Louis Le Prince that has never before been viewed by the public as well as a series of short films by Mr Longley after Le Prince's demise. Due to the century of storage in an attic the film is incredibly brittle and easily damaged - making the restoration a costly and lengthy process, but thanks to a team of volunteers from Bradford University and other established academic institutions we should be in a position to share these fantastic glimpses into the past with the public soon.



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