Pio Pion

Last updated
Pio Pion
Born(1887-07-04)4 July 1887
Varese, Italy
Died 15 September 1965(1965-09-15) (aged 78)
Milan, Italy
Citizenship Italian
Known for Establishing the first Italian movie projector company
Scientific career
Fields Cinema, manufacturing
Institutions Officine Pio Pion

Pio Pion (4 July 1887 – 15 May 1965) was an Italian entrepreneur, known for founding the first Italian company producing movie projectors, the Fumagalli, Pion & C. [1]

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.


Early life

Pion vas born in Varese in 1887 to his father Pierre, whose premature death forced the young Pio to move abroad in search for work. He returned to his native Italy in the first years of the 1900s, where he heard of the recent invention of the first movie projector and, consequently, of what is considered to be the first motion picture, thanks to the Lumière brothers. Fascinated by this new technology, Pion and his friend Fumagalli start importing early Pathé Frères equipment.

Varese Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Varese is a city and comune in north-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 55 kilometres (34 mi) north of Milan.

Movie projector Device for showing motion picture film

A movie projector is an opto-mechanical device for displaying motion picture film by projecting it onto a screen. Most of the optical and mechanical elements, except for the illumination and sound devices, are present in movie cameras.

<i>Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory</i> 1895 film by Auguste and Louis Lumière

Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory in Lyon, also known as Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory and Exiting the Factory, is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. It is often referred to as the first real motion picture ever made, although Louis Le Prince's 1888 Roundhay Garden Scene pre-dated it by seven years.

Professional career

A few years later, in 1908, Pion and Fumagalli decide to produce their own movie equipment, and they start the Fumagalli, Pion & C. [2] company. The business goes on with highs and lows until the beginning of World War I, when both men are enrolled to the army and forced to momentarily abandon their work. After 1918, Pion resumes his old job on his own and renames his firm Officine Pio Pion.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

With cinemas becoming more and more popular, Pion enjoys the most successful period of his working life. The Officine relocate to a larger location in via Rovereto in Milan. The fascist regime looked favourably on Pion's company, especially after he invented the so-called camion sonoro (sound-lorry), a lorry mounted on a Fiat 508 wheelbase carrying a screen and a movie projector, which, apart from playing films, could also bring propagandist speeches around the major squares.

Milan Italian city

Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,395,274 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age.

Fascism Form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism

Fascism is a form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

Fiat 508

The 508 Balilla was a compact car designed and developed by Fiat in 1932. It was, effectively, the replacement of the Fiat 509, although production of the earlier model had ceased back in 1929. It had a three-speed transmission, seated four, and had a top speed of about 50 mph (80 km/h). It sold for 10,800 lire. About 113,000 were produced.

World War II brought another halt to the company's production, as it was arranged for it to produce Morse code-machinery. [3] At the end of the conflict, Pion once again resumed his job and was joined by his two sons, Pierandrea and Riccardo. In the sixties Pion left the business to his sons and retired. He died in 1965, aged 78.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Morse code Transmission of language with brief pulses

Morse code is a character encoding scheme used in telecommunication that encodes text characters as standardized sequences of two different signal durations called dots and dashes or dits and dahs. Morse code is named for Samuel F. B. Morse, an inventor of the telegraph.

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  1. "Fumagalli, Pion & C". europeanfilmgateway.eu.
  2. "Fumagalli, Pion & C. catalogue" (PDF). cineressources.net.
  3. "Cassetta telegrafica cample, Officine Pio - Pion". lombardiabeniculturali.it.