Thomas J. Armat
|Died||September 30, 1948 81) (aged|
Thomas J. Armat (October 25, 1866 – September 30, 1948) was an American mechanic and inventor, a pioneer of cinema best known through the co-invention of the Edison Vitascope.
Armat studied at the Mechanics Institute in Richmond, Virginia and then in 1894 at the Bliss Electrical School in Washington, D.C., where he met Charles Francis Jenkins. The two classmates teamed up to develop a movie projector using a new kind of intermittent motion mechanism, a "beater mechanism" similar to the one patented 1893 by Georges Demenÿ in France. It was one of the first projectors using what is known as the Latham loop (an extra loop of the film before the transport mechanism to reduce the tension on the film and avoid film breakage, developed independently at the same time by Woodville Latham and his sons). They made their first public projection using their invention, named Phantoscope after an earlier model designed by Jenkins alone, in September 1895 at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta.
Following this success, the two co-inventors broke up over patent issues. Jenkins tried to claim sole inventorship, but was turned down and sold out to Armat, who subsequently joined and sold the patent to Thomas Edison, who marketed the machine as the 'Vitascope'. The projector was used in a public screening in New York City beginning April 23, 1896 and lasting more than a week.
Working for Edison, Armat refined the projector in 1897 by replacing the beater mechanism with a more precise Geneva drive, duplicating an invention made a year earlier in Germany by Oskar Messter and Max Griewe and in England by Robert William Paul.
In 1947, Armat and William Nicholas Selig, Albert E. Smith and George Kirke Spoor were awarded a Special Academy Award as representatives of the movie pioneers for their contributions to the film business.
He died on September 30, 1948.
In 2011, he was inducted, posthumously, into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
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Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America's greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and early versions of the electric light bulb, have had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He established the first industrial research laboratory.
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The following is an overview of the events of 1895 in film, including a list of films released and notable births.
The following is an overview of the events of 1896 in film, including a list of films released and notable births.
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Charles Francis Jenkins was an American pioneer of early cinema and one of the inventors of television, though he used mechanical rather than electronic technologies. His businesses included Charles Jenkins Laboratories and Jenkins Television Corporation. Over 400 patents were issued to Jenkins, many for his inventions related to motion pictures and television.
The Geneva drive or Maltese cross is a gear mechanism that translates a continuous rotation movement into intermittent rotary motion.
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Vitascope was an early film projector first demonstrated in 1895 by Charles Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. They had made modifications to Jenkins patented Phantoscope, which cast images via film and electric light onto a wall or screen. The Vitascope is a large electrically-powered projector that uses light to cast images. The images being cast are originally taken by a kinetoscope mechanism onto gelatin film. Using an intermittent mechanism, the film negatives produced up to fifty frames per second. The shutter opens and closes to reveal new images. This device can produce up to 3,000 negatives per minute. With the original Phantoscope and before he partnered with Armat, Jenkins displayed the earliest documented projection of a filmed motion picture in June 1894 in Richmond, Indiana.
The decade of the 1890s in film involved some significant events.
The Latham Loop is used in film projection and image capture. It isolates the filmstrip from vibration and tension, allowing movies to be continuously shot and projected for extended periods.
The Phantoscope was a film projection machine, a creation of Charles Francis Jenkins. Created in the early 1890s, he projected the first motion picture before an audience in his hometown of Richmond, Indiana on June 6, 1894. He later met Thomas Armat who provided financial backing for necessary modifications. The two inventors unveiled their modified projector at the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, in September 1895.
Raff & Gammon was a film distribution company founded by Norman C. Raff and Frank R. Gammon that ran during the silent film era. They are known for distributing and promoting some of the Edison Studio films, and founding their own business, which was called The Kinetoscope Company.
Thomas Armat, a pioneer in the motion-picture industry, died today at his home. ...