If cinema meant many things, it also came in many physical forms. This page documents some of the sheer variety devices of cinema from the 1900s to the 1920s in image and text. Where relevant, entries are matched with a text from the book.
Amateur and home cinema
Messter’s Amateur-Kinetograph (1896). This device could be used as a camera and as a projector. From Oskar Messter’s sales catalogue.
Advertisement for Messter’s portable kinetograph with kerosine projection lamp (1897). Translation: “Can be used at any time. Easy to operate. Weight: ca. 15kg. Good pictures guaranteed. Can be projected anywhere. No electric light, no gas, no petroleum, no ether, no oxygen.”
Sketch for a “toy cinema” (1911)
Biofix animated family portrait (date unknown), see text no. 278
Ernemann amateur cinema (1911/12), see text no. 233
Cinéphote animated portraits for the home (1912)
“Pocket cinematograph” (1921)
Kinophot device for viewing animated portraits (ca. 1913). Source: Pascal Fouché
Pathé Baby (1926), see text no. 148
Advertising and Industrial Film
Liesegang automatic advertising slide projector (1907)
Mobile cinema for advertising (1921), see text no. 240
Atrax advertising projector for sidewalks (1921)
Industriefilm suitcase projectors for travelling salesmen (1921)
Duoskop film cabinet for projection in exhibitions and shop floors (1922)
“Capitol” shopwindow projector, Julius Pinschewer, 1925
Karl Freund with strap-on camera on the set of Der Letzte Mann (1924), see text nos. 226, 229
Two new Mitchell cameras and three pioneering cinematographers in Hollywood 1924. From the left: Günter Rittau (Nibelungen, Metropolis, Blue Angel); Charles Roshes (Rosita, Sunrise), Karl Freund (Golem, Last Laugh, Metropolis).
Fritz Lang with a new Mitchell camera on the set of Metropolis in 1926. It was purchased on Lang’s trip to America in fall 1924.
Classroom equipped for film projection (1912), see text. no. 19
Liesegang projector for schools, 1912, see text nos. 19 and 241
Ernemann projector for schools (1913), see text nos. 19 and 241
Liesegang “Glogoskop” slide projector (1913)
Krupp-Ernemann “Magister” projectors for schools (1925), see text no. 241
Fireproofing device for movie theater projector (ca. 1926)
Cutting room destroyed by fire (1926)
Projection lamp (1908)
Gloria illuminated signs for cinemas (1912)
Jupiter lamps (klieg lights) for film shoots (1914), see text no. 159
László Moholy-Nagy, Space Light Modulator (1922-1930), see text no. 271
Program for the Biophon-Theater Unter den Linden, Berlin (1904). “Projection of talking, singing and other lively photographs.” This theater had ca 250 seats and a daily attendance of ca. 500 people. The program alternated between synchronized music pieces and documentary and scientific films. Shows started at 3pm and operated continuously, each cycle lasting ca. one hour. Spectators could come and go at any time. Approximately 500 biophone theaters existed in Germany by 1913.
Kinematograph Theresia Klein, Vienna Prater (1905)
Advertisement for “Vulkan” air freshening apparatus (1911). The “spray man” was a regular feature in poorly ventilated cinemas in the 1910s. See text no. 67.
Dressing up the cinema facade for Die Geisternacht (1912).
Cinema was often compared to a “vending machine” of visual pleasure (see text no. 7). But it also included vending machines, such as the Sarotti chocolate dispensers on the back of the seats in this image from 1913. A postcard dispenser is also visible to the right.
Feld-Kino (cinema in the field), ca. 1916.
Ufa-Palast am Zoo (1919). The first version of Berlin’s premier picture palace with 1740 seats.
Wanderkino (traveling cinema), 1924
Gloria-Palast, Berlin. This picture palace opened in 1926 with a pantomime by Frank Wedekind and a screening of Murnau’s Tartuffe. It would also house the premier of The Blue Angel in 1930.
Theater decoration for Metropolis (1927)
Erich Mendelssohn’s “Universum” picture palace was opened in 1928. Today, the reconstructed building houses the Schaubühne on Lehninerplatz.
Hans Poelzig’s Babylon cinema, still in operation today, was opened in 1929 with 1300 seats.
Cinema in Münzstrasse, Berlin (1929), see text no. 77.
Normograph device for creating simple movie theater posters, see text no. 72
Seeberograph itinerant cinema (1904)
Liesegang lantern projector with Wilhelm Busch slides (1908)
Ernemann ‘Imperator’ for cinemas, (1909)
Magic Lantern for the home (ca. 1910)
Liesegang’s “Totalreflexwand” (1910), see text no. 233.
Advertisement for “Zenith” screen for projecting in open-air (garden) cinemas, 1912, see text no. 6
Projector for 360 degree panoramic films (1913)
Ernemann ‘Imperator’ (1914) and advertisement for the Imperator as “the German projection apparatus” after the outbreak of WWI.
Camera for micro-cinematography (1914), see text no. 234
Microcinematography camera by C. Reichert (1925), see text no. 234
Thoro device for synchronizing film and phonograph (1909)
Clavimonium – automated instrument for cinemas, combined piano and harmonium (1911), see text nos. 193, 218.
Poppers Matador control for music in the theater (1913)
Kaiserpanorama (ca. 1900)
Film stereoscope (date unknown)
Alabastra apparatus for 3D projection (date unknown), see text no. 262
Courtesy of Katharina Loew
August Carolus, large-format television (1924), using Nipkow disc
John Logie Baird working on early television transmitter in Falkirk Scotland using a Nipkow disk (1926), see text nos. 266, 270, 273
Dénes Mihály, Telehor receiver, late 1920s, see text no. 273
Early television images (1920s)
“Fantasy of television,” illustration for Korn, “Why We Still Do Not Have Television” (1929), text no. 270
Television in the living room, illustration for Korn, text no. 270