If cinema meant many things, it also came in many forms. This page documents some of the vast range of moving image technologies and infrastructure from the 1900s to the 1920s in images. Where relevant, entries are matched with a text from the book.

Amateur Advertising Cameras Education
Fire Light Movie Theaters Posters
Projection Science Sound Stereoscopy




Amateur and home cinema


Amateur Kinetograph (1896)

Messter’s Amateur-Kinetograph (1896). This device could be used as a camera and as a projector. From Oskar Messter’s sales catalogue.


Hand Kinetograph

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.”


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Sketch for a “toy cinema” (1911)



Biofix animated family portrait (date unknown), see text no. 278


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Ernemann amateur cinema (1911/12), see text no. 233  


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Cinéphote animated portraits for the home (1912)


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“Pocket cinematograph” (1921)  



Kinophot device for viewing animated portraits (ca. 1913). Source: Pascal Fouché


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Pathé Baby (1926), see text no. 148




Advertising and Industrial Film


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Liesegang automatic advertising slide projector (1907)


  figure 13 - advertisement for the Reklamemobil 1921

Mobile cinema for advertising (1921), see text no. 240


figure 2 - advertisement for Atrax projector 1921

Atrax advertising projector for sidewalks (1921)


figure 4b - suitcase projectors - advertisement for Industriefilm 1921

Industriefilm suitcase projectors for travelling salesmen (1921)


duoskop filmschrank seidels reklame november 1926 insert

Duoskop film cabinet for projection in exhibitions and shop floors (1922)


figure 5 - advertisement for Julius Pinschewer Capitol projector for shop windows

“Capitol” shopwindow projector, Julius Pinschewer, 1925









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Skladanowsky photographic camera (1897)


"Der letzte Mann" Karl Freund mit der entfesselten Kamera; Regisseur F.W. Murnau (rechts neben ihm)

Karl Freund with strap-on camera on the set of Der Letzte Mann (1924), see text nos. 226, 229


Michell Camera

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). 


Mitchell camera

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.






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Classroom equipped for film projection (1912), see text. no. 19


liesegang schulprojektor 1912

Liesegang projector for schools, 1912, see text nos. 19 and 241


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Ernemann projector for schools (1913), see text nos. 19 and 241  



Liesegang “Glogoskop” slide projector (1913)


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Krupp-Ernemann “Magister” projectors for schools (1925), see text no. 241






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Fireproofing device for movie theater projector (ca. 1926)

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Cutting room destroyed by fire (1926)






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Projection lamp (1908)


 Gloria illuminated signs for cinemas 1910

Gloria illuminated signs for cinemas (1912)  


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Jupiter lamps (klieg lights) for film shoots (1914), see text no. 159



László Moholy-Nagy, Space Light Modulator (1922-1930), see text no. 271





Movie Theaters


Biophon-Theater 1904

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.


Wien 2. "Kinematograph Lebend Sprechend Singende Bilder Krystall Kino Theresia Klein". Fassade des Praterkinos der Theresia Klein. 1905. Photographie.

Kinematograph Theresia Klein, Vienna Prater (1905)


Ozone ad Kinematograph 1911

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.


  geisternacht - kinoreklame

Dressing up the cinema facade for Die Geisternacht (1912).


  sarotti chocolate dispensers 1913

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 rattendorf

Feld-Kino (cinema in the field), ca. 1916.


Ufa-Palast am Zoo (1914---1740 seats)

Ufa-Palast am Zoo (1919). The first version of Berlin’s premier picture palace with 1740 seats.


leuzinger wanderkino 1924

Wanderkino (traveling cinema), 1924


Gloria-Past (1926)

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

Theater decoration for Metropolis (1927)


Universum (Erich Mendelssohn%2c 1928)Universum (1928)


Erich Mendelssohn’s “Universum” picture palace was opened in 1928. Today, the reconstructed building houses the Schaubühne on Lehninerplatz.


babylon poelzig 1929babylon 1929 1300 seats

Hans Poelzig’s Babylon cinema, still in operation today, was opened in 1929 with 1300 seats.


ADN-ZB/Archiv Berlin 1929: Strassenszene in der M¸nzstrasse im sogenannten "Scheunenviertel". [Scherl Bilderdienst]

Cinema in Münzstrasse, Berlin (1929), see text no. 77.








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Normograph device for creating simple movie theater posters, see text no. 72





Seeberograph itinerant cinema (1904)





Liesegang lantern projector with Wilhelm Busch slides (1908)


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Ernemann ‘Imperator’ for cinemas, (1909)


Laterna Magica (1)

Magic Lantern for the home (ca. 1910)


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Liesegang’s “Totalreflexwand” (1910), see text no. 233.


  Zenish screen for grarden projection

Advertisement for “Zenith” screen for projecting in open-air (garden) cinemas, 1912, see text no. 6  


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Projector for 360 degree panoramic films (1913)


Ernemann imperator 1914


Ernemann ‘Imperator’ (1914) and advertisement for the Imperator as “the German projection apparatus” after the outbreak of WWI.







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Camera for micro-cinematography (1914), see text no. 234


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Microcinematography camera by C. Reichert (1925), see text no. 234






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Seeberophon (ca. 1905)


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Thoro device for synchronizing film and phonograph (1909)


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Clavimonium – automated instrument for cinemas, combined piano and harmonium (1911), see text nos. 193, 218.


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Poppers Matador control for music in the theater (1913)






  kaiserpanorama ca 1900

Kaiserpanorama (ca. 1900)


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Film stereoscope (date unknown)


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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. Baird working on the 'Falkirk' transmitter.

John Logie Baird working on early television transmitter in Falkirk Scotland using a Nipkow disk (1926), see text nos. 266, 270, 273


mihaly telehor late 1920s

Dénes Mihály, Telehor receiver, late 1920s, see text no. 273


Early television images (1920s)


television - illustration from Korn

“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

Television in the living room, illustration for Korn, text no. 270