A Projector is an optical instrument that is used to project a picture on a blank screen with the help of reflection or as done by a lantern. Basically, it enlarges and reflects an object. This is done with the help of lenses, prism and mirror that is used as a reflector. Apart from other requirements, a bright light is a must for the best outcome of the image.
The very first concept of projection was used in 1646 by a German priest, Athanasius Kircher. He used to project the hand-painted images onto a blank white screen with the help of a candle or oil lamp. His concept formed the basis for other people to invent a device which was known as a “Projector”. Later in 1879, Eadweard Muybridge developed a device called “Zoopraxiscope”. This was used to show movies and pictures by creating an illusion movement. He is generally referred to as “Father of the motion picture”. He later met Thomas Edison and suggested to invent a device that would result from the collaboration of his “Zoopraxiscope”and Edison’s “Phonograph”. Edison was not interested in participating in the project. But, he filed a caveat with the Patent’s office in 1888 describing his views for a device which he named as “Kinetoscope” which would be used for projection. Kinetoscope is a combination of two Greek words, “Kineto” and “Scopos”. “Kineto” means “movement” and “Scopos” means “to watch”. He described that the device would record and reproduce the objects in motion.
William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, a photographer by profession and Edison’s assistant was assigned the task. Dickson started experimenting on the idea conceived by Edison. In 1995, Woodville Latham created Eidoloscope projector. Latham was technically advised by Dickson on the machine. This episode led to Dickson leaving Edison’s company.
At the same time, C. Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat invented a film projector called the “Phantoscope” which was demonstrated to the public in 1895. Soon, both of them parted their ways and started claiming the credit for the invention. Thomas Armat showed the device to Raff and Gammon who were the owners of the Kinetoscope Company. They further negotiated the device with Thomas Edison on manufacturing the projector under his name. Edison agreed the deal with a condition that Phantoscope will be advertised as a new invention by Edison. This invention of his was then named as “Vitascope”.
The first demonstration of “Vitascope” was done on April 23, 1896, at Koster and Bial’s Music Hall in New York. Soon Vitascope became very famous. Later in November 1896, a new projector called Projectoscope or Projecting Kinetoscope was developed by “The Edison Company” which was commercially successful.