The World’s First (and Slightly Scandalous) Hand-Tinted Motion Picture

The world’s first hand-tint­ed motion pic­ture was pro­duced by Thomas Edis­on’s com­pa­ny, Edi­son Stu­dios, in 1895, more than 115 years ago. The dancer, Annabelle Moore (1878–1961), was just a teenag­er when this film was released, and her dance caused both a sen­sa­tion and a scan­dal. (Note the flash­es of under­gar­ment, all the way up to above the knee, about 29 sec­onds in.) It may have been a sign of things to come: Moore would go on to star as the Gib­son bathing suit girl in the first Ziegfeld fol­lies, where she remained until her mar­riage and retire­ment brought her back to respectabil­i­ty in 1912.

The film is also worth com­par­ing with a sim­i­lar but much more del­i­cate­ly paint­ed ver­sion done just five years lat­er by the Lumiere broth­ers.

(Spe­cial thanks to the recent­ly-launched Weyume)

Sheer­ly Avni is a San Fran­cis­co-based arts and cul­ture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Week­ly, Moth­er Jones, and many oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low her on twit­ter at @sheerly

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.