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The decade of the 1870s in film involved some significant events.

List of years in film (table)
In television


  • 1874 – French astronomer Pierre Janssen used his "photographic revolver" to photograph the transit of the planet Venus across the Sun.
  • 1877 – French inventor Charles-Émile Reynaud improved on the Zoetrope idea by placing mirrors at the center of the drum. He called his invention the Praxinoscope. Reynaud developed other versions of the Praxinoscope, too, including a Praxinoscope Theatre (where the device was enclosed in a viewing box) and the Projecting Praxinoscope. Eventually he created the "Théâtre Optique", a large machine based on the Praxinoscope, but was able to project longer animated strips. In the United States, the McLoughlin Bros. from New York released in 1879 a simplified (and unauthorized) copy of Reynaud's invention under the name "Whirligig of Life".
  • 1878 – Railroad tycoon Leland Stanford hired British photographer Eadweard Muybridge to settle the questions of whether a galloping horse ever had all four of its feet off the ground. Muybridge successfully photographed a horse in fast motion using a series of 12 cameras controlled by trip wires. Muybridge's photos showed the horse with all four feet off the ground. Muybridge went on a lecture tour showing his photographs on a moving-image device he called the zoopraxiscope. Muybridge's experiments inspired French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey to invent equipment for recording and analyzing animal and human movement. Marey called his invention the chronophotographic camera, which was able to take multiple images superimposed on top of one another.
  • 1879 – American George Eastman invents an emulsion-coating machine which enables the mass-production of photographic dry plates.


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