May 20, 1891 – Thomas Edison holds the first public presentation of his Kinetoscope for the National Federation of Women's Clubs.
August 24, 1891 – Edison files for a patent of the Kinetoscope.
1892 – In France, Charles-Émile Reynaud began to have public screenings in Paris at the Théâtre Optique, with hundreds of drawings on a reel that he wound through his Zoetrope projector to construct moving images that continued for 15 minutes.
March 14, 1893 – Edison is granted Patent #493,426 for "An Apparatus for Exhibiting Photographs of Moving Objects" (the Kinetoscope).
1893 – Edison builds a motion-picture studio near his laboratory, dubbed the "Black Maria" by his staff.
May 9, 1893 – In America, Edison holds the first public exhibition of films shot using his Kinetograph at the Brooklyn Institute. Unfortunately, only one person at a time could use his Kinetoscope viewing machine.
January 7, 1894 – Edison films his assistant, Fred Ottsneezing with the Kinetoscope at the "Black Maria".
April 14, 1894 – The first commercial presentation of the Kinetoscope takes place in the Holland Brothers' Kinetoscope Parlor at 1155 Broadway, New York City.
1894 – Kinetoscope viewing parlors begin to open in major cities. Each parlor contains several machines.
1895 – In France, brothers named Auguste and Louis Lumière design and build a lightweight, hand-held motion picture camera called the Cinématographe. The brothers discover that their machine can also be used to project images onto a large screen. They create several short films at this time that are considered to be pivotal in the history of motion pictures.