Britain's only vintage coin-op magazine.
User avatar
pennymachines
Site Admin
Posts: 4674
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 12:12 am
Location: The Black Country
Contact:

British Mutoscope

Postby pennymachines » Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:27 pm

Thanks Jerry for your fascinating and well researched Moving Picture Machines articles. I'm just catching up on them and much of the information is new to me.
Are there any other surviving examples of British wooden mutoscopes like the one below? I don't think I've seen another.
It was in the window of an antique shop in Camden Passages in the 1990s. They told me the London Science Museum had expressed an interest in acquiring it. Evidently they couldn't afford it so I had to stump up the cash myself! Or was that just sales patter? Actually I bought it a few years later and directly from the owner (Nic Costa) at rather less than the original asking price. He attributed it to Bio-Automatics Ltd. of London, and dated it around 1905. Your article suggests it might be a little earlier. Was the British Mutoscope & Biograph Company AKA Bio-Automatics Ltd.?
muto.jpg

User avatar
JC
Posts: 888
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:38 pm
Location: Kent
Contact:

Re: British Mutoscope

Postby JC » Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:32 pm

Glad you enjoyed the articles, sorry it's taken so long to reply - I've had a stinking cold this week, must be the time of the year.
Anyway, your wooden 'scope was definately not manufactured by Bio-Automatics in 1905. Bio-Automatics was incorporated in January 1908, and was one of four companies set up as part of 'Bio-Trust' to replace the British Mutoscope & Biograph Company which was wound up in November 1907. Bio-Automatics took control of all the mutoscope stock of the British Mutoscope & Biograph Co., and was not, as far as I can make out, responsible for manufacturing. Bearing in mind that by the end of 1901, the British Mutoscope & Biograph Co. had a stock of over 5000 mutoscopes that it was unable to site, it seems unlikely that any more machines would have been produced in the 20th century.
My guess is that your mutoscope was one of the very first machines produced in 1898, and is no doubt very very rare - perhaps a sole survivor.

Jerry

User avatar
pennymachines
Site Admin
Posts: 4674
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 12:12 am
Location: The Black Country
Contact:

Re: British Mutoscope

Postby pennymachines » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:07 am

Ah ha! Thanks Jerry - very pleasing to have some firmer info about it. I've seen wooden Mutoscopes in American collections, so maybe they were made in greater numbers there.
My interest in moving picture pioneers was rekindled recently by a piece in the New Scientist about the English-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge and his animated Zoopraxiscope discs (mostly destroyed because he thought they would trivialize his reputation).

I'm also reading Kevin Scrivens and Stephen Smith's The Travelling Cinematograph Show which illustrates how travelling showmen and fairgrounds created the first venues in which the public could enjoy the wonder of moving pictures.

User avatar
JC
Posts: 888
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 10:38 pm
Location: Kent
Contact:

Re: British Mutoscope

Postby JC » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:39 pm

Here's the picture of a wonderful collection of cast iron mutoscopes from a private collection, that I published in issue 20 (better late than never), which includes:
2 x American Clamshell, American Indian Head and British Octagonal.
Cast iron mutoscopes.jpg

mclemore
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:35 pm
Contact:

Re: British Mutoscope

Postby mclemore » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:04 pm

There are a few of these early wooden Mutoscopes around. I have 3 of them in the www.pennyarcadia.co.uk collection that I found in England and Australia. Besides mine I've seen a couple more. I've also seen one reproduction that was a tad rough. Originals come in at least two slightly different styles with different coin-entries (all on a large English penny). There is also a US version which is is a little more box shaped yet a little more refined--I've seen one in a collection but could not talk the collector out of it.

livinginthepast
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:17 pm

Re: British Mutoscope

Postby livinginthepast » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:10 pm

Can anybody suggest who the manufacturer of this mutoscope may be?
$_57.jpg

jingle

Re: British Mutoscope

Postby jingle » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:45 pm

Seen that on ebay cliff
I actually spoke to the owner who was selling it
But he never sent more pictures to my email which I asked for !!JUNK!!
It was on for months
Did you but it
Looks like a nice machine
The feet look familiar
To something I have but not a muto
Jingle

livinginthepast
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:17 pm

Re: British Mutoscope

Postby livinginthepast » Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:55 pm

Its still on Ebay Bob
Looks a nice machine!

User avatar
grabber
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:38 pm

Re: British Mutoscope

Postby grabber » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:32 pm

I had one of the wooden mutoscopes I got it from a collector from the south coast
the case had a lot of wood worm so I only kept the mechanism and viewing glass


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests