Entertainment on the big screen is better than ever.  The digital quality brings out the best in every film.  Even flicks that receive poor reviews look superb with today’s technology.  Special effects also make action and science fiction films come to life.  As moviegoers, we credit Thomas Alva Edison with creating motion pictures.  There is no doubt that Edison developed films. Did you know that Hannibal Goodwin also played a role in helping to develop movies?

At first glance, many did not view Goodwin as being an inventor.  Goodwin was an Episcopal priest.  He served his community at the House of Prayer Episcopal Church.  He wanted to make religious studies more interesting for his students.   Through his hard work, he invented celluloid film.   He made his discovery at the Plume House.  The Plume House still serves as a rectory for the House of Prayer.     For discovering flexible film, Goodwin will always be a notable Newarker.

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After working  20 years as a minister, Goodwin retired on May 2, 1887.  After he retired, he dedicated himself wholeheartedly to science.  He applied for a patent for his creation of celluloid film.  However, he faced a setback.  He did not get his patent until September 13, 1898.

In 1900, Goodwin started the Goodwin Film and Camera Company.  Unfortunately, he died tragically in an accident on December 31, 1900. Sadly, he was never able to see his first film.

Despite his untimely death, his legacy still lives on. Goodwin’s method for making pliable film was used in Thomas Alva Edison’s kinetoscope.  Edison invented the kinetoscope in 1891.  The kinetoscope was the first motion picture instrument. Using a kinetoscope, an individual could view a movie through an opening.  Kinetoscopes were available to the public in penny arcades.  The films from this device were short and simple.  They were very different from today’s motion pictures.

Even though the kinetoscope was not a movie projector, it led to the creation of  high tech films.  The word kinetoscope comes from two Greek roots.  Kineto means movement and scopos means to view.  The first kinetoscope was displayed on May 20, 1891.

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So next time you see a movie, do not only thank Edison.  You should also be grateful to Goodwin for his invention of celluloid film.  He helped create the motion pictures that entertain us today.