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Birt Acres ( 1854 - 1918 )  Category ( Filmmakers ) [suggest a correction]

Birt Acres was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1854. By the time he reached the age of fourteen, Birt was an orphan. He was taken in by his aunt but she wanted him to have the opportunity to have a better education. She sent him to Sorbonne in Paris where he studied fine arts. It is where he is believed to have found a deep interest in photography.

In 1876, Acres returned to the United States. His aspirations included being a frontiersman. Not surprisingly, he became very wealthy before moving to England around 1885. He married a woman with roots from Australia and started a business. His photography business would lead him into fame and other fortune thanks to the invention for which he is remembered.

Teaming up with Robert W. Paul in 1894 and 1895, Birt began working on what was considered "living pictures" but the partnership with Paul wouldn't last. Birt would go on to patent what was dubbed as the Kineopticon camera.

Birt Acres invented an innovative camera projector. He began using the camera projector in Germany in 1895 where he made films. After his split from Robert W. Paul, Birt Acres would team up with Ludwig Stollwerck who was a huge manufacturer of chocolate. Stollwerck paid for Birt's filming expedition to the Kiel Canal where Acres filmed the opening of the canal.

Even after the professional relationship between Acres and Stollwerck cooled in later years, Birt Acres would find useful employ through Stollwerck. He made advertising clips for the first part of the 20th Century for Stollwerck's company.

Today, there is a very old Birt Acres film that has survived through time. The clip is a fifty second film that shows an 1895 Derby race.

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Title :Adventures in CyberSound: Birt Acres
Description : An on-line, academic work that will research the history of radio and the related media services of telegraphy, telephony, facsimile, television, photography and cinema. The project will also develop an on-line resource centre based on the above research. The project will subsequently develop the document A Future for Radio? and a prototype interactive on-line broadcast radio service, A Radio for the Future?
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