Houdiard, pp. Theisen, Earl : Notes on the history of color in motion pictures. In: International Photographer , 8,5, June , pp. Gaumont: Embossed and punched marks. A contribution received on October 2, , from John B.
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McCullough, Motion Picture Assn. Editorial Note: A paper found among the effects of Leon Gaumont after his death in describes his early attempts to synchronize sound and image and discusses apparatus which he invented, such as the Chronophonograph and the Elgephone. As a tribute to this inventor, whose name is on the Honor Roll of the Society, and for the interest it may hold for contemporary scientists and inventors, the Historical and Museum Committee has contributed the following translation. Special assistance was given by L.
Didiee of Paris in connection with the obtaining and preparing of this paper. Although the idea of synchronization was not new, the first patents on this subject had just appeared at that time. Serious attempts had been made previously, especially by the French inventor, Baron, the principles of whose method have been partly incorporated in my method. The phonograph was the most delicate of the two kinds of apparatus used in this sound motion-picture projection presentation. It had to assume the functions of an orchestra leader, that is to say, an instrument controlling the motion-picture projector.
Since the projector and the phonograph cannot be placed side by side, one would think of connecting these two units by a flexible cable. However, in this instance, cables were impractical, in view of the distance of several meters between the two apparatus and the impracticality of using cables for the synchronization of sound and image.
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For this reason an electrical transmission was designed. A dynamo with a split circuit was connected to the phonograph and its speed adjusted to the normal speed of the latter. The dynamo was connected with the projector drive motor through a rheostat mounted on the projector base. If both units were started at the same time, they ran in perfect synchronism Fig. The first Chronophonograph was also presented to the Photographic Society on the same day, which gave the audience a glimpse of what they probably could expect in future meetings of the Society. Since that time we have constantly improved distant sound recording by amplifying the emission from the phonograph, and on July 17, , we presented the following films marking our introduction of sound motion pictures:.
Introduction by Mr. Wallon 2. Lecture by Mr.
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The Dentist monologue by Mr. Zamacois 5. Crowing Rooster 6. Telephone Communication by Mr. Galipaux 7. Banjo Player 8. Francois three persons 9. Voices of the Night by Mr. The equipment used in this demonstration represented the results of all our previous experimentation. The fact that the loudspeaker was placed near the projection screen, while the projector was at a great distance from it, created the necessity of additional electrical design.
Since the phonograph had to be operated at the same speed as the original recording to maintain proper sound quality, and with the projector speed depending upon the phonograph, slight corrections, which became necessary due to the differences of one movement with respect to another, were made by means of a synchronization regulator Fig. Several methods of connecting the apparatus were patented by our organization. One uses two small shunt d-c motors of almost the same power and supplied by the same current source. The armatures of these motors contained the same number of sections, and each section of one armature was connected with a corresponding section of the other armature and in the same order.
Consequently, the first armature turned at the same angular displacement as the second Fig. The first armature controlled the phonograph and the second the projector. Synchronization was obtained by adjusting the speed of unwinding of the motion-picture film to the speed of the disk recording.
Some time after this presentation it was learned that the same synchronization method had been patented by E.
Thompson for the operation of looms. The General Electric Co. It is, of course, understood that photography and sound recording were made simultaneously by synchronizing the sound recorder with the camera. Synchronization of sound and image was perfect, provided the simple precaution was taken of placing the first image in the projector picture gate and at the same time the needle at the extreme start of the disk. In later models the projector was started electrically by placing a contact on the phonograph disk.
A rheostat in the motor circuit controlled the speed of both and kept the projector in accurate step with the phonograph. The speed of the latter, in turn, corresponded to the speed of the original sound recording, so that normal tone was reproduced after the speed adjustments were made. By this method, the slightest difference between the emission of the sound and the lip movement of the actor could be easily corrected by means of the following device:.
A special motor acting on a differential gear mounted on the shaft connecting the projector with the control motor could be operated in either direction by a reversing commutator. Depending on the direction of rotation of the small motor, the projector speed could be accelerated or retarded to correspond with the speed of the phonograph, until the two units were again in perfect synchronization Fig. In addition to this, a panel within reach of the operator and near the phonograph connected all controls under one button, so that the projector could be instantly started at a chosen sound produced by the phonograph.
A voltmeter served as speed indicator and a multiple commutator as speed regulator Fig. Finally, a reversing commutator was used on the small motor of the differential gear.
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The phonograph contained two disks which were alternately and automatically operated to assure operation for an indefinite time. Different phonograph models were constructed in our factories for the use of disks with lateral impressions. This method gave, in fact, greater clarity and volume and permitted the needle to follow the groove more easily than the sapphire which is used in vertical position.
In one of our inventions, the Elgephone, sound amplification was obtained by releasing compressed air through a double distributor. The Elgephone distributor insured a constant flow of compressed air without acting on the distributing disk, since this would be a source of distortion. The compressed air is forced through a small tube A Fig.
This method of amplification was more satisfactory than any other method known at that time.
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The volume was so great that the phonograph recordings could be heard in halls seating several thousand persons. Figure 6 shows the two units connected by the necessary cables, as well as the electric air compressor feeding the Elgephone. We knew that this solution of the problem was not final at that time, because the use of the disks limited recording and reproducing possibilities.
However, we were very sure that the application of sound by optical methods on film would no doubt eliminate this problem. Our tests were made on film different in dimension to the standard motion-picture film. The current modulated by the sound vibrations striking several very sensitive microphones flowed into a multistage amplifier and then into a two-wire mirror galvanometer. A very fine light beam oscillating on the film between the picture and the perforations our film was 25mm recorded these modulations. This device represented the result of investigations with the Danish engineers, Petersen and Poulsen.
We experimented also with recording on two separate films, one for the image and the other for the sound. The eventual solution was the recording of sound and image on the same film strip.
The problem of sound recording was not the only one we studied. Our research on color motion-picture photography is recorded in history. We preferred the well-known three-color additive method used throughout all our experiments. The principle of this method was explained by Gros and Ducos de Hauron in Each image appearing on the screen in natural colors was formed by superimposition of three images, violet, green and orange.
The combined radiation of these three colors results in the reproduction of natural colors.
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