Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday Video from the Archives: Leaving Work, c1895

Friday, March 3, 2017

Susan reporting,

After posting the early film clip from 1896 of a snowball fightthe creation of the pioneering French film-maker Louis Lumière (1864-1948), I looked for more of his work to share here.

This short silent clip is known as Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon (La Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon), and it's exactly that. Using natural daylight, Lumière set his camera across the street from the exit of his family's factory at closing time and recorded the workers – mostly women, though there are a few men in top hats – leaving for the day, plus a single large, inquisitive dog. Lumière filmed the same scene three times, on three different days, which accounts for the varying light as well as other differences like the carriages that come through the gate.

While I love seeing the clothes worn by everyday working women (plus the hats!), this film is famous for another reason. It was one of ten short films shown together to an audience on December 28, 1895 at the Salon Indien du Grand Cafe on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris, making this the first public screening of films with an admission fee charged. Each film ran about 50 seconds, shown through a hand-cranked projector. And, as the old saying goes, the rest is history.


Martin Hedges said...

These factory gate films were common from about that time in the industrial towns of the UK. Mitchell and Kenyon was a big maker. It was a marketing gimmick -- they shot the film on the Thursday (for fairground owners usually) who told everyone to come along to the fair on Saturday to see themselves in the tent show cinema. Probably the first and only time most were ever on the screen.
I bet they were as popular in other countries in Europe and I guess in the US.
Google the name Mitchell and Kenyon to see working class working clothes, though every now and then a boss appears in his silk hat or a foreman in his Derby.

vch0920 said...

Its interesting that some of the women wear hats and some of them dont. Class? Age? All of them wore aprons though. Which is something I wouldnt have thought of as streetwear at this time. Thanks for sharing this video!

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