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Filmed in 1899, this the oldest street fight captured on film

Neil Patrick

If this video was from nowadays it would just be  like every normal day on the internet, right? – Nowadays with smartphones in our hands we can capture everything that is happening around us, whereas 100 years ago it wasn’t that easy to document a specific moment. But fortunately, 100 years ago , as a matter of luck or a pure coincidence, when a newspaper boy got into a fight with another boy that tried to steal from him, there was someone with very old “smartphone” to capture that incident.

This incredible film is  real footage from 1899 and shows the oldest street fight captured on film.

Oh, the simpler times…

Take a look at the video below :

The very first patented film camera was designed in England by Frenchman Louis Le Prince in 1888. He built and patented an earlier 16 lens camera in 1887 at his workshop in Leeds. The first 8 lenses would be triggered in rapid succession by an electromagnetic shutter on the sensitive film; the film would then be moved forward allowing the other 8 lenses to operate on the film.

After much trial and error, he was finally able to develop a single lens camera in 1888, which he used to shoot the first sequences of moving film in the world, including theRoundhay Garden Scene and Leeds Bridge. According to Adolphe Le Prince, who assisted his father at Leeds, Roundhay Garden was shot at 12 frame/s and Leeds Bridge at 20 frame/s. His camera still exists with the National Media Museum in Bradford. He shot the film on celluloid with 1¾ inch width.

Another early pioneer was the British inventor William Friese-Greene. He began to experiment with the use of oiled paper as a medium for displaying motion pictures in 1885 and by 1887 he was experimenting with the use of celluloid. In 1889, Friese-Greene took out a patent for a ‘chronophotographic’ camera. This was capable of taking up to ten photographs per second using perforated celluloid film. A report on the camera was published in the British Photographic News on February 28, 1890. He gave a public demonstration in 1890 of his device, but the low frame rate combined with the device’s apparent unreliability made an unfavourable impression. We can now do all of this on our mobile phones. 


Neil Patrick

Neil Patrick is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News