Friese-Green, William

INVENTOR, PHOTOGRAPHER (ENGLAND)
BORN 7 Sep 1855, Bristol: College Street - DIED 5 May 1921, London
GRAVE LOCATION London: Highgate Cemetery East, Swain's Lane, Highgate

William Friese-Green had photo studios in Bath and Bristol and after seeing the J.A.R. Rudge's 'Biophantoscope' he decided to work on his own camera.

He invented the cinematograph, that showed pictures on celluloid in rapid succession. Friese-Green was the first person ever to see moving pictures on a screen. He obtained a patent for his invention, but further development costs led to his bankruptcy and for a short period he was in a debtors' prison.

He worked on stereoscopic film and colour film and many more patents followed, but his inventions never became industry standards and around 1915 he lived in poverty.

In 1921 he attended a meeting by people from the film world in London where he stood up to speak. His words were incoherent and he was guided back to his seat, where he died instantly. During his funeral service all British cinemas stopped their films for two minutes.

Sources
• Greenwood, Peter, Who's buried where in England, Constable, London, 1982
• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991
• Harris, Emlyn, The Sexton's Tales, Internet, 1998
Friese-Green

Images

The grave of William Friese-Green at Highgate Cemetery (East), London.
Picture by Androom (18 Mar 2006)

 

The grave of William Friese-Green at Highgate Cemetery (East), London.
Picture by Androom (18 Mar 2006)

 

Plaque for William Friese-Green in Brighton.
Picture by Androom (05 Oct 2014)

 


Frith, William Powell

Published: 28 Apr 2006
Last update: 12 Oct 2014