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Edison’s place in Film History

A excerpt from the letter Henri Langlois wrote to the Edison National Historic Site to request Edison’s Kinetograph for his proposed Musée    du   Cinéma in Paris:

“On    the occasion of the inauguration of  the great  Musée    du   Cinéma  in   Paris,    the Cinémathèque  Française has  assembled an exhibition on  the origins  of the cinema, to which the principal foreign museums, English, German,  Austrian,  such as the  Smithsonian, have loaned  us the  prototype cameras that recount the history of the discovery of cinema. All these will be gathered together for several weeks in this exhibition, except that of Edison.  […] This causes me great distress, since I tell myself that this absence of the Edison camera will do harm to his memory and withhold, once again, his rightful place in the chronology. […] It is of such great importance for Edison that this camera is here, even if only for a few days. […] After  all, we were able to loan  the Mona Lisa, and she  did not suffer from her voyage.”

(6 May 1972)

From: Mannoni, Laurent. ‘Henri Langlois and the Musee du Cinema’ in Film History, Volume 18, pp. 274–287, 2006.

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