(Londres, 1862-Brighton, 1931)

darling alfred

Jean-Claude SEGUIN


James Darling (Taplow, 1816-Londres, 16/03/1890) épouse Elizabeth Charlotte Pitt (Taplow, 1817-1899, Londres, 13/09/1899). Descendance :

  • George Pitt Darling (Lambeth, 1837-Londres, [1838]
  • Frances Elizabeth Darling (Lambeth, 02/08/1838-Londres, 07/1884)
  • Simon C. Darling (Southwark, [1839]-)
  • Ann Darling (Londres, 04/02/1840-Londres, 03/1917)
  • James Moses Darling (Londres, 18/12/1842-Chester, 1922)
  • Emily J. Darling (Londres, 13/07/1844-Eton, 07/1914)
  • Harriett Darling (Londres, 30/01/1848-Londres, 07/02/1929)
  • Rosa Darling (Londres, 1852-Londres10/1884)
  • Lucy Darling (Londres, 08/07/1853-Londres16/12/1936)
  • Albert Darling (Londres, 06/12/1857-Londres, 01/04/1922)
  • Alfred Darling (Londres, 11/03/1862-Brighton, 24/07/1931) épouse (Londres, 03/12/1882) Emma, Eliza Ester Bent (Londres, 20/10/1864-Brighton, 13/07/1927). Descendance:
    • Hilary James Darling (Londres, 27/10/1884-Hove, 25/05/1940) épouse May Sensier (Brighton, 04/06/1883-Hove, 27/03/1972). Descendance:
      • Hilary Alfred Darling (Steyning, 09/06/1911-Hove, 18/03/1978)
      • Doris May Darling (Steyning, 04/06/1913-Southwick, 03/11/1985)
    • Bessie Eveline Darling (Londres, 02/07/1886-Lancing, 23/09/1950) épouse Albert Churchill (Brighton, 14/09/1884-Hove, 19/12/1957). Descendance:
      • Sydney Albert Churchill (Brighton, 22/12/1911-) épouse Kathleen B Ellcome (East Preston, 31/12/1914-). Descendance:
        • Diana J Churchill (Worthing, 1939-)
      • Enid Emerline Churchill (Brighton, 06/09/1913-Lancing, 01/10/2000) épouse William A Simmons ([Sussex, 24/05/1910-). Descendance:
        • Robert W Simmons (Worthing, 09/02/1939-États-Unis, 18/05/2017)
      • Marjorie Emma Churchill (Brighton, 26/10/1914-Worthing, 30/11/1990) épouse Alfred Robert Carter (Worthing, 07/12/1915-Worthing, 01/1997)
      • Leslie Alfred Churchill (Brighton, 16/05/1916-Worthing, 08/01/1994) épouse Caroline Maud Pacy (West Ham, 09/03/1914-Worthing, 10/08/2004)
      • Vera Lione Churchill (Lancing, 27/07/1919-Taunton, 08/2000) épouse Ernest F C Stone (10/09/1911-Strood, 12/1940)
      • Freda Kathleen Churchill (Steyning, 06/1925-19/10/2017)
        • épouse George Still
        • épouse Douglas Tullett (Southwick, 14/08/1920-Lancing, 07/08/1975)
        • épouse Harry Woolfenden Lindley (22/01/1918-Worthing, 01/1997)
    • Percy Alfred Darling{/tip} (Brighton, 06/03/1888-Brighton, 11/03/1948) épouse Edith Jess Humphrey (Brighton, 25/07/1887-Brighton, 25/11/1968). Descendance:
    • Winifred Emma Darling (Brighton, 15/09/1889-Brighton, 18/02/1968) épouse Arthur Charles Wellington (Islington, 27/02/1887-Brighton, 06/01/1971)
    • Mabel Elsie Darling (Brighton, 08/03/1892-Brighton, 26/06/1971) épouse George Jeremiah Payne (Newhaven, 25/11/1894-Brighton, 07/04/1927)
    • Constance Darling (1894-1957)
    • Eric Darling (Brighton. 10/09/1897-Brighton, 16/02/1929) épouse Josephine Annie Hunt (Clayton, 13/09/1898-Brighton, 12/1977). Descendance:
      • Philip Eric Darling (Lewes, 06/09/1920-Brighton, 03/2002)
    • Cyril Edward Darling (Brighton, 02/04/1900-Brighton, 19/12/1971) épouse Elsie Frances Pheby (Brighton, 02/09/1900-Brighton, 10/12/1997). Descendance:
      • Kenneth Cyril G Darling (Brighton, 27/08/1922-Lewes, 10/1997).


James Darling, ingénieur de profession, réside dans le quartier de Lambeth à Londres (recensement 1871) avec son épouse Elizabeth et ses enfants Harriett, Lucy, Albert et Alfred. Ce dernier vit toujours avec ses parents en 1881 (recensement 1881) et figure comme ingénieur. Après son mariage en 1882, Alfred continue à vivre à Londres jusqu'à la naissance de sa fille Bessie (née en 1886). Si Alfred Darling est toujours recensé (recensement 1891) dans la capitale britannique en 1891, il figure comme locataire au 9, Queen Street et exerce le métier de "Engine Fitter" alors que son épouse est installée à Brighton (47 Chester Terrace) avec ses quatre enfants. Cela est la marque d'une situation transitoire qui se stabilisera avec leur installation complète à Brighton.

The Biokam (1897-1900)

C'est en 1897 qu'Alfred Darling va commencer à collaborer avec Alfred Wrench. En juillet, les deux hommes déposent un brevet pour des "Improvements in Cinematographic Apparatus" (GB 17,248 du 21 juillet 1897) et un autre, en novembre 1898, pour "An Improved Camera and Apparatus for Producing Cinematograph and other Pictures and for Exhibiting Cinematographic Pictures." (GB 23,591 du 9 novembre 1898). Toujours avec Alfred Wrench, il dépose un nouveau brevet dont il est en fait l'inventeur, pour une "kinetographic Camera" (brevet nº 635,466 du 6 mars 1899). The Optical Magic Lantern Journal va consacrer un article développé à cette invention dans son numéro d'avril 1899. Il s'agit d'un cinématographe destiné aux amateurs ou à un usage familial que la Warwick Trading Company et la John Wench & Son vont commercialiser, dès le 15 avril.

darling alfred 1899 optical
The Optical Magic Lantern Journal and Photographic Enlarger, vol. 10, nº 9, avril 1899, p. 119. 

darling alfred 1899 biokam science gossip
Science-Gossip, Londres, vol. V, nº60, mai 1899, p. 361.

Dans ses mémoires, Charles Urban évoque cette collaboration :

There was located in Ditchling, Brighton a mechanical engineer named A. Darling, who had made various machines for the limited demand at that time, the film making industry in England only being in its beginning in 1898. A few experimental machines were made earlier. Even a punch and hammer were used by some to cut perforations into both sides of the film. You can imagine the result on the screen. Making a perforating machine was a precision job and Darling came close to producing accurate work. We had made one of each of these machines for a G. Albert Smith of Hove, who with M. J. Williamson a chemist of Hove, started dabbling in pictures.
I placed an order with Darling for a special type camera to be known as the Warwick camera, which has been adopted by the trade and used the world over during the following twenty-five years. A good many are still in use in 1942. We kept Mr. Darling busy building cameras, perforators, printers, film measuring and mending machines and minor accessories, for which the Warwick Trading Company had the exclusive rights. Mr. Smith had leased the St. Ann's Well and Wild Gardens, a private park in Hove. There he had built facilities for printing and developing films. We soon came to an arrangement that he do the making of positive prints from negatives taken by the Warwick cameramen as soon after we received the first lot of cameras from Darling.

MCKERNAN, 1999: 49-50.

Le rôle d'Alfred Darling, dans ces premiers temps, est essentiel comme le rapporte James Williamson, quelques années plus tard, en lui rendant un hommage appuyé :

Later in that year [1897], however, I discovered Alfred Darling, and found that he was the source of all the cameras and appliances, which had enabled Esmé Collings and G. A. Smith to accomplish their work. And I am bound to admit that as far as I am concerned it was Darling's ingenuity in carrying out our ideas that made work in those early days at all possible, for we were thrown upon our own resources entirely, and were confronted by innumerable difficulties in working cut and perfecting our apparatus. Darling made the first rotary perforator, I believe, which made perforating easy work. He afterwards designed a camera which has been the standard design now for many years. I might say, by the way, that the camera we have on the market is from Darling's design, but the patent movement is our own.

"Men of the Moment in the Cinematograph World. Nº IV.-MR. JAMES WILLIAMSON, OF THE WILLIAMSON KINEMATOGRAPH COMPANY, LIMITED.", The Cinema News  and Property Gazette, vol. 1, n1 4, mai 1912, p. 10-12.

Et après... (1901-1931)

Il est déjà installé à Brighton lors du recensement de 1901. C'est alors que Charles Urban fait à nouveau appel à lui afin de construire l'appareil cinématographique en couleurs pour lequel Edward Turner et Frederick Lee ont déposé un brevet, en 1899 sans parvenir à réaliser l'invention. Lors du recensement de 1911, il habite avec sa famille au 83 Ditchling rise. (Margate, Thanet, Kent). Par ailleurs, son entreprise "Alfred Darling & Sons" va continuer à publier des annonces jusqu'au début des années 1920 :

ALFRED DARLING & SONS, 25, Ditchling Rise, Brighton, are open to manufacture Cameras, Printers, Perforators, Measurers, etc. Repairs to any make of machine a speciality.

Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 31 mars 1921, p. 133.

Il décède en 1931, à l'âge de 69 ans : 

THERE will be many old-timers who will remember Alfred Darling, a pioneer of kinematography, who has died at Brighton, in his 70th year. A native of London, Mr. Darling worked in conjunction with J. Albert Smith, A. Esme Collins and Friese-Greene, and later with Charles Urban on Kinemacolor. He worked for over 35 years in connection with the kinematograph, and a model of an early camera of his is now exhibited in a London museum.

Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 6 août 1931, p. 19.

Il repose au cimetière de Hove


MCKERNAN Luke, A Yank in Britain. The Lost Memoirs of Charles Urban, The Projection Box, 1999, 96 p.