Birt ACRES

(Richmond, 1854-Londres, 1918)

acres birt portrait

Jean-Claude SEGUIN

1

John Acres (-États-Unis, [1864]). Descendance:

  • Birt Acres (Richmond, 23/07/1854-Londres, 27/12/1918) épouse (Hackney, 29/04/1891) Annie Elizabeth Cash (Hobart, 27/11/1863-Essex, 1953). Descendance:
    • Sidney Birt Acres (Barnet, 28/07/1892-Rochford, 03/1970) épouse Phyllis, Doreen Acres (Hackney, 09/04/1904-Southend On Sea, 07/1995). Descendance:
      • fille
      • fils
    • Winnifred Annie Acres (Barnet, 01/12/1893-St Albans, 19/12/1963) épouse Robert George Jackson (Wandsworth, 31/12/1891-Westcliff-on-Sea 04/01/1949). Descendance:
      • Margaret L W Jackson (Rochford, 22/02/1921-Saint Albans, 08/01/2012) épouse Denis James Aston (Birkenhead, 13/02/1919-10/2018)
      • Joan A Jackson (Rochford, 1923-)
      • Patricia Lulu Jackson (Westcliff, 29/01/1926-Bourne, 08/05/2003)
    • Louie Marjorie Acres (Barnet, 06/11/1896-30/12/1978) épouse Lionel Arthur Haviland Vickers.

2

Fils de parents britanniques émigrés aux États-Unis, Birt Acres né à Richmond en Virginie. Avant la guerre civile (1861-1865), la famille part pour la Caroline du Nord où elle développe une plantation de tabac et de de coton. En 1864, la marche du général Sherman sur les Caroline, conduit les parents à renvoyer Birt à Richmond qui reste sous l'autorité d'une tante jeune et riche. Le père et la mère de Birt Acres, qui sont restés en Caroline sont tués et leur maison incendiée et rasée. Il est ensuite envoyé à Paris pour étudier les arts et les sciences. De retour aux États-Unis, il va mener une vie d'aventurier (Frontiersman), fait du commerce avec les Sioux. Dans les années 1880, il se trouve en Alaska.

Finalement, il s'installe en Grande-Bretagne, vers la fin de la décennie. Il réside à Hackney, non loin de Londres et dépose un brevet à la fin de l'année 1889:

NEW PATENTS
The following is a list of new patents specially compiled for 'The Hackney and Kingsland Gazette' by Messrs. Hughes, Son, and Co., Patent Agents, 38, Chancery lane, London, W.C., of whom all information relating to patents, designs, and trade marks may be obtained free of charge.
Birt Acres, Richmond road, Hackney.—A dish for developing photographic plates, 14,976.


Hackney and Kingsland Gazette, lundi 14 octobre 1889, p. 4.

Il est alors membre de la Hackney Photographic Society. Il réalise des vues pour lanterne magique  qui sont évoquées lors d'une réunion de la Photographic Society of Great Britain. En 1891, il est recensé (recensement 1891) chez la famille de son ami Charles Mortimer. En 1892, il devient directeur des travaux photographiques d'Elliott and Sons:

THE PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
Much that is very interesting may be seen at the annual Exhibition of ths Society to be opened to-day at the Water-Colour Galleries in Pall-mall. [...] "The Story of a Cloud"-a series of five carbon-pints-is the result of an ingenious experiment by Mr. Birt Acres, whereby he has secured the changes in the form of a bank of cumulus clouds, from the time when it appeared above the horizon, comparatively insignificant, through its brief epochs of growth to the moment when its acquired volume is about to drift away again into "thin air." Mr. Acres also exhibits another excellent sky-photograph as well as some small hand-camera studies at Barnet Fair, more commonplace in character, but very good indeed of their kind. [...] A wild sea is pictured in the great photograph seven feet long by Messrs. Elliot and Son, which is a carbon enlargement from a whole-place negative by Mr. Birt Acres.


Morning Post, Londres, lundi 26 septembre 1892, p. 3.

À la fin de l'année 1893, il dépose un brevet "Apparatus for Exposing Successive Photographic Plates, and for Exhibiting Magic Lantern and other Slides" (Brevet GB189323679 du 8 décembre 1893). Au cours de l'année suivante, il va essentiellement se consacrer à la divulgation d'un procédé de photographie au charbon et à ses photos de nuages. Il présente également l'appareil breveté en 1893 ou une variante :

Mr. Birt Acres shows a rough model of magazine lantern-slide changer of his invention, and we should say make too, though anything but rough.


Barnet Press, Barnet, samedi 29 septembre 1894, p. 5.

Les vues pour Kinétoscope (février-juin 1895)

S'il reste difficile de savoir à partir de quel moment, Birt Acres s'attelle à la réalisation de son appareil cinématographique, ce que l'on peut dire c'est qu'il tourne, en collaboration avec Robert W. Paul, sa première vue en février 1895, Incident Outside Clovelly CottageEn 1936, Paul évoque brièvement la vue :

I am able to show a bit of kinetoscope film taken during a trial of our first camera in February, 1895.


PAUL, 1936

Pour sa part Birt Acres, dans les notes marginales et manuscrites de son exemplaire de Moving Pictures de Frederick A. Talbot, ajoute:

This reproduction of a Kinetoscope film was taken by Birt Acres and is a view of the front entrance of his home, Clovelly Cottage. The figure in white is his paid assistant Henry W. Short, and was taken at the rate of 40 pictures per second, 2400 per min.


ajouté à Frederick A. Talbot, Living Pictures. Conservé au BFI.

1895 incidentIncident Outside Clovelly Cottage
montage des 3 fragments conservés

S'il existe quelque divergence entre les deux témoignages, là où ils concordent c'est qu'il s'agit de vues kinetoscopiques. Après ce coup d'essai, Birt Acres refait une nouvelle tentative à l'occasion de la célèbre course d'aviron qui oppose les équipes d'Oxford et de Cambridge :

[...] it is well known that I successfully photographed the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race last spring.


The British Journal of Photography, Londres, 13 mars 1896, p. 173.

En avril, Birt Acres renouvelle sa collaboration avec Elliott & Sons :

We are informed that Mr. Birt Acres has resigned the management of Messrs. Elliott & Sons works at Barnet.


The British Journal of Photography, Londres, 26 avril 1895, p. 268.

À ce moment-là, il n'a pas encore breveté son appareil de prise de vues, chose qu'il va faire quelques semaines plus tard: "Improved Apparatus for Enabling Photographic Images to be Taken, Projected, or Viewed in Rapid Succession." (Brevet GB189510474A du 2 mai 1895). Une nouvelle tentative va avoir lieu à l'occasion du célèbre derby d'Epsom qui se court cette année le 29 mai. Grâce à une photographie conservée, on aperçoit Birt Acres devant le cinématographe avant le début de la course. À ses côtés, quelques marches plus bas, on a cru reconnaître Henry William Short

1895 derby acres 01
Birt Acres et son cinématographe.
Derby d'Epsom (1895)

Quelques mois plus tard, la revue Field publie un photogramme retouché du film sans avoir reçu l'autorisation de Birt Acres qui réagit contre cette pratique :

ARTISTS' AFFECTATIONS.
[...]
[The illustration we reproduced (except that the background was removed so as to more clearly bring out the position of the horse in the foreground) was sent to us by " Impecuniosus," inclosed in his letter, which we printed with the illustration. From his letter, our conclusion was that the " snap-shot " was the work of himself or a friend. Since the illustration appeared in this paper we have been in communication with Mr Birt Acres, of Barnet, who stated to us that he is the inventor of the apparatus by which the original snap-shot was taken. Mr Acres complains that the illustration in question was published without his authority, and avers that it was one of a series taken by him while the Derby was being run—it was taken close to the winning-post. This would appear to dispose of the theory that the alleged " shap-shot " was only a copy of a drawing.—ED.]


The FieldThe Country Gentleman's Newpaper, nº 2232, samedi 5 octobre 1895, p. 584.

1895 derby 01 1895 derby 01b
Photogramme publié Photogramme inversé
The FieldThe Country Gentleman's Newpaper, nº 2230, samedi 21 septembre 1895, p. 510.
1895 derby 01b 1895 derby
The Field (photogramme inversé) Photogramme de The Derby (1895) (collection Henville)

Au cours des semaines suivant The Derby, il tourne de nouvelles vues qui sont présentées publiquement en juillet :

SALE OF WORK.
The annual sale of work was held at the Rectory, Barnet, on Thursday afternoon. The stall holders were-Fancy stall, Mrs Barrett, the Misses Sugars, and Miss Brooks; clothing stall, Mrs Woodward, Miss Mann, and Mrs Learoyd; china and ferns. Miss Barrett; dip. Miss M. Barrett and Miss M. Large. There also was a rummage sale in the garden. The proceedings were rendered more interesting by the entertainments that were provided. There was music of course. That should go without the saying where civilized folk are entertained. The special feature of the entertainment was the kinetoscope. The kinetoscope is photographic machine for exhibiting pictures of passing actions and scenes. It exhibits movement by means of series of photographs, taken at the rate of 1,500 a minute, on film 41 feet long. The machine will hold 71 pictures. The necessary exposure for each picture is but 1-3000th of a second. The camera is the invention of Mr Birt Acres, and the pictures are also made by him. The machine for showing them is Edison's pattern. The scenes on which the public were enabled to look at through this machine on Thursday afternoon and evening were: -The Derby; the boxing kangaroo; arrest of a pickpocket; and the shoe-black, all photographed from life. The invention is a wonderful one, as all must admit who had the opportunity of seeing the kinetoscope.


The Barnet Press, Finchley & Hendon News, Southgate & Edgware Chronicle, Barnet, samedi 6 juillet 1895, p. 8.

Les trois nouvelles vues sont The boxing kangaroo, Arrest of a pickpocket, The shoe-black. Acres dispose alors de son propre appareil de prise de vue avec lequel il tourne des bandes destinées au kinétoscope Edison, mais qu'il n'est pas encore capable de projeter sur un écran. C'est en juillet que Birt Acres et Robert W. Paul se séparent comme l'évoque plus loin ce dernier.

Dans les mois qui suivent, Birt Acres, dont on a du mal à suivre les déplacements, se rend plusieurs fois en Allemagne. Tout d'abord en juin à l'occasion de l'inauguration du canal de Kiel. Certaines vues présentées par Birt laissent à penser qu'il y se rend à nouveau en septembre-octobre. Il se serait rendu également aux États-Unis vers la fin de l'année.

Les essais de projection cinématographique et la polémique Paul-Acres (janvier-avril 1896)

Il n'est pas aisé de savoir à quel moment précis Birt Acres a commencé à projeter ses vues animées,  mais la presse spécialisée ou généraliste n'évoque rien sur ce sujet au cours de l'année 1895. En 1897, un article rétrospectif - et clairement hagiographique - sur la brève carrière de Birt Acres, publié dans The Optical Magic Lantern et "dicté" par Acres, évoque un premier essai de projections de vues animées en septembre 1895: 

Prominent Men in the Lantery World,
No. VII.—Mr. BIRT ACRES.
It is hardly necessary for us to introduce Mr. Birt Acres to our readers—his name has long been before the photographie public in connection with some of the leading improvements in the art science, but it is more particularly in connection with animated photography that our readers will feel interested in his work. We learn that in 1893 he took out a patent for taking and projecting a series of photographs in rapid succession. Later on, in the spring of 1894, he designed an improved machine for this class of work, and in the spring of 1895 took a successful picture of the Oxford and Cambridge boat race; this picture is, we believe, absolutely the first picture taken of an historical event as apart from the specially-got up scenes with which the Edison kinetoscope has familiarised us. His other successes in that year were the Derby, in which the clearing the course, the preliminary canter, the race, and the crowd surging over the course are all truthfully rendered; later in the same year he attended the opening of the Kiel Canal, and amongst other pictures obtained a very successful one of the German Emperor reviewing his guard. Towards the end of September he showed to one or two gentlemen well-known in the photographic world these animated pictures on a screen, the picture measuring about 7 feet by 5 feet.


The Optical Magic Lantern Journal and Photographic Enlarger. Vol. 8, nº 96, Londres, mai 1897, p. 79-81.

Cette hypothétique présentation privée ne trouve pas sa confirmation dans la presse et de fait, ce que cette dernière retient, au début de l'année 1896, ce sont des projections de "slides", des photographies fixes :

BRUNSWICK HOUSE ENTERTAINMENTS
There was a very large audience on Saturday to hear the concert prepared by Mrs Stephen Alcock and friends.
[...]
Amongst the series of entertainments by no means the least interesting in that given Mr Samuels and friends, of whom the chief this year was Mr Acres. Several scenes of Old Barnet were Tuesday last revisited, if we might so say, by the help of the views thrown on the screen. There were some views of special interest to the audience, amongst others the interiors of the Parish Church and the Catholic Church There were several other photos such as those taken at Barnet Fair, Hadley Woods, and other spots far and near. Those of hoar-frost were specially good. Some good specimens of domestic and other animals called forth loud and hearty applause. The chief feature of the evening was the exhibition, we believe for the second time only, of an invention (we think by Mr Acres) by which, with the help of a double lense,  the views could be seen in relief and in one colour, though without the "spectacles" the object was of two or more colours; this invention is likely to bring about a new era in the work of the magic lantern. We might mention in passing that the moving slides caused quite an excitement amongst the audience. The comic conclusion was very acceptable, especially to the younger ones, when the Sleeping Beauty (?) was seen swallowing rats to his heart’s content, and looked Mr Samuel’s remarked, "as he had had a good supper.” - Good night ’’ was then displayed in large letters which told the audience that all was at end. Not quite so, for the boys gave three cheers for their kind entertainer. At the conclusion Father Connor announced that a change had been made in the series, namely, that Mr Belcher would give the concluding night on Saturday, and that Friday’s concert would be given with help from many friends. As usual the room was full the doors, and many had be refused admission.


The Barnet Press, Finchley & Hendon News, Southgate & Edgware Chronicle, Barnet, samedi 11 janvier 1896, p. 6.

Ce qui est incontestable, c'est que des essais de projections de vues animées ont lieu, le 14 janvier dans le cadre d'une réunion de la Royal Photographic Society dont Birt Acres est l'un des membres :

ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY.
JANUARY 14,-Ordinary Meeting.-Jr. John Spiller, F.I.C., F.C.S., in the chair.
Six applications for membership were received, ans thirteen new members new elected.
[...]
Mr. BIRT ACRES then demonstrated an apparatus which he had invented, and to which he had given the name of
THE KINETIC LANTERN,
the object of which was to throw upon the screen a series of photographs in such rapid succession as to convey the idea of natural motion. The photographs shown were taken at the rate of about forty per second, and were projected at the rate of about fifteen per second, the result being similar to that of Edison's kinetoscope. The examples shown included boxers, a review at Kiel by the German Emperor, Epsom Downs and the Derby, serpentine dancing, and breaking waves, and the opinion of the meeting was unmistakably evidenced by the loud applause which greeted the various effects, the sea series in particular being enthusiastically received. Mr. Acres referred to experiments made some time ago in the same direction by Mr. Greene's, and was the outcome of many years' work.


The British journal of photography, Londres, 17 janvier 1896, p. 43.

On y reconnaît quelques vues prises par Birt Acres, mais il semble que la vitesse de projection (15 i/s) soit singulièrement plus lente que celle de la prise de vue (40 i/s). Cela indique bien que l'appareil de projection n'est pas adapté aux films tournées à la vitesse des vues kinetoscopiques d'Edison. On imagine que les vues projetées l'ont été a un rythme très lent.

C'est à cette même époque qu'une polémique s'engage entre Paul et Acres qui a pour objet l'antériorité des travaux sur l'image animée. Le premier article de Acres rappelle qu'il a projeté des images animées dès le 14 janvier 1896, même s'il reconnaît que les frères Lumière en ont présenté avant lui à Londres :  

KINETOSCOPY ON THE SCREEN.
To the Editors.
GENTLEMEN, — Referring to Mr. G. R. Baker's notes on the projection of moving objects on the screen, I am quite willing to admit that to Messrs. Lumiere belongs the credit of being the first in England to show the outside public such figures ; but, at the same time, I think it is only fair to myself to point out that I successfully showed such pictures at the Royal Photographic Society on January 14, which antedates Lumiere considerably. I think it only fair to point out that I was the first in Europe to successfully take photographs suitable for either the kinetoscope or the kinetic lantern (many of my earlier successful photographs, not being historical subjects, of course, bear no indisputable date) ; but it is well known that I successfully photographed the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race last spring, also the Derby, in which is shown clearing the course, the race, and the rush across the course after the race; further, I took a series of photographs at the opening of the Kiel Canal in June last year. The photographs also of the Boxing Kangaroo, Tom Merry, lightning cartoonist, dancing girls, bears, &c., as well as the magnificent wave picture at Dover, are also mine.
I have gone into this matter at some length, as it came to my knowledge that a certain individual had advertised himself as sole manufacturer of these films, whereas he had no more to do with the taking or making of these films than you, Mr. Editor, have had. Now that projection lanterns are springing up like mushrooms all around, I think that it will be useful to know that Mr. Friese Green holds what is really a master patent ; and, as he has arranged with a syndicate to run his apparatus, I should not be at all surprised if he asserts his patent rights. I am informed that his claim is a good one, and so thoroughly am I convinced of his rights that I have already entered into an agreement with him, by which I have secured the right of working under his patent. I confess that I was entirely in ignorance of Mr. Friese Green's work when I designed my apparatus, and, as a matter of fact, the principle on which I work is mechanically different to his, but his claim to passing a series of pictures on an endless band intermittently is original with him, and I have very little doubt but that he will be able to uphold his claim.
It may seem a contradiction for me to claim that I was the first to successfully solve the difficulty in Europe in the face of what I have just written, but it is a fact that with my apparatus I am able to take pictures at almost any speed (I have gone as high as 100 per second) accurately spaced, which is the crux on which nearly every one has failed. Mr. Friese Green's pictures were, I believe, accurately spaced, but he did not contemplate such great rapidity as the kinetoscope involved. Apologising for trespassing on your valuable space,—I am, yours, &c.
March 7, 1896. Birt Acres.


The British Journal of Photography, Londres, 13 mars 1896, p. 173-174

En réalité, ce que revendique Birt Acres, c'est d'avoir été le premier européen à avoir réalisé des films pour le kinétoscope, films qu'il a tournés tout au long de l'année 1895. Robert W. Paul ne tarde pas à lui répondre afin de rappeler quelle a été la chronologie des événements. Il évoque son collaborateur Mr S[hort] et décrit les différentes étapes des années 1894 et 1895. S'il me remet pas en cause le travail de cinématographiste de Birt Acres, Paul précise qu'il est bien le constructeur du premier "kinetograph" obejet du litige et qu'Acres a souhaité en tirer un profit personnel

KINETOSCOPY ON THE SCREEN.
To the Editors.
Gentlemen, — Referring to Mr. Acres’ letter in yours of the 13th, stating that a certain individual had advertised himself as being sole manufacturer of these films,” and giving the impression that the successful manufacture in England was due to Mr. Acres alone, it is due to me to state exactly what occurred, leaving your readers to form their own judgment.
In December 1894 I was manufacturing kinetoscopes, and my friend, Mr. S., suggested that if I would construct a camera for taking the films he would introduce me to Mr. Acres, who could undertake the photography. On February 4 Mr. Acres called at my works, and agreed that, if I constructed the camera and tools at my own risk and expense, he would use it for taking films for me solely. He also handed me a sketch of an apparatus for photographic printing, and suggested that some of the actions of this might be utilised for the camera. I pointed out that this could scarcely be done, and of seven mechanical motions embodied two were abandoned, and the remainder replaced by different actions suggested by Mr. S. and myself, only one unimportant piece being retained.
On February 5 and 6, 1895, I designed and constructed (with the cooperation of Mr. S.) a working model. By March 16 I had made drawings of, and finished, a complete kinetograph, for which Mr. Acres found a lens, but in designing the mechanism of which he took no part. Before this was finished, Mr. Acres verbally undertook to share the patent with me. After the kinetograph was tried and found satisfactory, Mr. Acres said he withdrew from this undertaking, and stated that he would purchase the camera, but claimed that he had a right to patent it himself.
On March 28, finding that Mr. Acres insisted on this, and that during the delay the demand for films was rapidly falling off, I gave in upon this point, Mr. Acres signing an agreement to produce films for me for a term of years from that date, and on March 30 our first saleable picture — viz., The Boat Race — was taken.
On July 12, 1895, Mr. Acres stated that he was no longer in a position to make films without being financed, and the agreement was cancelled on his paying for the outfit and compensation. Since then I have constructed a kinetograph on an entirely new principle, which enables me to obtain increased accuracy in the manufacture of the films. — I am, yours,
ROBT. W. PAUL.
44, Hatton- garden, London, E.C., March 17, 1896.
P.S. — Referring to the second paragraph of Mr. Acres’ letter, I have submitted the matter for the opinion of Mr. Fletcher Moulton, Q.C., with the following result : —
1. Mr. Moulton is of the opinion that Mr. Friese Green’s patent is limited to the actual details of working described by him, in conjunction with the use of the double lantern, none of which I, in any way, embody in my system.
2. Having submitted to Mr. Moulton the specifications of all kineto- scope projection apparatus, he states that my apparatus in no way infringes upon any of these.


The British Journal of Photography, Londres 27 mars 1896, p. 206-207.

Il ne faut que quelques jours à Birt Acres pour contrattaquer et finir de préciser les choses. Il ne revient pas sur la question du kinetograph, mais insiste sur le fait que c'est bien Robert W. Paul qui a fait appel à lui, par l'entremise de Henry W. Short :

KINETOSCOPY ON THE SCREEN.
To the Editors.
SIR, — I have read the letter in your issue of the 27th nit. over the name R. W. Paul, but I decline to enter into a wordy contest with him. I will therefore content myself with a few statements.
Towards the latter end of 1894, Mr. H. W. Short (the Mr. S. of your correspondent's letter), who was a constant visitor at my house, informed me that he knew a man who was making Edison kinetoscopes, and who would do anything to get films, as the Edison Company would only sell films to purchasers of their machines. I believe that no patents were taken out on the Edison machine, the Company relying on the difficulty of the successful making of films, and, as machines were of no use with-out films, they made it a stipulation with the sale of films that they were only to be used with their own machines.
Mr. Short knew that I bad invented an apparatus for taking (or printing, the principle is interchangeable) a number of photographs in rapid succession, and suggested that, if I were agreeable, he would introduce me to his friend, who would at his own cost make any machine I required, provided that I would supply him with films. Accordingly, Mr. Short introduced me to Mr. Paul. Mr. Paul admitted to me that he had no idea how to make such an apparatus, but that he would work out my ideas for me. I accordingly showed Mr. Paul how the thing could be accomplished, and made sufficient drawings to enable him to work the machine out. From that date until the machine was finished I attended at Mr. Paul's workshop every evening, modifying and superintending the manufacture of this machine. Mr. Short was only present on rare occasions.
I showed Mr. Short Mr. Paul's letter in your issue of the 27th ult., and he seemed very much surprised, and solemnly declared to me that he (Mr. Short) had not the faintest idea how to set about making such an apparatus before he saw my models and drawings, and he was equally certain that Mr. Paul had not ; and, further, that he (Mr. Short) had bad nothing to do with the designing of the machine.
Mr. Paul's letter would give your readers the impression that a kind of partnership existed between Paul and myself, and speaks of "our first saleable picture."
The truth is that, during the construction of the machine, Paul spoke of patting a large sum of money into the manufacture of films. I expressed myself willing, under such conditions, to give him a share in the venture, but, to my utter astonishment, when the machine was finished, Mr. Paul claimed a half share in it, and this without the slightest intention of putting a sixpence into it. I very well remember Mr. Short's surprise at this claim of Paul's. I finally agreed to appoint Paul agent, Paul agreeing to take a minimum number of films. Later on, Paul said he could not sell the minimum number, and so it became necessary for me to make other arrangements, which I accordingly did, having first cancelled the agreement with Paul.
If Paul thinks that he has any rights in the boat race or any other of my negatives, I would suggest that he makes copies of same in any shape or form, and publishes or makes any use whatever of such copies ; we will then have an opportunity of deciding whose property they are.
In conclusion, I would only add that Mr. Paul has never seen one of my negatives, and has no idea, so far as I am aware, how I print and develop my pictures (my printing machine, which is a special one, being exclusively designed by myself and made on my own premises), my methods of handling film being also my own invention.
Apologising fof trespassing on your space, but I could not allow such a letter to pass without laying the facts before you, — I am, yours, &c.,
BIRT Acres, F.R.MET.S., F.B.P.S.


The British Journal of Photography, Londres, 10 avril 1896, p. 239.

Cette polémique va ainsi prendre fin, mais il est clair que l'enjeu, dès cette année 1896, est tout à fait évident: être le premier à avoir pu enregistrer et projeter des vues animées.

The Kineopticon/Cinematescope (mars-décembre 1896)

Au cours des semaines qui ont précédé, Birt Acres n'est semble-t-il pas parvenu à une solution satisfaisante pour offrir des projections de vues animées acceptables. C'est ce qu'il reconnaît dans The British Journal of Photography avant d'apporter une série de réflexion sur divers appareils connus à l'époque :

THE KINETIC LANTERN.
Mr. BIRT ACRES, who had promised a display of his new kinetic lantern, apologised for its non-appearance, and explained his reasons for not showing the same. He had but just heard of a competitor from the other side of the Channel who had that day shown his apparatus in London, and he was not satisfied to show to the London and Provincial his original apparatus and take second place. He had machines in the hands of the best London mechanics, but unfortunately they were slow, and he was unable to show his latest improvements. He invited all present to a private view in Piccadilly-circus, where he intended to exhibit his machine, and said a few words about kinetoscopic work. The first practical attempt was made by Mr. Friese Greene, but he had never seen his work. Mr. Acres had been at work on the subject many years, and nearly thirty years ago had made drawings for the zoetrope. When he took up photography, he had an idea to make photographs and then drawing from them. At the London Convention, Mr. Muybridge exhibited pictures showing motion. He believed they were made pretty much on the same plan as he originally proposed of making photographs and then drawings. His first attempts were to put twelve small lenses together, and endeavour in that way to get a succession of pictures, but they were not satisfactory. If you wish to get the best results, the pictures must all be taken from the same point of view. He thought the greatest difficulty was the spacing of the pictures. In a French apparatus they successfully made pictures, but signally failed over the spacing, and that was the main difficulty. It is also of the utmost importance that the photographs should register exactly. Another difficulty he mentioned was with the celluloid films. When making negatives as he did, 200 feet long, one wanted a perfectly ductile film. He had discovered a method by which celluloid films can be made as nice as a piece of silk, and offered to return any film sent him in such a condition.
The CHAIRMAN had seen Lumiere's Exhibition, but was of opinion that they were not by any means ready. They had used an electric lamp, with alternating current, and a peculiar disagreeable flicker was apparent. He mentioned that three years ago Edison's results were announced as coming out, but he had not seen anything of them. A worker whom Mr. Acres had omitted to mention was Anschutz, who does not actually project on a screen, but uses an aperture in a wall, while the audience sit in a room at the back, the pictures passing rapidly in front of the opening.
Mr. Acres referred Mr. Debenham to his patent specification, and said it was absolutely necessary that similar apparatus should be used for taking and projecting. He said that Anschutz's principle was almost the same as one he bad discarded as useless.
Mr. Acres considered it of the utmost importance that the pictures .should be taken at the same speed as they were shown, and explained the effect obtained by taking at forty per second and projecting at fifteen per second, and vice versa. He had found an exposure of from one-thousandth to an eight- hundredth of a second quite enough for anything. In the case of a man throwing his hat to the ground, he had counted fifteen negatives. In reply to a query from Mr. Bayston as to the duration of exposure of his longest series, Mr. Birt Acres said he had perfect control over his machine, and could stop and go on as he pleased.
Mr. SNOWDEN WARD, in the interest of historical accuracy, said that the Anschutz instrument was adopted for lantern projection, and was on view at the Chicago World's Fair. With regard also to Edison's work, he said his instrument had been running for some months in several places.
The CHAIRMAN had noticed a defect with Lumière's machine, in which flashes of bright light had appeared.
Mr. Acres considered they were due to clear spaces in the film, where, by some mechanical defect, the gelatine had been scraped away.


The British Journal of Photography, Londres, 28 février 1896, p. 138.

C'est finalement le samedi 21 mars que Birt Acres ouvre une salle située au 2 Piccadilly Mansions (Piccadilly Circus):

The Kineopticon is to open its doors to the public on Saturday next.


The Optician, vol. 10, jeudi 19 mars 1896, p. 358.

acres birt 1896 kineoptikon 03 acres birt 1896 kineopticon 02
Kineoptikon, Piccadilly Circus, [mai 1896]
Source: BARNES, 1988: 71.
Kineoptikon, Piccadilly Circus, [mai 1896]
Source: William Fries-Green & Me

Grâce à un autre article, on dispose de quelques titres du programme :

THE KINEOPTICON.
MR. BIRT ACRES, who, as our readers are aware, has recently demonstrated his kinetic lantern before several of the photographic societies, and may claim to have been first in the field with a public exhibition of animated photography on the screen, has given his system the happily chosen title of the Kineopticon, and is exhibiting it at a pleasant little hall in Piccadilly Circus, where we had an opportunity on Saturday last of witnessing the display.
The subjects on the programme included the arrest of a pickpocket, an exciting street scene ; a carpenter's shop, showing work in full swing ; a visit to the Zoo ; a boxing match ; the German Emperor reviewing his troops ; the 1895 Derby ; a rough sea at Dover ; and other attractive views. The realism and success of the views, particularly in the case of the horse race and the breaking waves, are remarkable, and should ensure the kineopticon wide popularity.


The British Journal of Photography, vol. 43, nº 1872, vendredi 27 mars 1896, p. 202.

Les séances ne durent que quelques jours car Birt Acres se rend à Cardiff où il présente le kineopticon, à l'Art Gallery, à un parterre de connaisseurs réunis à l'Art Galerie :

THE "KINCOPTICON." [sic]— Mr Birt Acres gave some interesting experiments at the Art Gallery, Queen street, on Friday evening, of the "Kincopticon," a machine invented by himself, similar to the limeteograph, and being a combination of the "Kinetoscope," the pictures and views being thrown on a screen life-sized by the aid of limelight. The experiments, which were held under the auspices of the Cardiff Photographic Society, were watched with the keenes interest, and provoked a good deal of applause.


South Wales Daily News, Cardiff, samedi 11 avril 1896, p. 6.

Quelques jours plus tard, il est de retour à Londres pour de nouvelles projections cinématographiques :  

THE KINEOPTICON.— A successful demonstration of Mr. Birt Acres' invention for showing animated photographs on the screen, to which we referred in our issue of March 27, was given in the rooms at Piccadilly-circus on Monday last.


The British Journal of Photography, Londres, vendredi 24 avril 1896, p. 266.

Un autre article donne quelques titres du programme :

The " living " photographs — or, more properly, photographs of objects in motion — now exhibiting by the Kineoptikon at Piccadilly Mansions, opposite the Shaftesbury Fountain, are noticeable for many of them being representations of actual scenes attempted out of doors by Mr. Birt Acres. The Derby-day is the most successful, and shows the clearing of the course, the race, with Lord Rosebery's Sir Visto forcing his way to the front, and, finally, the crowd surging in after the last horse. The waves rolling past the Admiralty Pier at Dover are very realistic. The illumination of the pictures might be improved and more steadiness given to it, and this will probably be accomplished at the public entertainments.


London Evening Standard, Londres, mardi 21 avril 1896, p. 7.

Ces nouvelles présentations vont donner lieu à un article très long sur le kineoptikon et le travail de Birt Acres publié dans The Lantern Record, supplément mensuel du British Journal of Photography:

LANTERN MEMS.
Animated lantern pictures are still the rage, for not only are there four different machines or projection apparatus being publicly exhibited at the present time in London, but these are being duplicated at the east and west ends, besides arrangements being in progress for provincial exhibitions. I had the opportunity, recently, of seeing Mr. Birt Acres' " Kineoptikon " at the hall in Piccadilly-circus (just at the junction of Shaftesbury-avenue), and the subjects shown were of a very effective nature, and point to a great future when the initial difficulties, inseparable from new inventions, are overcome.
It seems to me, in this class of apparatus, the ultimate success will depend on the co-operation of the film-makers and the perfection of material forming the base, whether it be celluloid or something yet to be manufactured. The great light necessary for the projection of the present size of kinetoscope designs, to make them visible life size on the screen, or of sufficient size to be seen by a large audience, is such that it makes apparent the slightest blemish in either film or support, and consequently pinholes, scratches, and marks, obtrude themselves, and are particularly noticeable in the quick changes that have to take place to keep up the appearance of motion, or living photographs.
MR. BIRT ACRES, with a modesty very rare in these days of advertising, does not anywhere on his prospectus put his name, nor did lie announce himself personally as the inventor, on the day I saw his exhibition, but contents himself with the following note at the end of the programme : " Our apparatus is an English invention, and was the very first shown in England, an exhibition having been given, with great success, at the Royal Photographic Society, early in January last. An entirely new series of pictures is now being prepared, and we shall frequently vary our programme."
I QUOTE this more as a text, for, from the results of each projection I have seen, I feel that it is a great pity, after once the plan of projecting the kinetoscope designs was found practical, that a much larger photograph was not arranged for, and the ultimate success of the invention will depend on the taking and projection of photographs of at least double the size of the present small photographs, for it is too much to expect to get perfection in detail in such a limited space.
CONSIDERING the material available, the results were remarkably good, particularly in such subjects as the Breaking Waves of a Rough Sea at Dover ; The Derby Day, with its concourse of people on the course, the actual race, and the crowd after the race ; The Boxing Kangaroo,, and the Arrest of a Pickpocket. One could see from the various results shown that a great deal of the success of the pictures depended on the position available for taking the photographs, for, in those where the subjects could be to a certain extent " placed " or kept at a definite or fairly regular distance from the camera, the natural appearance was well maintained ; while in others, such as the Royal Review, the exaggerated perspective had a most comical effect, the strides of the Emperor being in rapid succession Brobdingnagian and Liliputian ; while, with the Derby Day, with the camera pointing nearly straight down the course, the horses, as they neared the end, and were thus close to the camera, were somewhat out of focus.
It is, of course, easy to criticise, and I only allude to these little matters in the hope that some of the workers on machines for this class. of work will see their way, not only to arrange for larger films being used, but induce some film-maker to produce them with the utmost care. That something has already been achieved, is amply testified by the reception accorded to the projections of the Kineoptikon and the Cinematograph daily, and, as I understand, in the modern patterns of the former instrument, it not only projects the subject, but can be used for photographing it, and is so constructed that the same plan, with probably a little modification, could be used for subjects of a larger size. Further development may be expected when a further supply of machines is made.


The Lantern Record, Montly supplement to the British Journal of Photography, Londres, 1er mai 1896, p. 1.

Quelques jours plus tard, il est de retour à Cardiff pour une nouvelle série de projections de vues animées. Pourtant, c'est à la fin du mois de juillet qu'il va donner sa représentation la plus importante à Marlborough House, à la demande du prince de Galles à l'occasion du mariage de la princesse Maud :

ANIMATED PHOTOGRAPHS AT MARLBOROUGH HOUSE.
On Tuesday evening, the 21st inst., Mr. Birt Acres had the honour of showing some of his animated photographs at Marlborough House, by command of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales (through General Sir Dighton Probyn), before the distinguished company invited by the Prince and Princess of Wales to the dinner in honour of the marriage of H.R.H. the Princess Maud of Wales to H.R.H. Prince Charles of Denmark [...]
The programme consisted of twenty-one scenes as follows :
1, Capstone Parade, Ilfracombe. 2, Children Playing. 3, Great Northern Railway — Departure of an East Coast Express. 4, The Derby, 1895. 5, Niagara Falls (in three tableaux) : No. 1, The Upper River just above the Falls; 2, The Falls in Winter; 3, The Whirlpool Rapids. 6, The German Emperor Reviewing his Guard previous to the opening of the Kiel Canal, June, 1895. 7, Carpenter's Shop Scene, Refreshments. 8, The Boxing Kangaroo. 9, The arrest of a Pickpocket. 10, A Visit to the Zoo. 11, Yarmouth Fishing Boats Leaving Harbour. 12, Golf Extraordinary. 13, Tom Merry (lightning artist) drawing Mr. Gladstone. 14, Tom Merry (lightning artist) drawing Lord Salisbury  15, Boxing Match in two rounds by Sergeant Instructor F. Barrett and Sergeant Pope. 16, Highgate Tunnel. 17, Henley Regatta. 18, The Derby, 1896. Clearing the Course ; the Preliminary Parade ; the Race : " Persimmon" wins; the rush, intense enthusiasm, waving of hats, &c. 19, Broadway, New York. 20, A "Sowh Wester." 21, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales accompanied by T.R.H. The Prince of Wales, Princess Victoria, and Princess Maud, arriving at the Cardiff Exhibition, June 27, 1896.
All the pictures were well received, but in the last picture Royalty recognised themselves as they had never been portrayed before; and, as the figures were thrown life size on the screen and the portraits were clear and distinct and readily recognisable, this picture met with the most enthusiastic reception, and, in spite of the fact that the programme was an exceptionally long one, this last picture had to be repeated.
At the conclusion, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales personally thanked Mr. Birt Acres.
The disc thrown on the screen was perhaps the largest that has been attempted in this class of work, measuring as it did about eleven feet by eight feet six inches, and the light throughout was excellent, largely due to the facts that transparent films were used.
H.R.H. the Prince of Wales gave Mr. Acres permission to take kinetic photographs on the following day at the wedding, and we understand that Mr. Acres secured excellent negatives each 80 feet long and consisting of about 1500 separate photographs of the departure of the royal party from Marlborough House and also of the return to Marlborough House after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Later on, Mr. Acres secured an excellent negative on the Lawn of Marlborough House of the departure of the royal couple for Sandringham.
Mr. Acres was greatly impressed with the kindness and consideration of their Royal Highnesses, as every facility was granted to him to ensure satisfactory results both at the demonstration on Tuesday evening and also while the photographs were being taken on the wedding day.


The British Journal of Photography, Londres, vendredi 31 juillet 1896, p. 491.

Occasion lui est ainsi donnée de présenter une partie significative de sa production. Dès cette époque, une certaine confusion - sans doute entretenue -, va s'instaurer sur le nom de l'appareil "cinematescope", car le pionnier Birt Acres va, lui aussi, utiliser ce même terme pour désigner son propre appareil. Cette ambiguïté est déjà présente en juillet comme on peut le voir dans l'extrait suivant :

On Tuesday evening the Prince and Princess of Wales gave a dinner party at Marlborough House in honour of the marriage of Princess Maud. After dinner the guests witnessed an exhibition of the Cinematescope. The programme included twenty-one pictures, one of which, representing the arrival of the Prince and Princess of Wales and Princesses Victoria and Maud at the Cardiff Exhibition on June 27, excited much interest.


Home News for India, China and the Colonies, vendredi 24 juillet 1896, p. 13.

Si dans ce cas, il s'agit bien de Birt Acres, dans l'article suivant, presque contemporain, le propriétaire nommé est Douglas Beaufort :

Mrs. Alan Gardner's "At Home"- Among the most successful of last Monday's many parties was that given by Mrs. Alan Gardner at a Cromwell Houses. [...] The garden proved a most welcome rendezvous and promenade on a hot July evening. The hostess had arranged a brilliant display of lillies, lemon blossoms, roses, and many sweet smelling flowers and plants around the promenades. Fairy lights and lanterns added a touch of Oriental beauty to a scene which was as nearly perfect as artistic effort and refined taste could make it. Messrs. Johannes Wolff and Hollman rendered some choice violin and violoncello selections, which were accompanied by the veteran Signor di Calsi, who was formerly pianist to the Duchess of Cambridge. At midnight Mr. Douglas Beaumont [sic] gave a clever exhibition of the Cinematescope, by permission of the management of the Alhambra.


The Gentlewoman, Londres, 25 juillet 1896, p. 119.

Si l'appareil a d'abord été désigné comme "kinetic lantern", il a adopté le nom de Kineopticon pour ses premières exploitations commerciales comme le signale Henry H. Hopwood dans son ouvrage Living Pictures:

Brought out in January, 1896, as the Kinetic Lantern, this term was abandoned the following March in favour of the name of ''Kineopticon." Being called to give an entertainment before the Prince of Wales in July, the inventor found, to his surprise, that the programmes issued under Royal auspices referred to his invention as the '' Cinematoscope." What could a loyal photographer do except follow the same course as Mr. Acres actually did? Cinematoscope it was by Royal dictum, and Cinematoscope it remains to this day. But as " a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," so has the Cinematoscope retained its good qualities under all its varied nomenclature.


HOPWOOD, 1899: 98.

Faut-il voir un lien entre ces hésitations et le fait que vers cette époque la société The British Toy and Novelty Company Limited mette en vente le kineopticon de Birt Acres ?

acres birt 1896 vente kineopticon
The Era, Londres, samedi 25 juillet 1896, p. 22.

Toujouts est-il, qu'à partir du mois d'août 1896, le nom "kineopticon" n'est plus automatiquement associé à Birt Acres, comme on peut le voir dans l'annonce ci-après, pour une projection au People's Palace

acres birt 1896 kineopticon 01
People's Palace. Londres. East London Exhibition. 1896.
Source: The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. University Exeter

Peu après, Birt Acres délaisse le nom "kineoptikon" au profit de "cinematescope", mais la confusion continue d'être entretenue par la présence d'un autre appareil, le "cinematoscope" exploité par Lewis Sealy, parfois orthographié "cinematescope". On retrouve ainsi quelques présentations à la fin de l'année 1896 : Barnet (octobre), Londres (novembre), Fakenham (novembre), Ramsgate (décembre), Barnet (décembre)... On commence à voir apparaître la dénomination "Royal Cinematogaphe" dès le mois de janvier 1897.

acres birt royal cinematographe
The Era, Londres, samedi 2 janvier 1897, p. 34.

Au cours de l'année 1897, les présentations réalisées par Birt Acres apparaissent de moindre importance et le corpus de films n'évolue pratiquement plus. À plusieurs reprises, son cinematographe -dont le nom varie fréquemment - fait la première partie de la pièce de théâtre The Manxman. Il donne également des conférences avec projection de vues animées : 

A few weeks ago he gave a special demonstration at the Royal Institution by request of the Board of Management, and also gave an exhibition at the Royal Meteorological Society, showing the form and movement of clouds—a subject in which Mr. Acres takes a special interest.
Mr. Acres is not a showman, and his highest ambition is not to appear at the ‘‘ halls.” He tells us that he has got something “ up his sleeve,” as the phrase goes, and from what we saw at his works, the many ingenious devices he has invented for getting over difficulties that at first sight might seem almost insuperable, we should not be surprised to see him take a place in front of everyone else in connection with this work, as he was undoubtedly the first in England to exhibit these pictures ; so we expect ere long to see him take his proper position—a place he certainly will attain if hard work and |! perseverance count for anything.
Recently we, together with the editors of our contemporary photographic papers, paid a visit to his works at Barnet, and, in addition to seeing how it was all done (we saw the film coated in length of 1,200 feet without break, cut up and perforated, also the printing machine and special apparatus for developing, washing, and drying the prints), an animated photograph was taken of the party, the scheme of the picture being Mr. Acres discovered sitting by the side of one of his projection machines. He then receives the editors one by one, Mr. Bedding, of the British Journal of Photography, being the first to appear on the scene; then Mr. Wall, of the Photographic News, next appears, closely followed by Mr. Rowe, of Photography; then ourselves, of the Optical Magic Lantern Journal ; Mr. Snowden Ward, of Photogram fame; and finally, Mr. Welford, as representing the latest addition to photograph literature in the shape of Photographic Life.
After the usual salutations, Mr. Acres explained the working of the apparatus practically. One of Mr. Acres’ assistants then removed the apparatus from the table on which it was standing, and in true English fashion another assistant brought on some liquid refreshment and cigars.
This picture was shown for the first time on Thursday, 22nd ulto., at the London and Provincial Photographic Association, and as each one of the editors put in an appearance he was loudly applauded, and when it came to the refreshment part of the programme the applause was loud and long. It was admitted by all present that this series of pictures, representing as it did Mr. Acres’ latest work, was second to none of the pictures that have ever been shown by anybody—the absence of flicker and jump being specially remarked upon—and we heartily congratulate Mr. Acres upon his unqualified success.
We had hoped to have given a portrait of Mr. Acres in this issue, but he says that he has not got a satisfactory portrait that he cares to have reproduced, and pressure of work has prevented his getting one taken specially for us.


The Optical Magic Lantern Journal and Photographic Enlarger. Vol. 8, nº 96, Londres, mai 1897, p. 79-81.

Et après... (1897-1918)

Après la catastrophe du Bazar de la Charité à Paris, les apparitions de Birt Arces deviennent épisodiques et il semble se défaire d'une partie de ses appareils :

NORTHEEN PHOTOGRAPHIC WORKS (LIMITED), with a capital of 2,000/., in 1l. shares. To enter into an agreement with Birt Acres, and to acquire, take over as a going concern, and carry on the business of manufacturers of photographic apparatus, cameras, and projection-machines, carried on at 45 Salisbury Road, Barnet, under the style of "The Northern Photographic Works." Registered office, 3 Salter's Hall Court," Cannon Street, London, E.C.


The Chemist and Druggist, 21 août 1897, p. 335.

Il donne, plus rarement, quelques conférences et ce n'est qu'exceptionnellement qu'il s'éloigne de la zone de Barnet et de Londres, comme en octobre 1897, pour une présentation à Belfast. En 1898, il fait breveter un appareil cinématographique pour amateurs qu'il baptise du nom de "Birtac".

acres birt 1898 birtac
Birtac (films de 17,5 mm)
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, Londres

Il s'adonne également à la photographie comme à l'occasion de la fête de Barnet et dépose un nouveau brevet en 1899 qui est un perfectionnement de celui déposé l'année antérieure. À partir de 1901, la photographie va occuper une place plus importante alors qu'il réside à Monken Hadley (recensement 1901). En 1903, l'appareil photographique qu'il fait breveter ressemble au Brownie que Kodak commercialise depuis février 1900. De façon très exceptionnelle, il lui arrive encore de projecter quelques images animées :

LYONSDOWN CHURCH SUNDAY SCHOOL, NEW BARNET
NEW YEAR TREAT
[...]
Mr Birt Acres, to the unbounded delight of the children, exhibited his cinematograph.


Barnet Press, Barnet, samedi 14 janvier 1905, p. 6.

Dès 1906, il met en service un voilier qui participe à des courses nautiques.

acres birt 1908 voilier
Mr. Birt Acre's Tassie (14 tons, 7 1/2 min. handicap)
The Nore Yacht club's class a race to Burham last saturday
The illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 26 septembre 1908, p. 120.

Il dépose encore deux brevets en 1907 et 1908, mais qui n'ont plus à voir avec la photographie. En 1909, Birt Acres fait faillite comme le rapporte la presse alors qu'il s'explique devant le tribunal:

CHELMSFORD BANKRUPTCY COURT,
[...]
MAKING PHOTOGRAPHIC FILMS.
Birt Acres, described as director of a public company, of Southend, who appeared upon his first public examination, estimated his liabilities at £544 11s. 7d. and his assets at £3,780 4s. 9d , a surplus of £3,235 13s. 2d. Debtor said began business at Barnet, with capital, as the manufacturer of celluloid photographic films, and subsequently at Whetstone. The turnover grew from £5,145 5s. 1d. in 1903 to £11,994 10s. Id. in 1906. He then bought land at Wickford and erected works at a cost of £500. He sold the business to a company tradine as Serikon, Ltd. He was to receive £2,540 in cash and £3,496 in shares. He actually received £2,000, as the balance of the purchase of the land had to be paid. Mr. McQuitty found the money, the debtor meeting him the result of an advertisement. The debtor could not give all his transactions fully, as his desk at the Whetstone Works was broken open last October and a lot of his papers were taken away. The desk was seized in respect of unpaid rates. He got the desk back, but not the papers. The Whetstone Works were closed last September and the Wickford Works last October. The debtor was to be managing director at £600 a year, but only received four months' salary, to Jan., 1908, and worked through to October without a salary, as the company's funds would not permit a salary being paid. He also found money for wages, and the Rev. J. K. Wood, of East Barnet, lent him money for wages. The rev. gentleman had obtained a judgment for £182. The debtor denied that he had carried the business without reference to Mr. McQuitty, who in the first place put £3,500 into the business. —The Official Receiver: He has lost £4,000 in it altogether.—Debtor added that the Whetstone business began to " hum," but after he built a new factory and a laboratory business began drop. He borrowed £2,500 from Messrs. Barclay to build, who held 2,000 shares and other security. Debtor went to Westcliff about three years ago, and lie built the Wickford works, thinking they would become a feeder for thee Whetstone business, which ran itself a standstill as could not supply a proper celluloid. He went in for yachting on Saturdays and Sundays, but the yacht, Tassie, which was now sold, belonged to his wife. The manufacture of celluloid films could be made a very great industry, with some £100,000 or £200,000. In 1897 Mr. Hills, of the Thames Ironworks, floated a Company for him and lost money. Mr. Hills was a teetotaler, non-smoker, and vegetarian, and refused to allow him to carry on a business that would in any way advertise meat. At one time Mr. Lloyd-George acted as solicitor for debtor. Mr. Lloyd-George was then a Member of Parliment, and his father said that before many years would be the Cabinet. The examination was adjourned.


The Essex County Chronicle, Chelmsford, vendredi 7 mai 1909, p. 6.

Après cet échec, Birt Acres ne renonce pas pour autant à poursuivre ses activités en relation avec la photographie et le cinématographe. Il va participer, comme spécialiste, à la création (22 février 1911) de The Argonite Non Flammable Celluloid Company. Par la suite, les évocations de son nom ont à voir avec sa carrière et sa place dans l'histoire de la cinématographique britannique. Il décède en 1918, à l'hôpital de Londres, Whitechapel et il est enterré au cimetière de Walthamstow.

3

1895

Incident Outside Clovelly Cottage (février)

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (30 mars)

The Derby (29 mai)

Beer Time in a Carpenter's Shop

The boxing kangaroo (<4 juillet)

Arrest of a pickpocket (<4 juillet)

The shoe-black (<4 juillet)

Performing Bears

Tom Merry, Lightning Cartoonist, Sketching Bismark

Tom Merry, Lightning Cartoonist, Sketching Kaiser Wilhelm II

The Kiel Canal (<21>/06/1895)

The German Emperor Reviewing his Troops (Hambourg, 19 juin)

The "Suevier" entering the Baltic Canal (Hambourg, 19 juin)

The Kaiser on the Bridge of the "Hohenzollern" (20 juin)

Laying the Foundation Stone of the Kaiser Wilhelm Monument (21 juin)

Keystone Laying Ceremony of the Kaiser Whilhelm Kanal (21 juin)

Procession Headed by the Kaiser on Horseback Through the Streets of Berlin (2 septembre)

Charge of Uhlan Lanchers on the Templehofe Feldt at Berlin (2 septembre)

Rough Sea at Dover

Street Scene

Studies in Animal Life at the Zoological Gardens

Skipping Dogs

The Rialto Bridge at Venice

1896

The Feeding of a Tiger at the Zoo

Tower Bridge, London (mai)

Golfing Extraordinary-Five Gentlemen (mai)

Finsbury Park Railway Station (mai)

Great Northern Railway (mai)

Highgate Tunnel (mai)

The Derby (3 juin)

The Prince and Princess of Wales at Cardiff (27 juin)

 Tom Merry (Lightning Artist) Sketching Lord Salisbury (juin-juillet)

Tom Merry (Lightning Artist) Sketching Mr Gladstone (juin-juillet)

Henley Regatta (7-9 juillet)

[Band Parade] (juillet)

[Promenaders] (juillet)

Capstone Parade, Ilfracombe (juillet)

The marriage of the Princess Maud (22 juillet)

Children Playing (juillet)

Yarmouth Fishing Boats Leaving Harbour (juillet)

Children Playing, Yarmouth (juillet)

Going For Sail (juillet)

Steamer Towing Fishing Smack (juillet)

Military Tournament Cathays Park Cardiff (août)

Boxing Match (août)

Lancers Horseback (août)

Golfing Extraordinary

Finsbury Park Railway Station.

Cycling Hyde Park (août)

Barnet Fair (août)

A Surrey garden (août)

Brighton on a Bank Holiday (août)

Landing from Boat at Low Tide (août)

Srambling Urchins (août)

Pierrot and Pierrette (août)

A Church Parade of Troops (août)

Merry-go-rounds at a fair

Unfriendly Call

Lord Mayor's Show (9 novembre)

Bryant & May

Prince of Wales

Gatwick Races

Blue Jackets at Drill

Dyke Railway, near Brighton

Sailors at Meals

1897

An Unfriendly Call

Church Parade of Troops

Practising for the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race

Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race

The Great Northern Mail Train Catching the Post Bags at Barnet

A visit to the Northern Photographic

Clouds

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Procession

Coaching in North Devon

Band marching down a street

Promenade scene

1898

The rifle Brigade at the Double

Village Blacksmith

The Sheriff's Cup Football Match (19 mars)

Football Match (16 avril)

Launching of HMS Albion (21 juin)

1899

[vues présentée à Barnet, le 24 octobre 1899]

Picking up the Mails at New Barnet

the Miller and the Sweep

Perpelexities of a Cook

Water Polo

Firemen and Snappshotter

Football Match: Barnet v. Thames Ironworks (played on Saturday last) (21 octobre)

Barnet Cattle and Horse Fair

Launch of a Battleship

A Cockade Fight by 15th Hussars

Skirmishing and Charge of the 12th Lancers

A Panoramic View from Morecombe to Ilfracombe

4

21/03-<03/04/1896 Grande-Bretagne Londres 2 Piccadilly Mansions kineopticon
10/04/1896 Grande-Bretagne Cardiff Art Gallery kineopticon
20/04/1896 Grande-Bretagne Londres Piccadilly Circus kineopticon
30/04-[29]/05/1896 Grande-Bretagne Cardiff Town Hall kineopticon
21/07/1896 Grande-Bretagne Londres Marlborough House kineopticon
<05/08->03/09/1896 Grande-Bretagne Cardiff Town Hall kineopticon
05/09/1896 Grande-Bretagne Sheffield Albert Hall kineopticon
27/10/1896 Grande-Bretagne Barnet Town Hall cinematescope
29/10/1896 Grande-Bretagne Liverpool St. George's Hall kineopticon
17-20/11/1896 Grande-Bretagne Londres. Hackney Morley Hall cinematoscope
25/11/1896 Grande-Bretagne Fakenham Corn Hall cinematescope
16/12/1896 Grande-Bretagne Ramsgate Royal Assembly Rooms animated photographs
24/12/1896 Grande-Bretagne Barnet Highstone Reading Room Royal Cinematescope
12/01/1897 Grande-Bretagne Barnet Town Hall cinematescope
 25-28/01/1897 Grande-Bretagne Liverpool New Grand Opera House Royal cinematographe
01-07/02/1897 Grande-Bretagne Chester Royalty Theatre Royal Cinematographe
22-[28]/04/1897 Grande-Bretagne Folkestone Pleasure Gardens Theatre Royal Cinematograph
25/02/1897 Grande-Bretagne Elstree   cinematescope
26/02/1897 Grande-Bretagne Eastbourne Town Hall Animated Photography
27/02/1897 Grande-Bretagne Barnet New Barnet Assembly Rooms Royal Cinematescope
06 et 13/03/1897 Grande-Bretagne Londres. North Finchley Dale Grove Hall Royal Cinematiscope
22/03/1897 Grande-Bretagne Wolverhampton Star Theatre Royal Cinématographe
<08/05/1897 Grande-Bretagne Barnet Christ Church Schools Living Pictures
28/10/1897 Grande-Bretagne Belfast City Y.M.C.A. Animated Photography
08/11/1897 Grande-Bretagne Londres. East Finchley New Lecture Hall Cinematograph
10/12/1897 Grande-Bretagne Barnet Town Hall Cinematescope
10/01/1897 Grande-Bretagne Londres. Finchley Presbyterian Lecture Hall Cinematescope
05/03/1898 Grande-Bretagne Barnet Highstone Institute cinematescope
26/04/1898 Grande-Bretagne Barnet Town Hall living pictures
24/10/1899 Grande-Bretagne Barnet Town Hall Cinematograph
15/06/1900 Grande-Bretagne Barnet The Missionary Exhibition at Barnet Cinematograph

Contacts