The Lumière Brothers at the Exposition Universelle


The films shot by the Edison company at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 were featured here a couple of years ago. These screen grabs are from better quality footage made by Edison’s French rivals, Auguste and Louis Lumière, who had the advantage over the Americans in also having their films screened as one of the exposition attractions. The footage is nine minutes from Lumière, a French documentary compiled in 1966 by Marc Allégret, which is hosted here. The clip is still rough but not at all bad compared to the poor quality of online copies of the Edison footage, and it’s mostly projected at a speed so people don’t rush around like Keystone Cops. (On the downside, the audio track has the French speaking clock droning away in the left channel.) Great shots of the pavilions along the Seine, and the escalator. Whatever the quality, these views still strike me as miraculous for the brief impression they give of the exposition as a living event. Oscar Wilde enjoyed his last summer with these teeming crowds. He may be there somewhere among the top hats and parasols.


Previously on { feuilleton }
Le Grand Globe Céleste, 1900
Tony Grubhofer’s Exposition Universelle sketches
The Cambodian Pavilion, Paris, 1900
Le Manoir a l’Envers
Suchard at the Exposition Universelle
Esquisses Décoratives by René Binet
Le Palais de l’Optique, 1900
Exposition Universelle films
Exposition jewellery
Exposition Universelle catalogue
Exposition Universelle publications
Exposition cornucopia
Return to the Exposition Universelle
The Palais Lumineux
Louis Bonnier’s exposition dreams
Exposition Universelle, 1900

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