AI enhanced edits of some of the earliest footage of Japanese Geisha and Maiko entertainers. From the Meiji era, circa 1900
Japanese Geisha and Maiko Video in 1900
Many Japanese women wore the traditional Kimono, Obi or Furisode. This film clearly shows entertainers dancing to the accompaniment of two Shamisen players.
The dangling Kanzashi on the sides of their hairstyles is a clue to their “Maiko” status. Geisha hairstyles were more formal.
The Original Footage from Japan 1900
Filmed by Thomas Armat for Vitascope, who co-invented the Edison Vitascope projector ( originally called the Phantoscope) with Charles Francis Jenkins. The footage is preserved by The US National Archive.
Charles Francis Jenkins – the inventor of Television
Jenkins sold his invention to Armat, who subsequently sold his ‘modified’ patent to Thomas Edison, under the name “Vitascope“. The Phantoscope was vastly superior to Edison’s Kinetoscope and the Lumiere cinematographe.
Edison saw its potential immediately. Armat went on to work for Edison, travelling the world to capture some of the earliest footage.
Charles Francis Jenkins continued to adapt his original Phantoscope into what would become a ‘television’ camera, for broadcasting to home receivers by radio waves. In June 1925 Jenkins demonstrated his ‘motion pictures by wireless’.
Scottish inventor John Logie Baird later demonstrated his invention in October 1925.
Title: Japanese Scenes – 1894 – 1900 is preserved by the US National Archive as part of the Thomas Armat Collection.
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