Anniversary of Motion Pictures Stamp

US Postage Stamps: 1944

Anniversary of Motion Pictures Stamp

Issued on October 31, 1944, this stamp commemorates the 50th anniversary of the motion picture in the United States.

Although commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first Kinescope parlor in 1894, this stamp also acknowledges the armed services and the design includes a movie being shown in an open air theater to the military in the South Pacific.

Kinetoscopes were early motion pictures devices that were produced by the Edison Company (also owners of the Black Maria movie studios which created the films).  Unlike current projected movies, these movies were watched through lenses by one person at a time.  When they were released, they were extremely popular, but as only one person could use them at a time, the profit was limited by the number of machines in a kinetoscope parlor.  Although Kinetoscopes appeared on the scene first, devices that could project movies were soon developed and by the turn of the century Nickelodeon theatres that projected movies on screens for larger audiences had nearly completely replaced the kinetoscopes.

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