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Film, Video [Dickson experimental sound film] Title on donor inventory: Dickson violin / Variant title: Dancing men in the Black Maria

Digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • [Dickson experimental sound film]

Other Title

  • Title on donor inventory: Dickson violin
  • Variant title: Dancing men in the Black Maria


  • Experimental sound film made for Edison's kinetophone -- a combination of the kinetoscope and phonograph -- but apparently never distributed. This LC copy is silent. Features two men dancing to a violinist.
  • Shows W. K. L. Dickson playing the violin before a large phonograph horn connected with an off-screen reader while two men dance together. Part of Dickson's sound-synchronization experiments.


  • Dickson, W. K.-L. (William Kennedy-Laurie), 1860-1935, production, cast
  • D'Almaine, Charles, 1871-1943, cast
  • Heise, William, camera
  • Thomas A. Edison, Inc
  • Dunston (Gatewood) Collection (Library of Congress)
  • Edison Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • [1895].


  • -  Sound motion pictures--Experiments
  • -  Kinetophone
  • -  Violinists
  • -  Dance
  • -  Male dancers


  • Experimental films
  • Silent films
  • Short films
  • Nonfiction films


  • -  Copyright: no reg.
  • -  Duration: 0:21 at 30 fps.
  • -  LC also holds a copy of the synchronized sound version in the videodisc collection, More treasures from American film archives, 1894-1931.
  • -  Additional holdings for this title may be available. Contact reference librarian.
  • -  Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 178.
  • -  Camera, William Heise.
  • -  Performer: W.K.L. Dickson or Charles D'Almaine.
  • -  Filmed ca. September 1894 to April 2, 1895, in Edison's Black Maria studio in West Orange, N.J.
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
  • -  This film was selected for the National Film Registry.
  • -  35mm viewing print renumbered: FLA 0374 to FYA 1801.


  • 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 20 sec., 43 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. viewing print.
  • 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 20 sec., 43 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. dupe neg pic.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FYA 1801 (viewing print)
  • FPF 1290 (dupe neg pic)


  • Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D. C. 20540 USA dcu

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 00694117

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

D'Almaine, Charles, Cast, William Heise, Inc Thomas A. Edison, Dunston, and Edison Collection. Dickson Experimental Sound Film. produceds by Dickson, W. K.-L. , Uction, Cast [1895] Video.

APA citation style:

D'Almaine, C., Heise, W., Thomas A. Edison, I., Dunston & Edison Collection. (1895) Dickson Experimental Sound Film. Dickson, W. K. -., prod [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

D'Almaine, Charles, Cast, et al. Dickson Experimental Sound Film. prod by Dickson, W. K.-L. , Uction, Cast [1895] Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.