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Film, Video May Irwin kiss Title in Edison films catalog: Kiss / Kiss

About this Item


  • May Irwin kiss

Other Title

  • Title in Edison films catalog: Kiss
  • Kiss


  • From Maguire & Baucus catalogue: An osculatory performance by May Irwin and John Rice. The most popular subject ever shown.
  • From Edison films catalog: By May Irwin and John Rice. They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house every time. 50 feet. $7.50.


  • Heise, William, camera
  • Irwin, May, 1862-1938, cast
  • Rice, John C., cast
  • McNally, John J., 1853 or 1854-1931
  • Thomas A. Edison, Inc
  • Hendricks (Gordon) Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1896.


  • -  Kissing


  • Comedy films
  • Novelty films
  • Short films
  • Silent films


  • -  May Irwin (Beatrice Byke), John C. Rice (Billy Bilke).
  • -  Camera, William Heise.
  • -  Duration: 0:18 at 30 fps.
  • -  Scene from the New York stage comedy, The widow Jones, by John J. McNally, in which Irwin and Rice starred. According to Edison film historian Charles Musser, the actors staged their kiss for the camera at the request of the New York World newspaper, and the resulting film was the most popular Edison Vitascope film in 1896.
  • -  Filmed April 1896, in Edison's Black Maria studio in West Orange, New Jersey.
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
  • -  This film was selected for the National Film Registry.
  • -  Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 197-99; Maguire & Baucus. Edison and international photographic films catalogue, April 1897, p. 11 [MI]; Edison films catalog, no. 105, July 1901, p. 70 [MI]; Eagan, D. America's film legacy, p. 4-5.
  • -  35 mm viewing print renumbered: FEC 8087 to FYA 0597.


  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 34 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FYA 0597 (viewing print)


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

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 00694131

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:

Heise, William, Camera, May Irwin, John C Rice, John J McNally, Inc Thomas A. Edison, and Hendricks. May Irwin kiss. United States: Edison Manufacturing Co, 1896. Video.

APA citation style:

Heise, W., Irwin, M., Rice, J. C., McNally, J. J., Thomas A. Edison, I. & Hendricks. (1896) May Irwin kiss. United States: Edison Manufacturing Co. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Heise, William, Camera, et al. May Irwin kiss. United States: Edison Manufacturing Co, 1896. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.