When you hear the name Thomas Alva Edison, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? A light bulb? A telegraph? Probably not stop motion animation. And yet, one of the earliest stop motion animations was produced by Thomas A. Edison.
“The first place stop motion shows up is in 1898, in a movie called The Humpty Dumpty Circus, which has been lost to the world.” (Smithsonian Magazine)
The oldest surviving example of stop motion we can see is in the film Fun in a Bakery Shop produced by Thomas A. Edison in 1902.
The first frame by frame animations are very different to the ones made today such as Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit or Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.
The art of making stop motion has significantly evolved over more than a hundred years, but what hasn’t changed is that anyone can make animations. All you really need is a camera and a piece of software to put together all the photographs, then with a bit of imagination and patience you can turn a hobby into a profession.
To watch more early stop motion animations, click here for the Smithsonian Magazine’s full article.