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Louis Le Prince
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    (August 28, 1841-circa September 16, 1890)
    Born in Metz, France
    Artist, photographer, and motion picture pioneer
    Short films include ‘Roundhay Garden Scene,’ ‘Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge,’ and ‘Accordion Player’
    Last seen boarding a train in Dijon, France (September 16, 1890)
    Officially declared dead in 1897
    An 1890 photo of a drowning victim resembling Le Prince was discovered during a search of the Paris police archives (2004)
    He never showed his films to anyone other than his family and a few close associates.
    As a result, his work was largely forgotten.
    His disappearance inspired a number of explanations, ranging from the prosaic (suicide; murdered by his brother in an inheritance dispute) to the conspiratorial (forced to disappear by his family because he was gay; murdered at the behest of Thomas Alva Edison to eliminate a potential rival in the motion picture biz).
    All the theories are long on conjecture, short on actual evidence.
    He received lessons in chemistry and photography from pioneer Louis Daguerre.
    He and his wife were commissioned to photograph Queen Victoria and Prime Minister Gladstone and affix their portraits to pottery.
    He was the first person to shoot a moving picture sequence using a single lens camera and a strip of film.
    At the time of his disappearance, he was planning a trip to the US to publicly demonstrate his motion picture system.

Credit: C. Fishel

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