February 11 – Thomas Alva Edison
Thomas Alva Edison, inveterate American inventor, was born on February 11, 1847. In 1891, Edison submitted a patent application for a kinetoscope, more commonly referred to today as a motion picture camera. Edison wanted to “do for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear.” Later, he submitted patent applications, like this one in 1902, improving his original design, in an effort to perfect his invention.
The footage below, ”Carmencita: Spanish Dance,” was filmed by Thomas Edison on a kinetoscope and is the oldest film in the National Archives motion pictures holding.