Created By: Slouch Productions
Here is where we will start. Look north to the end of E 15th street. That's where the Vitagraph Company of America once stood.
Englishmen Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton founded the Vitagraph Company of America in 1900, with the help of William “Pop” Rock, who was the first president of the company.
Prior to opening thier film production company, Smith and Blackton were partnered with their mutual friend, Ronald A Reader, and initially formed an entertainment trio called the International Novelty Company. They performed a mix of comedy, magic and illustration in front of live audiences.
In 1895 they are introduced to Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope, one of the earliest films projectors. They decide to start to project films as part of their act. One of the most popular films they screened was the Black Diamond Express (1896). There was no sound in films at this time, so Blackton banged on pots and pans in the background to add to the effect of the train approaching.
The original Vitagraph office was on the rooftop of a building on Nassau Street in Manhattan where Smith and Blackton started their business screening and advertising films.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Midwood Before Hollywood