John Arthur Roebuck Rudge

Died aged c. 66

John Arthur Roebuck Rudge (26 July 1837 – 3 January 1903) was a British scientific instrument maker and inventor, who lived in Bath, noted for his contributions to the development of moving pictures. He collaborated with William Friese-Greene and, around 1880, he invented a device known as the Biophantic Lantern. This rotated seven square slides around a circular lamp housing, using a movement similar to the Maltese Cross, later found in many film projectors. The light was obscured between images via a pair of ground glass shutters. The only surviving sequence - likely the only one ever made - shows Rudge taking off his own head and putting it under his arm. The trick was carried out by Friese-Greene playing the body. This lantern and the slides are now to be found in the Cinémathèque Française. Over the following decade Rudge came up with a series of magic lantern experiments to try to recreate movement, calling all of these 'Biophantoscopes'. All employed individually posed photographs, rather than images taken with a moving picture camera, and featured changing faces.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

To perpetuate the name and memory of John Arthur Roebuck Rudge who lived for many years in the adjoining house and after numerous experiments conducted in the basement was the first Englishman to produce moving pictures by means of photographs mounted on a revolving drum And also of his friend William Friese-Greene who had his studio at no. 9 The Corridor nearby,the inventor of commercial kinematography, being the first man to apply celluloid ribbon for this purpose. Kinematography can thus be attributed to the labours of these two citizens of Bath where this wonderful invention undoubtedly received its birth.

New Bond Street Place, Bath, United Kingdom where they lived

Here lived, worked and died Rudge inventor of the biophantascope the precursor of the kinematograph B.1837 D.1903

New Bond Street Place, Bath, United Kingdom where they lived , worked , and died (1903)