Thomas Edison’s VitaScope – The First Screen Kiss

This is the first ever screen kiss. It is aa forty-seven second recreation of a stage kiss from the musical The Widow Jones directed by William Heise and performed by actors John C. Rice and May Irwin. It was the most popular of the films shown on the Edison Vitascope, a device for projecting moving pictures funded by Edison but designed in fact by by C. Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. Edison, in typical fashion, demanded as a condition of financing that the device be rechristened with his name. Though incredibly tame by today’s standards, the movie was considered scandalous at the time of its release and became the subject of much outcry. It has since entered film history as one of the most memorable early films.
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