The Birth of Biograph

september 1895
September 22, 1895

This photograph records the first meeting of all of the members of the K. M. C. D. Syndicate, September 22, 1895, at Canastota, N. Y. Left to right—H.N. Marvin, W. K. L. Dickson, Herman Caster, E. B. Koopman, founders of the world famous American Mutoscope & Biograph Company, later known to the screen world as “Biograph”.

When Henry N. Marvin saw Edison’s kinetoscope he thought that a simpler machine could be built to present the peep show pictures and do it better. When he and Herman Casler had built the machine they sought Edison pictures to put in the machine.

“No,” was the decision from the Edison plant. Right then and there was the motion picture’s biggest moment. Marvin and Casler had to invent a machine to make their own pictures.

Out of that moment came the force that through a long series of dramatic sequences brought to the motion picture and its world the names of Griffith, Pickford, Sweet, Marsh, Gish, Normand, Nielan, Ince, Sennett, and all that glory that was Biograph.