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Deutsches Technikmuseum - Film technology

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:


The donation contains six locations:

Moving Images - the History of Film Technology

The leaflet for the exhibition: A black-and-white photograph of a cameraman in action. Two big film reels are turning on the bulky camera. 1920s.

Leaflet with information on the exhibition

How did pictures learn to walk? What led to the development of cinema? Who invented film? What goes on behind the scenes? The permanent exhibition 'Moving Images - the History of Film Technology' opened in January 2000 and provides answers to these and many other questions on around 400 of floor space.

The exhibition presents the long, eventful history of film technology from the magic lantern to the modern film projector, from the mediaeval peep-show cabinet and the 19th century optical tricks such as the magic drum (zoetrope), the praxinoscope or Anschütz's quick viewer, to the cinema and video film of the 1980s.

The museum's several hundred exhibits include the 1750 ox-eye lens, peep-show cabinets and 'camera obscuras', Messter cine-cameras and a 'Panzerkino' (a metal-clad, tank-like projector) from the early days of the German film industry, professional film cameras from all periods, amateur cameras from 1898 up to modern video cameras, a film-set diorama with original equipment, and also a cutting room. A wide range of equipment from the history and prehistory of cinema as well as working replicas of pioneering film equipment are hands-on exhibits which visitors can use.

You can marvel at fascinating and entertaining historical film footage, for example an original Edison film on the execution of Mary Stuart, films on the Berlin pioneers Max Skladanowsky and Oskar Messter, and also early amateur footage.

Photo showing various optical novelties. In the middle is the Kaiser panorama, a peep-show cabinet where up to twelve viewers can look at three-dimensional impressions of world events around 1900. It was quite a craze at that time.

A look inside the exhibition: optical toys, Kaiser panorama, Showcases

Here you can try out functioning historical devices – originals and replicas. Or relax in a cinema seat and watch the Berlin cinema pioneers Max Skladanowsky and Oskar Messter introduce themselves on film.

Our “Film about Film” shows how feature films were produced around 1950, while excerpts from amateur films reveal the world of the home movie.

It was little more than one hundred years ago that the first moving pictures flickered onto the movie screen, so the twentieth century was the era of the celluloid film. The exhibition shows all its technical dimensions.

The catalogue for the film technology exhibition. On the left six images from the famous stop-image series of two boxers (Eadweard Muybridge 1887), on the right a cheerful cinema audience in the 1930s.

Exhibition catalogue, paperback binding (18,15 Euro), available in the museum

An exhibition catalogue with 240 largely colour illustrations is available in the museum shop for 18,15 EUR (paperback).