from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An early device for exhibiting motion pictures, creating the illusion of movement from a strip of perforated film bearing sequential images that is conveyed over a light source with a high-speed shutter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument for producing curves by the combination of circular movements; -- called also kinescope.
  • n. An obsolete form of moving picture viewer, in which a film carrying successive instantaneous views of a moving scene travels uniformly through the field of a magnifying glass. The observer sees each picture, momentarily, through a slit in a revolving disk, and these glimpses, blended by persistence of vision, give the impression of continuous motion. It has been superseded by more recent versions of movie projector and electronic video viewers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kind of movable panorama.
  • n. An instrument for illustrating the results of combinations of arcs of different radii in making curves. Also called kinescope.
  • n. An apparatus invented by Edison for exhibiting photographic pictures of objects in motion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a device invented by Edison that gave an impression of movement as an endless loop of film moved continuously over a light source with a rapid shutter; precursor of the modern motion picture


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

kineto- + -scope


  • The party stayed to the very end of the show, though the kinetoscope was the last number but one on the programme, and fully half the audience left immediately afterward.


  • But the picture producer holds to his eyes the seven-leagued demon spy-glass called the kinetoscope, as the audience will do later.

    The Art of the Moving Picture

  • It didn’t, but Fancy knew what Kit meant: that the kinetoscope was a cellar dweller like them, and out of its element among the bright beauty of the Woodsons’ flower garden.

    Slice Of Cherry

  • It was to him, with his splendid power of vision, like gazing into a kinetoscope.

    Chapter 15

  • Fancy noticed the kinetoscope on the floor and picked it up, petting it like a faithful dog.

    Slice Of Cherry

  • She stood and balanced the kinetoscope on her hip.

    Slice Of Cherry

  • Kit kicked the bowed brass legs of the stand, nearly knocking the kinetoscope to the floor.

    Slice Of Cherry

  • She drew back her switchblade, and Fancy quickly turned her gaze back to the kinetoscope.

    Slice Of Cherry

  • Kit sat, absently picking snails off the tomato plants as Fancy cranked the kinetoscope . . . but nothing happened.

    Slice Of Cherry

  • We need to test whether the kinetoscope works outside the cellar.

    Slice Of Cherry


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  • The first true motion-picture viewing device, developed by 1891 by William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, an employee of Thomas Edison, at Edison's sprawling laboratory complex in what is now West Orange, New Jersey. "Kineto-" means motion, and "-scope" means examine or view. Kinetoscopes allowed one viewer at a time to see a short (usually less than one minute) film. After Edison received his patents in 1893, he sold coin-operated Kinetoscopes and enterprising individuals bought them in groups and installed them in what came to be called "Kinetoscope parlors," the forerunners of today's movie theaters, where respectable women and children did not go. Within a few years, the novelty of one-minute films had worn off and the price dropped from 25 cents to 10, then to 5, and the devices/parlors became known as nickelodeons. Edison sold only about 900 of these devices. See also Kinetograph.

    In the meantime, Dickson had moved on and was making longer films... see Latham loop, Mutoscope, and Biograph.

    March 7, 2007