Monday, April 22, 2013

Fred Ott's Snuff and Sneeze 1894

Frederick P. Ott (1860; New Jersey – October 24, 1936; West Orange, New Jersey) was an employee of Thomas Edison's laboratory in the 1890s.

Edison was then experimenting with the kinetoscope, an early version of the motion picture exhibition device.

Interior view of Kinetoscope with peephole viewer at top of cabinet

Fred Ott appears in one of the earliest surviving motion pictures Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze.

1894 Kinetoscope of Fred Ott taking a pinch of snuff and then sneezing, taken by Thomas Edison's laboratory

The Kinetoscope was an immediate success and by June 1, 1894 there were operating commercial venues in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

Publicity or news photograph of San Francisco Kinetoscope parlor, ca. 1894–95

"I believe as I have always believed, that you control the most powerful instrument in the world for good or evil. Remember that you are servants of the public and never let the desire for money or power prevent you from giving to the public the best work of which you are capable. It is not the quantity of riches that count, it is the quality that produces happiness..." Thomas A. Edison

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