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William Friese-Greene

Who was he?

Wikipedia: William Friese-Greene (September 7, 1855 – May 5, 1921) (born William Edward Green) was a portrait photographer and prolific inventor. He is principally known as a pioneer in the field of motion pictures and is credited by some as the inventor of cinematography.

Why was he in Bath?

William Edward Green was born on September 7, 1855, in Bristol. He was educated there at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital. In 1869 he became an apprentice to a photographer named Maurice Guttenberg. By 1875 he had set up his own studios in Bath (at 23, Gay Street) and Bristol, and later expanded his business with two more studios in London and Brighton. In Bath he moved his studio to 9, the Corridor and came into contact with John Arthur Roebuck Rudge, who lived nearby in New Bond Street Place.

He married Helena Friese on March 24, 1874, and decided to modify his name to include her maiden name.

Location of plaque at New Bond Street Place:

Location of plaque at New Bond Street Place

William Friese-Greene and John Arthur Roebuck Rudge plaque

The text reads

"To perpetuate the name and memory of John Arthur Roebuck Rudge who lived for many years in the adjoining house and after numerous experiments conducted in the basement was the first Englishman to produce moving pictures by means of photographs mounted on a revolving drum.

And also of his friend

William Friese-Greene who had his studio at No. 9 The Corridor nearby, the inventor of commercial kinematography being the first man to apply celluloid ribbon for this purpose.

Kinematography can thus be attributed to the labours of these two citizens of Bath where this wonderful invention undoubtedly received its birth."

Location map of New Bond Street Place:

William Friese-Greene location map



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