John Arthur Roebuck Rudge
Who was he?
John Arthur Roebuck Rudge was a scientific instrument maker by
profession, later specialising in the creation of magic lanterns.
developed the Biophantic
in that it could display seven slides in rapid
succession so producing an effective illusion of movement.
Why was he in Bath?
John Arthur Roebuck Rudge was born in Bath, the son of a
and antique dealer. As well as making scientific instruments, he
entertainer who put on countless shows, earning the nickname
the Magic Lantern'.
Rudge met William Friese-Greene
1880, the latter having a photographic shop nearby in Bath, and
formed a close association. Rudge did most of the technical work
Friese-Greene helped with the photography and put on some public
Friese-Greene was fascinated by the Biophantic
and in 1886 he began work
with Rudge on enhancing it in order to project photographic
They called the device a Biophantascope
plates would never be a practical medium for true moving pictures
and in 1885 he began to experiment with oiled paper and by 1887
experimenting with celluloid as a medium for motion picture
Location of plaque at New Bond Street Place:
The text reads
"To perpetuate the name and memory of John Arthur Roebuck Rudge
for many years in the adjoining house and after numerous
conducted in the basement was the first Englishman to produce
pictures by means of photographs mounted on a revolving drum.
And also of his friend
had his studio at No. 9 The Corridor nearby, the inventor of
kinematography being the first man to apply celluloid ribbon for
Kinematography can thus be attributed to the labours of these
citizens of Bath where this wonderful invention undoubtedly
Nearby is a second plaque:
The text reads
Here lived, worked and died Rudge
inventor of the Biophantascope the precursor of the Kinematograph
1837 d. 1903"
Location map of New Bond Street Place:
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