Rare ‘Kinora’ reel featuring 1901 footage of legendary cricketers KS Ranjitsinhji and CB Fry. NFSA experts photographed all 465 frames in the reel to create this 19-second film, showing the famous cricketers (who played for Sussex and England in the early 1900s) in action for the first time in more than 100 years. The footage was taken in Hove, England, and the reel was recently donated to the NFSA by cricket historian Glenn Gibson.
The Kinora was the world’s first home movie entertainment system. It followed the same principle as a flip book: a reel with a series of photographic images was placed in a player, and by turning the crank handle the images were displayed one after another, creating the illusion of movement. As the image was not projected, viewing was limited to one person or a small group.
The NFSA does not have any Kinora players, which are very rare. Due to the circular construction of the reel it was not possible for it to be laid flat on a scanner to digitise the photographic images, so the NFSA experts had to build a device that could replicate the mechanism of a Kinora player, in order to photograph each frame individually.