In response to the popular reception of the recent digitisation of 1901 footage of legendary cricketers KS Ranjitsinhji and CB Fry, the NFSA has purchased an English Kinora, manufactured by Bond & Co. in 1901, and five kinora reels. The original mechanical technology has a beauty and simplicity that is immensely attractive.
The Kinora was the first home movie entertainment system and was invented by Lumière in France in 1896. The rights were later purchased by the British Mutoscope & Biograph Company.
The Kinora is known as a flipper viewer. The filmed sequence of photographic images was attached to a reel which could then be rotated by a crank handle, animating the images. Kinora reels ran for approximately 30 seconds and could be purchased or rented for home use. Reels depicting family members could also be made at photographic studios, and from 1908 a camera was available for people to purchase to make their own Kinora home movies.
A living portrait album
Advertisements from the time help tell us who owned Kinoras and how they were used.