History of Special Effects: Faking A Moon Landing In 1902 with French Illusionist Georges Méliès
The late 19th century was an era of great transition. Technological wizardry was rapidly changing human civilization. Before the days of quantum mechanics, when the Aether was still a medium worth considering, the power of lightning was being captured and harnessed. The marriage of darkroom chemistry and electrical engineering acted like the legendary philosopher’s stone, forever transforming how humanity communicates. Newly created inventions were rapidly spreading across the planet, beguiling human minds.
The famous inventor Thomas Edison gets credit for the spread of this sorcery, for inspiring other gifted people who would go on to become pioneers in the early days of an eon that would turn into the Information Age. The adoption of the scientific method led to the manufacturing of mass-produced artifacts. Edison’s laboratory in New Jersey was like a wizard’s tower generating marvels that would enchant minds across the nearby Atlantic Ocean and around the world. Humanity started to master the elements. Gaslight no longer illuminated the night. DC power had taken over, and the alternating current revolution was about to transform things again. When we think of this early history of electrical-mass media communication, we summon the specters of multimedia entrepreneur Charles Pathé, the Lumière brothers, and of course, Georges Méliès from the mists of time.
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