West Orange in Essex County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Edison National Historic Site, NJ
Although most filming took place around noon, the Black Maria could use available sunlight at all hours. During filming, the angled roof was opened using pulleys to allow sunlight in the studio. The entire building rested on a pivot and wood track. As the sun’s angle changed during the day, Edison’s movie makers periodically stopped filming to push the Black Maria around a few feet to keep sunlight on its stage.
Erected by Edison National Historic Site, National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment • Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1893.
Location. 40° 47.056′ N, 74° 14.018′ W. Marker is in West Orange, New Jersey, in Essex County. Marker can be reached from Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located in the Edison National Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Orange NJ 07052, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Black Maria Replica (here, next to this marker); The Black Maria (a few steps from this marker); The Courtyard (a few steps from this marker); Edison Cement Slab (a few steps from this marker); Thomas Edison’s West Orange Laboratory (within shouting distance of this marker); The Truck of the Second Commercial Electric Railroad Locomotive. (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Edison Statue (within shouting distance of this marker); The Truck of the First Commercial Electric Railroad Locomotive. (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Orange.
More about this marker. The bottom left of the marker contains a photograph of the Black Maria with the roof opened. It has a caption of “Motion picture pioneer W.K.L. Dickson (left, third from right on top of the Black Maria) poses with assistants, 1895. The original Black Maria stood from 1893 to 1903 on a site near the water tower behind you. This replica was built in 1954.” The bottom right contains a series of photographs from an early short film, with the caption “In 1894 long-time Edison assistant Fred Ott was filmed by W.K.L. Dickson in ‘Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze’ (right) – one of the first motion picture close-ups.” The marker’s upper right features a scene for another Edison film. The caption reads “In an early sound film experiment produced in 1894 (right), W.K.L. Dickson – Thomas Edison’s chief motion picture assistant - plays a violin as two men dance. The kinetophone, a ‘talking pictures’ system introduced by Edison in 1912, proved unreliable and was soon abandoned. Practical sound films were not achieved until the late 1920’s.”
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers found at the Laboratory Complex of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.
Also see . . .
1. Thomas Edison National Historical Park, New Jersey. Nation Park Service website. (Submitted on November 6, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
2. Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, Jan. 7, 1894. Edison kinetoscopic record of "Fred Ott's Sneeze" from the Library of Congress. (Submitted on July 1, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
3. "Dickson Experimental Sound Film" (First live-recording EVER) 1894 . (Submitted on July 1, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on November 6, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 763 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 6, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.