Lumière, Auguste (1862–1954) and Lumière, Louis (1864–1948) By Leskosky, Richard J.
The Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, invented the Cinématographe, a motion picture camera and projector, and used it to create the film La Sortie des ouvriers de l’usine Lumière (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory) in 1895. The Lumières’ public performances began on December 28, 1895 with a program of ten titles in Paris. Louis Lumière was already an accomplished photographer with a keen eye for visual compositions, and he shot most of the brothers’ first films, while August appeared frequently in front of the camera. Even the earliest films demonstrated Louis’ sophisticated visual sense and contained the seeds of several genres including comedy and documentary. The Lumières sent cameramen around the world to record images of other lands and cultures in order to show the world to their audiences. The Lumières held on to their invention and the advantage it afforded them for public exhibition for a couple of years, but from 1897 onwards they began selling Cinématographes to other companies, which helped spread the cinema around the world more quickly. After some financial setbacks, the brothers ceased producing films in 1905 but continued research in still photography.