Athlete with Wand (1894)

by popegrutch

Athlete with Wand

This short Kinetoscope moving picture is pretty much what its title suggests: a man in athletic garb performs some simple exercises with a long stick or staff. The point, surely, was simply to demonstrate that the process worked well enough to record a variety of motion for an audience to replay. The interesting part is that for some reason, there is a large dog in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. I can’t recall having seen this dog (possibly a black lab? I’m not an expert on dog breeds) in any other movie shot at the Black Maria, so possibly it belonged to the “athlete” brought in for this shoot. I’d like to think however, that it was a kind of mascot who hung around the Edison Studio, and maybe even had a cute nickname like “Black Maria.”

Director: WKL Dickson

Camera: William Heise

Run Time: 25 secs

You can watch it for free: here.