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Edison's Earliest Motion Pictures

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The Queensbury Boxing Rules!

A note of  interest that will fascinate the educationalist! The Brocton City Theatre was  the first building in the world to host an indoor high school graduation ceremony, employing Edison's incandescent stage and foot lighting. The first profuse of these impressive callisthenics took place on the 29th June 1885. Just before the turn of the century, an arcade and a Kinetoscope parlour was constructed directly across the street from the Brocton City Theatre next to the charismatic skating rink. It featured many of Thomas Edison's earliest moving pictures! One of the most popular of these productions was a two minute "peep show" of the Brockton teetotaller boxing champ an avid temperance advocated John L. Sullivan, losing his heavyweight crown to Jim Corbett!




The much heralded fight which was the first heavyweight championship bout under the Marquis of Queensbury Rules that was introduced in London, England in 1867! The Queensbury Rules called for boxing gloves, a limited number of 3 min per each rounds, the forbidding of gouging and wrestling, and a count of 10 seconds when a boxer was knock down on the ring canvas!

The Birth of A Nation!

The Marquis of Queensbury Rules had various other features that still exists in modern boxing today. The Edison clip feature the participants wearing gloves for the first time in professional boxing which was shot inside one of Thomas Edison's film studios on the 7th September 1892 in New Orleans. Previously, the Marquis of Queensbury Rules was devised mainly for amateur boxing matches. The clip established that Jim Corbett was a brilliant contender. "Gentleman" Jim Corbett countered sharply and managed to sidestep a score of Sullivan's bullish charges. In the 21st round, after John L. Sullivan had been totally exhausted "Gentleman" Jim Corbett pulverised John L. Sullivan into submission, finally knocking out the local hero with a powerful right hand punch. The City Theatre also featured a number of Thomas Edison's earliest "talkies," including the dramatic Civil War film: "The Birth of A Nation!"

Edison's Moon Box!

Personal appearances by world renowned artists and celebrities were also popular fare!  Personalities included such dignitary figures as Edwin Booth, George Primrose, Edward H. Marlowe, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Fritz Kreisler. Shortly after World War Two, adventurers Billy Mitchell, Admiral Byrd and Eddie Rickenbacker were introduced from its stage! The natural acoustics in the 1,500 seats 

in the main auditorium of Brockton City Theatre were said to be "as good as any in New England!" Later, its sound was enhanced by one of the first electrical amplification system ever to grace a dramatic theatre courtesy of Thomas Edison's Electric Company! Audiences was entranced by this device, which Edison called the "moon box!" One reporter described its rays as; "fairy lights that threw out beams like good deeds in a naughty world!" At the end of this short segment, it was turned off! After Act One came to a close, the attention of the audience was directed to the chalet in which Edison and his fiancée Mina Miller were sitting together! second wife! She was to become his second wife!




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