01.02.2014 — 01.02.2014

15:00             16:30

Presentation of the pre-lumiere devices by the ukrainian inventor Yosyp tymchenko

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February 1, 2014, 15:00 in Master Class

National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre presents a sensational project of reconstruction of filming and projection devices (elektrotakhioscope and kinetoscope) based on the drawings by Ukrainian engineer and inventor Yosyp Tymchenko. These devices were presented to the public in Odessa in the autumn of 1893, two years before the official date of the birth of cinema. Tymchenko forestalled such Western inventors as the Lumière brothers, Georges Demenÿ, and Max Skladanowsky, even though his apparatuses were not patented.


 Historical note


 November 7, 1893


Odesskii Listok newspaper informed that an art exhibition of moving images, which were driven by an electric device called elektrotakhioscope had opened in the France Hotel.  


It was also the time of the first public screenings. Two films, Riding Cavalrymen and Javelin Throwers, were shown at the exhibition until December 20.



This project aims to show the possibility of moving image projection and filming using the pull-down movement mechanism developed by Yosyp Tymchenko.

The authors of the reconstruction argue that the pull-down movement principle, invented by Yosyp Tymchenko together with the physicist Mykola Lyubymov, is more reliable, more economical and allows to screen images of higher quality than the Lumière brothers’ invention. The principle of this mechanism became the basis for the new kinetoscope device, developped in collaboration with the inventor Michail Freydenberg.


Historical note

In January 1894, Yosyp Tymchenko presented a device, which used photographic plates for filming, at the 9th Congress of Naturalists and Physicians of The Russian Empire. He used his devise to project moving images on the screen.


The Congress participants welcomed Tymchenko’s device and expressed their gratitude to the inventor.



On January 9, 1894, Tymchenko described the pull-down movement mechanism called the snail and presented its sketches in Moscow. The reconstructed projection and filming devices have been restored according to these sketches.


 Recent achievements

The historical significance of Tymchenko’s invention is repeatedly being discussed in European academic circles.

In December 2013, a report on Tymchenko’s legacy was made by researchers from the British Academy. Currently Yosyp Tymchenko is officially recognized as one of the inventors of cinema along with the Lumière brothers, William Friese-Greene, and others.



Project production and idea by Serhiy Kurkaev, member of Ukrainian Association of Cinematographers and Ukrainian Association of Artists.


Tymchenko’s projection and filming devises were reconstructed by employees of the National University of theatre, cinema and television of Karpenko-Karyi: Serhiy Havrylenko (constructor), Viktor Krupskyi (mechanical engineer), and Danylo Khomych (director of photography).

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