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Old 06-09-2014, 09:41 PM
walnutts walnutts is offline
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Default The First "Baseball" Motion Picture - 1867

Ok - here is what I want to put before you - in 1867 Milton Bradley patented a Zoetrope which was among the very first "motion picture" machines. They marketed this "toy" with 6 paper strips which, when viewed through the Zoetrope, showed a "motion picture" that was similar in quality to the early 20th century "flip books". Historians consider the Zoetrope to be among the very first "moving picture" devices. Amazingly, in 1867, one of the first 12 "movies" sold with the Zoetrope was titled simply "Baseball"!! It was a simple, cartoon like "motion picture" that showed a man rolling a VERY early baseball across a table. The 12 original movies (including the "Baseball" movie) that were manufactured by Milton Bradley in 1867 can be viewed here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG6ywByMAyE

(the third motion picture is the one titled "Baseball")

Here is the question - is this THE first Baseball movie ever published? Should it be considered an important Baseball Collectible given that it was made in 1867 - just 2 years after the end of the Civil War or just some novelty unconnected to the history of Baseball? What is its place in the history of Baseball in the media? and finally does this "blow you away" as much as it does me?

Last edited by walnutts; 06-09-2014 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:49 PM
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I watched 3 times, maybe I am missing something, but don't see anything resembling baseball..

Joe
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:58 PM
walnutts walnutts is offline
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The third "movie" that shows the man rolling a ball across the tabletop is titled (on the strip) "Baseball". Obviously this is not a movie of a baseball game but the manufacturer made the decision to title the "movie" "Baseball" thus connecting it to the newly emerging sport. Hence the dilemma - is it "baseball related" just because it is titled "Baseball" and shows an early baseball?

Last edited by walnutts; 06-09-2014 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:39 PM
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I don't know. Aside from the title, the ball in the "Baseball" clip looks exactly like the one being kicked into the air by the little whatzits in the preceding clip (clip #2), and that the guy is juggling with his feet in clip #8 (albeit a larger version). I'll leave it for more learned minds to debate, but just thought I'd throw that observation in there.

P.S. What's a "Hash Machine"
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:52 PM
walnutts walnutts is offline
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Your observations are 100% correct - it is the fact that the "movie" is named "Baseball" that causes the dilemma - or more precisely the "interest". In 1867 the game of Baseball was in its infancy and the reason for the use of the title "Baseball" to describe what was a rather simple "motion picture" may be a question for social historians but it is the opinion of 19th century Baseball Collectors that we are searching for here. (My guess is the "hash machine" was something that turned corned beef into hash and shoved it directly into the mouth of the guy pictured).
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:28 PM
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Here is a screen grab
Attached Images
File Type: jpg zoetrope.jpg (43.5 KB, 87 views)
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:59 PM
walnutts walnutts is offline
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When the "movie" is in motion we see the "fellow" sending the ball rolling across the tabletop. Certainly not your typical "Baseball" film but yet a "film" titled "Base Ball" - curious...
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