Chronophone' cinematographic projection device

Léon Spilliaert, Léon Gaumont1910

Musée des arts et métiers

Musée des arts et métiers
Paris, France

This cinematographic projection device, whose initial model was first shown in 1902, achieved the synchronisation of image and sound. In 1904 an article in La Nature proclaimed: ‘Now that speech has just been added to animated projection, it still lacks relief, which we will soon see is easy to obtain, and then all we will lack is colour’. Besides fulfilling all the requirements of cinematography and projection, this system did not hinder the performance of the actors, who did not have to stay close to the phonograph while the scene was being recorded. Sound is reproduced by a compressed-air amplifier, so the machine could be used in large theatres such as the Gaumont-Palace. The phonograph’s twin turntables also enabled continuous long-duration listening. This model was used at the Académie des Sciences in 1910 for the projection, organised by Jules Carpentier, of a talking film featuring the physicist Arsène d’Arsonval.


  • Title: Chronophone' cinematographic projection device
  • Creator: Léon Gaumont, Léon Frély, Georges and Gustave Laudet, René Decaux
  • Date: 1910
  • Date Created: 1910
  • Location: France
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Contributor: Author: Marie-Sophie Corcy. English translation: David Wharry
  • Inventory number: Inv. 16976
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Sylvain Pelly

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