This Day in Geek History: October 6
William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, the inventor of the motion picture camera and an employee of Thomas Edison, makes the first motion picture, in which he films himself saying “Good morning, Mr Edison. How do you like this?” The motion picture is the first “sound film.” The image of the film is only about one inch wide and three-quarters of an inch high.
The Ohio Art company, later manufacturer of the Etch-A-Sketch, is founded by Henry Simon Winzeler. Visit the game’s official website.
Warner Brothers premieres The Jazz Singer, the first motion picture with sound, at the Warner Cinema on Broadway in New York. The film features both silent scenes and sound-synchronized scenes featuring Warner’s Vitaphone sound-on-disc system. Originally, Warner Brothers Studio planned to record only songs while telling the story in silent sequences. However, star Al Jolson ad-libbed dialogue in two scenes, including the iconic line, “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!” Its release marks the end of the silent film era.
The Star Trek episode “The Enemy Within” is first airs. (No. 5) In it, a transporter mishap divides Captain Kirk into two versions of himself, one good and one evil, but neither is able to function separately for long. The episode marks the first use of the line, “He’s dead, Jim.” The phrase is coined by the episode’s author, Richard Matheson. Memory Alpha entry
The Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror” first airs. (No. 33) In it, a transporter malfunction sends Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura into a parallel universe where, in lieu of the Federation, a despotic Earth-centered galactic empire exists. Memory Alpha entry
Lotus Development, founded by Mitch Kapor and Jonathan Sachs in 1982, goes public after recording revenues of US$12.8 million over the course of the previous twelve months. The company will become a break-out success when it releases the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet application. Lotus 1-2-3 takes the innovative step of bypassing the IBM PC operating system for improved responsiveness that will give it an edge over its competitors. Visit the official Lotus Software website.