Who Invented Projectors?

The projector is a truly wondrous optical device used to project on a large, blank screen with the help of reflection. Using a bright light source, it reflects and enlarges an image. Like other electrical devices, projectors have evolved over the years.

Many scientists are responsible for developing the projectors and designing them with many advanced features. Like all technologies, the invention is credited to the culmination of many individual advancements in the field of science.

Who Invented Projectors?

The first concept of projectors was introduced by the German priest, Athanasius Kircher in 1646 who projected hand-painted images onto a screen with the help of candles or oil lamps.

Later in 1879, Eadweard Muybridge, famously known as “Father of the motion picture”, developed a device called Zoopraxiscope used to show pictures and movies.

In 1888, Thomas Edison filed a caveat with the Patent’s office for developing a device called Kinetoscope. Kinetoscope is considered the forerunner of a full-motion movie projector.

Though Edison had the idea in 1888, it was invented by Thomas A. Edison and William Dickson in 1891.

This device worked by moving a strip of film rapidly between the lens and the electric bulb.

Lumière Brothers

Without denying any efforts of Thomas A. Edison and William Dickson, it was the Lumière brothers that invented the first true projector called Cinematographer.

This device was invented based on the work of French inventor Léon Bouly that combined a film camera, projector, and printer.

The projector invented by Edison and Dickson could not support film recording and project it on the big screen.

Cinematographer was a light, small, hand-powered device capable of taking pictures.

Back in the day, it was known to be the first viable camera to have been invented. This device was so popular back then that the term “cinema” was derived from the Lumière brothers’ Cinematographer machine.

These analog projectors were used widely for a long time and different improvements were made over time.

These devices were phased out and fell out of demand in the late 2000s.

With the advancement of technology, the modernization of cinema and theater accessories was inevitable. Soon, digital projectors took the place of analog projectors.


Digital projectors were handy, therefore, preferred by people. Modern projectors are small, energy-efficient, and easier to use. There are endless options regarding projectors with a wide array of features. Projectors and other devices continue to evolve, so, we can expect a better, more advanced version in the future.

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