Wise Words

May 10, 2020

A permanent state of transition is man’s most noble condition


— Juan Ramon Jimenez

Night Music: O’Sullivan’s March

May 10, 2020

The First Kiss

May 10, 2020

In April 1896, Thomas Edison released a 21-second film that became an instant sensation. In the movie, May Irwin and John Rice recreated a scene from a popular New York musical comedy show called The Widow Jones.


As an article in JSTOR Daily notes:

“It was the first time anyone had filmed a kiss, let alone shown it to the public, and moviegoers couldn’t get enough. Audiences crowded vaudeville theaters and music halls to see the two actors embrace on film “in a way that [brought] down the house every time,” according to a Thomas Edison, Inc. catalog …

The Kiss immediately became “the most popular of the many shorts being shown” when it debuted. Audiences found it fresh and funny, and the media breathlessly fed into the hype…

The public fascination was so intense that fans soon started demanding live reenactments. When Rice took the stage with his actress wife Sally Cohen that summer, fans yelled from the gallery, “Where’s the ‘Widow Jones’ kiss?” Cohen declined to participate in an imitation, but a young lady ran down the aisle offering to take her place …

Sweet, sensational, and slightly scandalous, The Kiss was a cinematic milestone that left audiences clamoring for more. Early filmmakers met the demand with a wave of similarly-themed shorts like The Kiss in the Tunnel and Something Good—Negro Kiss, which both premiered before the turn of the century.”

Ahh, such sweet innocence.  How we have changed.

Grandview 10th May 1920

May 10, 2020

Sun, 19200510, p.8

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings