Tartans of the Scottish Clans
R: George A. Smith. P: Kinematograph Company. UK 1906
Woman Draped in Patterned Handkerchiefs
R: George A. Smith. P: Kinematograph Company. UK 1908
“From 1906, G.A. Smith devoted the rest of his film career to experimenting with colour. Although colour films had already been available for many years, they were usually created via a stencil system that involved them literally being coloured in by hand, whereas Smith’s was the first colour system that attempted to capture natural colours without any post-production intervention.
The Kinemacolor system was based on 35mm black and white film, with both camera and projector running at double the normal speed. Each was fitted with a rotating wheel, exposing each frame to either a red or green filter. Although this produced an unwelcome side-effect of red-green fringing on fast-moving subjects, the system was otherwise surprisingly effective.
Tartans of Scottish Clans was one of Smith’s first Kinemacolor experiments, a very simple idea (essentially, a sequence of Scottish tartan cloths, each appropriately labelled) which nonetheless demanded colour in order to convey the necessary information.
(Woman Draped in Patterned Handkerchiefs): A woman displays assorted tartan cloths, both draped on her body and waved semaphore-style. These are presumably the same cloths featured in Tartans of Scottish Clans (1906), this time shown from various angles.”
More about Kinemacolor:
Timeline of Historical Film Colors
Created, developed and curated by Barbara Flueckiger, professor at the Department of Film Studies, University of Zurich
>> Charles Urban, the founder of the Natural Color Kinematograph Company, on this site: Colonial Travelogue: Jamaica