Siegmund Lubin

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Siegmund Lubin
Born Siegmund Lubszynski
(1851-04-20)April 20, 1851
Breslau or Posnan
Died September 11, 1923(1923-09-11) (aged 72)
Ventnor, New Jersey
Nationality German, US
Other names Siegmund Lubszynski
"Pop" Lubin
Occupation Optometrist, inventor, film-maker, industrialist
Spouse(s) Annie Abrams (m. 1882–1923)

Siegmund Lubin (April 20, 1851 – September 11, 1923) was a German-American motion picture pioneer.


He was born as Siegmund Lubszynski in Breslau or Posen, Silesia, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland) on April 20, 1851, to a German Jewish family, in which his father was a successful ophthalmologist.[1] In 1876 he emigrated to the United States, where he also worked as an optometrist in Philadelphia.[2]

He soon progressed to making his own camera and projector combination, which he sold. In 1896 he began distributing films for Thomas Edison. In 1897 he started making films and in 1902 formed the Lubin Manufacturing Company, incorporating it in 1909.[2] His company also sold illegally copied prints of many films by other directors, notably those of Georges Méliès, making Lubin one of the foremost early practitioners of film piracy.[3]

By 1910 his company had built a film studio, "Lubinville", in Philadelphia,[2] at Twentieth Avenue and Indiana Street.[1]

A fire at its studio in June 1914 destroyed the negatives for his unreleased new films. When World War I broke out in Europe in September of that year, Lubin Studios, and other American filmmakers, lost foreign sales. After making more than a thousand motion pictures, on September 1, 1917, the Lubin Film Company went out of business.[2]

He went back to work as an optometrist.

He died on September 11, 1923 at his home in Ventnor, New Jersey.[2][4] He was buried on September 14, 1923.[5]


For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Siegmund Lubin has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (with his first name as "Sigmund") at 6166 Hollywood Blvd.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Sigmund Lubin: Lubinville, PA". Paul Falzone;MINTV35; YouTube. Independence Media. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Joseph P. Eckhardt. "Lubin Timeline". Montgomery County Community College. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  3. ^ Frazer, John (1979), Artificially Arranged Scenes: The Films of Georges Méliès, Boston: G. K. Hall & Co., p. 71, ISBN 0816183686, Siegmund Lubin of Philadelphia was the most notorious film duper of the primitive cinema. He was a major contributor to Méliès' difficulties before 1903, the date when Star Films were first copyrighted through the Library of Congress. 
  4. ^ "Siegmund Lubin Dies. Pioneer in Movies. Philadelphia Optician, Once a Producer, Succumbs to Heart Disease at 72.". New York Times. September 11, 1923. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  5. ^ "Siegmund Lubin Buried". New York Times. September 15, 1923. Retrieved 2011-11-25. Sigmund Lubin, pioneer motion picture producer, was buried today In the ... of this city, died on Wednesday in Padgewood [sic], NJ. He was 82 [sic] years old. ... 
  6. ^ "Sigmund Lubin-Hollywood Star Walk". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Newspapers. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 

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