Siegmund Lubin

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Siegmund Lubin
Siegmund Lubin in 1913.jpg
Siegmund Lubin in 1913
Zygmunt Lubszyński

(1851-04-20)April 20, 1851
DiedSeptember 11, 1923(1923-09-11) (aged 72)
NationalityGerman, US
Other namesSiegmund Lubszynski
"Pop" Lubin
OccupationOptometrist, inventor, film-maker, industrialist
Annie Abrams
(m. 1882⁠–⁠1923)
Siegmund Lubin Historical Marker at 21 S. 8th St. Philadelphia PA

Siegmund Lubin (born Zygmunt Lubszyński[citation needed], April 20, 1851 – September 11, 1923) was a German-American motion picture pioneer who founded the Lubin Manufacturing Company (1902–1917) of Philadelphia.


Siegmund Lubin was born as Zygmunt Lubszyński,[citation needed] a son of Samuel Lubszyński and Rebeka Lubszyńska, Polish Jews,[citation needed] in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland) or in Poznań on April 20, 1851. His father was a successful ophthalmologist.[1] the Lubszyński family moved to Berlin soon after Zygmunt birth for economic reasons. Young Zygmunt Germanicized his first name to Siegmund[citation needed] and graduated from the University of Heidelberg. In 1876 he emigrated to the United States, where he also worked as an optometrist in Philadelphia.[2] Around 1881, he shortened his surname from the Polish Lubszyński to Lubin.

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, notably Meet Me at the Fountain in 1904, 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 was among the American filmmakers who lost foreign sales. The Lubin Film Company went out of business on September 1, 1917, after having made more than a thousand motion pictures. Siegmund 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 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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