User:MinorProphet/Joseph L. Menchen

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Joseph Menchen aged about 35

Joseph Menchen (Illinois, 1 April 1878–4 October 1940, Glendale? California, was an inventor, businessman, film producer, screenwriter and literary agent. He was the producer of the world's first full-length, narrative feature film[n 1] The Miracle, directed in 1912 by Michel-Antoine Carré.


Early life and career[edit]

He lived in Kansas City, Missouri also from at least July 1889, when he jointly filed his first patent (with one Louis Zweisler) for a spring-loaded weighing and measuring scoop.[p 1] His father (also named Joseph Menchen) ran the Joseph Menchen Electrical Works at 9-15, West 6th Street, Kansas City, Missouri in 1891 - 1892.[1][n 2]

Aged around 16, Menchen was boarding at the Grand Missouri Hotel as Jos. Menchen in 1894.[2] In 1895 he was working as electrician at Abraham Judah's newly-rebuilt Ninth-Street Opera house in Kansas City (not to be confused with the Grand Opera House, also leased and run by Judah).[3][4][n 3] Menchen had a useful selection of his own theatrical lighting equipment and was looking for a position with another responsible company.[n 4] In November 1895 he took a contract to fit 450 electric lights in the new 1,200-seat Rohrbaugh Opera House, Ottawa, Kansas.[3][n 5] While working in Kansas City, Menchen met and was befriended by the theatre impresario Robert Grau, who continued to advise and encourage him.[5][6]

Vaudeville and motion pictures[edit]

Kineoptikon by Joseph Menchen from his 1906 catalogue

After the initial success of Edison's peephole Kinetoscope in 1894-5 and the swift development of the first film projectors, vaudeville theatres in New York began to include film shows. Edison's Vitascope was first exhibited at Koster & Bial's on Thursday 30 April 1896,[7][n 6] Lumiere's Cinematographe opened at Keith's Union Square Theatre on 6 July,[8] and the Kineopticon at Pastor's's New Fourteenth Street Theatre on 31 August 1896.[9][n 7] The projectionist was Menchen with a kineopticon, an English film projector made by Birt Acres which had its London première on 21 March 1896. The press agent for the 'old' Bijou Theatre at 1239 Broadway, A. Curtis Bond, acquired the American rights to the kineopticon.[10] An advertisement for 'Joseph Menchen's New Kineoptikon' included newspaper reports of the projector from 17 August 1896.[11]

The early projectionists bought their own prints direct from the production companies at around 15 cents a foot; Menchen had his own stock of films[12] including many of the Edison Manufacturing Company's early films such as the scandalous The Kiss,[13]; Police Patrol,[14] Morning Bath, Hurdle Race, Arrival and Departure of Tally-Ho, Whirlpool rapids at Niagara Falls, Mutoscope's Empire State Express (1896); three Edison films made in November 1896 directed by James H. White with cameraman William Heise, Going to the Fire, Fighting the Fire and Burning Building (featuring the Newark, NJ Fire Dept.)[15] and the latest from Edison in January 1897, The First Sleigh-Ride[16]

Stereopticon by Joseph Menchen for projecting moving effects, such as water or snowstorms.

On 14 Nov 1896 the kineoptikon was replaced at Pastor's by the Cinographoscope,[17][18] and Menchen went on tour the following year alongside such stars from Pastor's company as

In 1897 Menchen was on tour with Pastor's company alongside such stars as the Newsboys Quintet and Helene Mora, "the world-famous lady baritone" who sang her own songs such as Kathleen[19] and performed scenes from Shakespeare "en travesti",[20] He was showing films with the Kineoptikon in Baltimore, MD in January, and in March at the Olympic Theatre, Chicago, with an address at 632 Madison Street.[21][22][23]

He also provided arresting moving lighting effects for performances of other vaudeville acts, including the "clever serpentine dancer, Mlle. Winifred" and "Mlle Lotty".[24][25][26] He designed and made specialised attachments for projectors such as the Stereopticon and the Skyopticon [27] These acts were probably inspired by the 'original' serpentine dancer, Loïe Fuller, a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques. She used stereopticons in her performances, and was managed by Robert Grau, who 'discovered' Menchen in Kansas City.[28]

The Lobsterscope
Still photograph of the Corbett-Fitzsimmons fight, Corbett on right

On May 22 1897 a film of the Corbett-Fitzsimmonds fight was released. That same week the vaudeville duo Weber & Fields performed their 'Lobsterscope' routine, which included a burlesque of the boxing match. The sketch made fun of "all animated picture machines (patent protected)" and was performed by the pair before a black curtain in the simulated flickering light of an early film projector.[29] This effect was done with a stereopticon supplied by Menchen,[30] who two years later would be involved in the attempted filming of another boxing match with Fitzsimmons, the Jeffries fight (see below).

Weber & Fields in 1899.

The 'Lobsterscope' sketch ridicules the multitudinous names of moving picture machines making the rounds of the vaudeville theatres, [31] and combines it with a joking reference to the many high-society glittering 'lobster palace' restaurants on Broadway.

Weber and Fields later had a line in another of their routines about Diamond Jim Brady, a famous customer at Charles Rector's lobster restaurant: A chorus girl is asked if she ever found an pearl in an oyster. "No," comes the reply, "but I got a diamond from a lobster over at Rector's last night."[32][33]

The routine was later taken up by the Afro-American vaudeville duo Johnson & Dean, "The King and Queen of Colored Aristocracy".[n 8][34][30]

In her autobiography the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee describes one of the young dancers in her mother's vaudeville act: "he used a lobster-scope for that part, making him look as if he were dancing in slow motion . . . The lobster-scope, a metal disk that fitted over a spotlight, was his own, and on opening days, he would give it to the spotlight man himself. "Be careful of it," he would warn. "Anything happens to that lobster-scope and the whole act's a flop."[35]

A modern professional version of the Lobsterscope using the original design concept was still in production in 2013.[36]

Fitzsimmons-Jeffries fight

Menchen continued to invent electrical devices[p 2][n 9] and formed the Joseph Menchen Electrical Company in 1898.[37]

The first motion picture to be filmed with the aid of electric lighting was made in 1899 by Vitagraph in the Manhattan Theatre, New York City, using "arc lights of enormous amperage, furnished by Joe Menchen."[38][39] The cameraman was Albert E. Smith. The tests were made to see if it was possible to make a film of a boxing match at night time.

As a result of this experiment the theatre owner and promoter William A. Brady contracted for $5,000 with Vitagraph to film the boxing fight between James J. Jeffries and Bob Fitzsimmons at the Coney Island Sporting Club on 9 June 1899. Menchen's lights with a combined 2,400,000 candlepower[40] hung above the ring from a "platform from which huge cylinders like bottomless hot tubes glowered down", emitting "a great beam of blinding white light [...] like a thousand calciums."[41] Unfortunately only the first minute of the fight was captured on camera. According to the cameraman Albert E. Smith (later president of Vitagraph), the reason for the failure was that the cylinder head of the engine which powered the electrical plant blew out, and 12 of the 24 lights failed.[42] The failure seems not to have been noticed in blow-by-blow accounts of the fight[41], and not until a fortnight later did a New York Times article claim that a "wobbly old generator and beer-barrel rheostats brought the cinematographers confusion."[43]

Although not the whole fight was captured, a still from the minute-long film hung over William T. Rock's desk at the Vitagraph offices,[44], and Menchen's later 1906 catalogue of theatrical lighting equipment lists his achievement at the fight along with his other successes.[40][n 10]

Sam T Jack died on April 27 1899.

However, Menchen was out of Pastor's after Vitagraph gained a contract there from 17 June 1899, presenting their own exclusive films of the boxer James Jeffries in training and the celebrations in October for Admiral Dewey's victory.[45] By August, Menchen was managing "Mlle. Stella" on the books of the Sam T. Jack Company.

The Sam T. Jack Co. has engaged an act from Joseph Menchen called " Stella," which is said to be superior to Mile. Lotty's act. By an electric appliance, an invention of Mr. Menchen's, he makes any two colors change to six, producing the very rarest colors, only to be seen in changeable silks.
New York Dramatic Mirror 26 August 1899[46]

Whereas vaudeville was firmly aimed at a family audience, Sam T. Jack's burlesque shows were usually the bawdiest to be found.[47] Stella was at the Palace Theatre, Boston, on 21 October 1899.[48][49] Menchen continued to improve the kineoptikon, fitting it with a patent lens box.[p 3][50]

He continued with his lighting business, selling or hiring his equipment and working as lighting designer on Broadway shows, for example The Princess Chic at the Casino Theatre (Broadway) from 12 February - 3 March 1900[51] In September 1901 a court judgement for debt was delivered against Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. for $50.62 in connection with a property of Menchen's.[52]

When the Majestic Theatre opened in January 1903 with The Wizard of Oz, Joe Menchen designed the lighting and the "jaw-dropping special effects", which included a ten-minute tornado. [53][54]

Joseph Menchen Company[edit]

Night in Luna Park, Coney Island, N.Y. around 1905

On 21 March 1903 the Joseph Menchen Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $10,000,[37] to sell and install theatrical lighting equipment and complete systems, in addition to the Stereopticon and his other patented inventions. Having seen the effects of several theatre fires in Kansas City and Ottawa, Kansas where he had installed electrical lighting to replace old carbide lights, his equipment was manufactured to high electrical safety standards and endorsed by the New York Fire Department and the Board of Fire Underwriters.[12][55] His electrical plug connectors were later installed in all New York high schools.[56]

Luna Park & St. Louis

Later in 1903 that year his Stereopticon effects[p 4] were in use at Luna Park, Coney Island, projecting simulated motion such as snowstorms and butterflies, or the Aurora Borealis.[p 5][57] Luna Park was owned by the impresarios and theatre owners Thomson & Dundy, who often used Menchen's services.

On 30 December 1903 in Chicago, the brand-new Iroquois Theatre caught fire at a matinee performance. Over 600 people were crushed, asphyxiated or burned to death in the deadliest theatre fire and the deadliest single-building fire in United States history. In the aftermath the mayor ordered all theaters in Chicago closed for six weeks for inspection and refitting to new fire regulations.[58] Menchen's electrical lighting equipment, always designed to the highest standards, was the only approved equipment allowed to be used in the city theatres.[59]

Menchen's success at Luna Park with the versatile Stereopticon led to a huge opportunity at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, where he used thirty-eight of them, sixty inches in diameter, to create spectacular effects in "Under and Over the Sea", one of the rides on the mile-long 'Pike' crammed with amusements and attractions.[60] The profit from this attraction was $86,432. Menchen's electrical projection equipment was used in many other rides, including "Creation", (profit $347,747)[61], "Hereafter", ($116,301)[62] "Great Siberian Railway", ($85,310)[63] and "The Haunted Castle".[64] The fair opened on 30 April 1904, and closed 1 December 1904.

Proctor's 125th Street Theatre (not the one he worked at) caught fire on 6 May 1904 and was burned to the ground, although quick and decisive action by staff and police meant that the house was evacuated within three minutes, and the were no injuries at all.[65] Although Menchen was in court later that May over a debt for $129 to one M. J. Boyce,[66] by June he was doing well enough financially (probably thanks to profits from the World's Fair) to take out a 5-year lease for $1,800 on 354, 50th W St., where the Joseph Menchen Electrical Company's new premises opened on 17 September 1904.[67][n 11][68][69]

He continued to design the lighting for Broadway shows during 1904, designing the effects for the new musical Piff! Paff!! Pouf!!! (music by Jean Schwartz, lyrics by William Jerome) which ran from 2 April to 19 November 1904 at the Casino Theatre, and at the Majestic Theatre (Broadway) from Dec 26, 1904 for a further eight performances;[70] and as lighting designer for Girls Will Be Girls at Haverly's 14th Street Theatre, N.Y.[71]


By the end of 1904, however, the Joseph Menchen company was insolvent, and his Johnstown Flood electrical and scenic equipment was being advertised for sale by one J. T. Ebbets (possibly an interim administrator) at the company's 354 W 50th Street address.[72] Menchen failed to pay his creditors, who filed a bankruptcy petition against him in July 1906. According to the New York Times report, materials had been stolen at various times, aggregating in a loss of $10,000. For example, Menchen's Stereopticons in use at the St. Louis World's Fair cost $500 each.[37][73] Menchen continued to operate a business, opening an office at 1237 Broadway later described by Al. H. Woods as "a little electrical shop at the Bijou". This was not the 1920's Schubert Bijou, but the 'old' Bijou Theatre at 1237-1239 Broadway where A. Curtis Bond was the the press agent when Menchen bought or hired a Kineopticon from him in 1896.[10] He continued to take out advertisements in the trade press throughout 1906 and 1907 as a constructor of electric and scenic shows.[74][75][76]

His 1906 catalogue lists over 150 New York shows which used his equipment, with special mention of vaudeville theatres including the Brooklyn Orpheum, Keith's Union Square, Proctor's 23rd, 58th and 125th Street: and all the work at the vast, newly-opened New York Hippodrome for Thompson & Dundy (owners of Luna Park).[40]

Recent research[edit]

End of Recent Research

Trips to Europe[edit]

NB, fool!

The above needs to be properly reffed and integrated into the following earlier research:

He travelled to Europe in 1908, seeking to expand his business interests. In February 1908 he opened a London branch of Joseph Menchen's Electrical Company at 341 Walworth Road, which was also the address of an Electric Theatre cinema owned by Joseph Jay Bamberger, previously a New York stockbroker.[78][79][n 12] The former chapel served as the Electric Theatre cinema from February 1904 until at least 1915.[80]

He returned to the USA on 2 Jan 1909 on board the recently-built RMS Lusitania, with his new wife Madge,[81] and by 1910 he was advertising his company (now at 360 West 50th St, NY) as the "largest manufacturers of electrical stage appliances and effects in the world."[82] Madge seems to have been a technically-minded person, as her entry in the 1910 New York City directory lists her occupation as electrician, 360 West 50th St. [83]

  • Madge was Madge Bickler, the sister of Minnie Bickler, who married Gustav A. Schacht, VP of the Schacht company; Schact 'Patricia' trucks were sold in the UK in 1915 by the American Export Co. with offices at 20 Frith Street.

In December 1911 Menchen's ad in Billboard reads: Electric Scenic Effects and Stage Lighting Appliances Complete line of Cloud Effects, Snow, Rain, Fire, etc. Spot and Flood Lights, Stage Pockets, Plugging Boxes, Rheostats and everything used in connection with Electrical Stage Lighting. ??? bone, Lenses and Gelatins at low prices. Send 10c for catalogue. [84]

The Miracle[edit]

In 1912 Menchen left the USA for Europe, and settled in London[85] with an address at 20 Frith Street. It seems very likely that he saw a performance of Max Reinhardt's production of The Miracle, a wordless pantomime by Karl Vollmoeller with music for chorus and large symphony orchestra by Engelbert Humperdinck, and designs by Ernst Stern. The production ran for 16 weeks at Olympia (London).

Menchen determined to make it into a film, obtaining the necessary rights to the music, play and production from the owners[86][87] and made arrangements to make the film on location in Austria, including production design, permission to film, and travel and catering arrangements for 800 cast. Shooting for the film of The Miracle began on location in October 1912 near Vienna, immediately after Reinhardt's next production of the play at the Rotunda, using the many of the actors and costumes from the stage production.

Souvenir postcard of the 1912 colour film of The Miracle

The film was hand-coloured in Paris, and the première of The Miracle took place at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on 21 December 1912, with full symphony orchestra and chorus, live dancers and actors dressed as nuns. The film ran for a record-breaking three months in the UK, with 90 copies playing in 72 locations during Easter week (18 March).

Studios Menchen
Joseph Menchen's glasshouse studio at Epinay, at his Studio Menchen: sold to Eclair in 1914.

In 1913 he moved to France and formed the Société des Films Menchen with Michel Carré as its artistic director. He obtained the film rights from Maurice Leblanc for the greater majority of his books featuring Arsène Lupin (a French detective modelled after Sherlock Holmes) with the intention of producing them as films.[88] By March Menchen had taken a lease on a former Jesuit house of retreat (Villa St-Joseph at 10 Rue du Mont) in the Paris suburb of Épinay-sur-Seine, where he had a 40 x 22m glasshouse studio built. [89][90] He had intended to release some 21 films, and by WHEN??? he had half-finished one. [91] Although in a trade press interview he claimed that the series of Arsène Lupin films were "practically ready for release", he seems have not to completed any films at all and by May 1914 he had disposed of the studios although he kept his main office in Paris.[92] However, the First World War broke out in August 1914, and as the German army advanced towards Paris Menchen left in a hurry with his automobile full of film cans. He was evacuated on the USS Tennessee from Le Havre along with other US citizens and arrived back in Britain.[93]

The studio was taken over by the Lux production company, and later by the French branch of Tobis. By 1930 it was one of only two studios in France to have been equipped with sound-on-film recording apparatus (Tobis-Klang) after the arrival of the 'talkies'

  • London film business - see London Project


Joseph Menchen worked on various flamethrower designs during the war, first proposing a design for a heavy flamethrower for the WD (British Army), later experimentally installed in a tank [c1916] with a large fuel reservoir. However, the British High Command wasn't particularly keen on flamethrowers and tanks conventionally armed with guns were more popular. However, it was adapted into a battery.

Menchen had approached Colonel Jackson (of which Dept.?) in February 1915, claiming he could make a FT despite having no experience of such things - he believed there was prob. v. little diff. bewteen burners & flamethrowers.[94] NB Menchen was a theatre lighting electrician, he replaced gas burners/carbide lamps in old theatres, e.g. Rohrbau theatre.

  • Design for Heavy flamethrower : put forward in March 1915.[95] experimental prototype installed in an early (Mark I?) Tank - possibly a 29-ton machine with 49,000 litres of fuel
  • Heavy or Battery: Menchen-Hersent type - used a couple of times in Battle of the Somme 1916
  • Portable : Norris-Menchen - [96] Other info re Norris-Menchen mostly gleaned from WWI web forum - not very reliable. Text to pics refer to demos in France in 1918: but Jos. had gone back to the USA in 1917. See below.

British Army attitudes[edit]

Flamethrowers were really not approved of by the British High Command. NB {Citation needed} for this section inc. R&D and manufacturing:

1. The Germans had been developing technical innovations since about 1906, I think, and their weapons were relatively reliable and used according to something that might be called tactical doctrine. In other words, they were used on occasion, deliberately, after practice, and in force.

2. The War Office, the Army and the Navy had not a single technical department between them, neither a committee or a research establishment. There was absolutely no connection between the military and industry. The military made its own weapons in its own state-owned factories, and the desk-wallahs had probably been in the same office, doing the same unbelievably inefficient job since Henry Bessemer tried (and failed) to persuade the Woolwich Arsenal to adopt his own brand of steel in 1869 or so.

3. The British had to start from scratch, ideally inventing novel weapons to meet the particular problems of trench warfare; developing them into something manufacturable; and then using them in battle according to a plan. However, the various government technical departments were fragmented and not really in touch with each other, and even in the best or most opportune circumstances it takes around twelve months to turn an initial idea into a brand-new product on the shelves.

4. The connecting of a new industry with military and government takes time, and it seems there was no major progress in flamethrowers until 1917. As far as I can see the whole thing was disorganised and generally disapproved of. The British devices were unreliable and almost as likely to explode as work, had a short range, were useful for only one minute (60 seconds), and there were many other existing weapons which did as good a job in a trench fight.

5. The German Army had some success against both British and French troops with specially-trained FW shock troops, who in some cases had also had familiarised the supporting German infantry with their tactics: but these had been developed over time, and the British lacked an equivalent level of organisation.

6. Flamethrowers were only used in about 20 attacks or less. The components of the static FF batteries designed by Menchen had to be carried through the trenches (including the drums of flammable oil), and installed at some safe distance from the troops. Tunnels had to be dug for the pipes to reach the enemy lines (max. range about 100 yards?), and Menchen even included a remote mechanism (later discarded) to vary the angle of the nozzle.


The first of Menchen's designs was a heavy flamethrower which was first put before the War Office in March 1915. The apparatus was too cumbrous for the trenches, and it was experimentally installed in a specially-designed flamethrower tank which was built alongside the other first conventionally-armed tanks. It was than bigger than the gun-carrying tanks because of its load of inflammable oil.

From Dutch WW1 forum

"The flame-throwers were used during WW1 were difficult portable and fuel, a mixture of heavy and light fuel driven nitrogen gas or compressed air without oxygen were not safe, especially when there were still traces of oxygen in the propellant. It was named in the 1940s with a thicker liquid napalm, a derivative of "naphtenic" (aspfalthtolie) and palmitic acid (palmitylzuur, hence the name nAPALM, who who gave a liquid formed a gel which was easier to spread and less gave opportunity to strike back at the gun itself, which makes it really useful weapon werd.Meer even the thickness non-oil used in WW 1 had a tendency to burn up before it reached its target so little of the liquid contact with them made .Napalm put an end to this "PROBLEM ???." the use by the Germans early in Hooge from flamethrowers to get a direct response, only the British had no similar devices. An experimental program was rapidly launched for long distance as well as portable flamethrowers by one man was carried and operated worden.Private companies were already one step ahead. Joseph Menchen, an American with experience in industrial oil burners, Colonel Jackson was approached in February 1915, claiming that he could build a flamethrower also had no experience with it, there probably was little difference between an oil burner and flame throwers. Jackson, fiercely driven to design new paths of development, asked him two devices, one for short and one for long away.The short distance model (portable) was ready for testing in April and although it performed well with a respectable, even with an excellent distance of about 20 yards (18.28 mts) the device was rejected. The long-range model consisted of four cylindrical fuel tanks united into a single discharge hose with a nozzle and an equal number of cylinders with compressed air, each fed by an air cylinder. Although this test model had everything connected in series Menchen thought it would work equally well if they are connected in parallel or radially.

The Fuel and propellant were unloaded by cranes were adjusted so that the fuel was released for the gas. It reached a distance of about 100 yards (91.44 mts), but it was too complicated to be of useful value in the trenches, in which Mencen, experience Livens "did not share. Menchen, as many inventors had sufficient confidence in his aircraft to believe it was worth four of patent applications to submit at the end of 1915 he was iterated three patents, two were combined at a later date:

  • 14 715/15 had relate to the flame thrower as a whole, =GB191514715 =GB14715[97]
  • 14.716 / 15 on the valve system, and =GB191514716, theoretically =GB14716[98]
  • 16.062 / 15) on the nozzle and the ignition system. =GP191616062, theoretically =GB16062[99]

In the mean time, had a French firm, Hersent also called a flamethrower developed which became the subject of two British patents. The application submitted on 27 March 1915 concerning the flamethrower unit, received patent no. 7,524 / 15, while the second application for the ignition system received the patent no. 15.58 / 15. The Hersent aircraft was simpler than Menchen's. Captain Vincent, who was part of the team to develop British flamethrowers for "Trench Warfare Department" (the department for trench warfare), borrowed some elements of Hersent gear and assisted by Captain Hay he brought a "knapsack" (backpack) model that had a range of about 35 yards (32 m). Vincent demonstrated it at Wembley (hopefully not on the tennis court) [sic, lol, not Wimbledon...] on 15 December 1915. The test was great but the unit had only one fuel load 6.5 gallons of (27.65 liters) which fired only 17-18 seconds. The device was not lightweight, weighing 80-85 pounds (36-38.5 kg) but fortunately for the operator it was good spread as an expense."</ref>Forum Eerste Wereldoorlog Dutch-language WWI forum. accessdate=6 July 2016.</ref>

Flamethrower Patents[edit]

Cite Patent Original document: GB191514715 (A) ― 1919-03-20
Improvements relating to Flame or Liquid Discharging Apparatus applicable for Cremating and for Warlike Purposes.
fdate:18 October 1915
gdate: 20 March 1919
Address : 20 Frith Street, Soho (which is the genesis of that article).

Hmm, according to GB Patent 124,477 he had an forwarding address at 44 Regent Street. This also was the address of Schultz-Curtius and Powell, music and artists management agency.

Application filing date: Jan 20 1916
GB124477 (A) ― 1919-04-03

German patent: Original document: DE336845 (C) ― 1921-05-18

Heavy flamethrowers and flamethrower-tank[edit]

(Extract from Encyclopaedia Britannica article) Of the various types of heavy flame- thrower which were evolved in the war, the British show both the best ranging power and also perhaps the greatest variety, this latter being due to the fact that, officially, they never passed beyond the experimental stage into that of a " service store."


The first model to be tried was that designed by an American, Joseph Menchen, which was put before the War Office in March 1915. This was a very large apparatus, several containers being coupled up in series to a single pipe and nozzle, the latter being aimed from under cover by means of power derived from a by-pass on the air bottle (a complication subsequently abandoned).

[FT tank]

The intention of the branch of the War Office concerned (which subsequently became the Trench Warfare Department of the Ministry of Munitions) was to employ the apparatus not in trenches, for which it was evidently too cumbrous, but to mount it in a large armoured vehicle of the caterpillar class. Such a vehicle was built, concurrently with the first tanks, but on a larger scale so as to be able to carry a big supply of oil for the flamethrower, which in the Menchen design had a range of 100 yards. This idea of the flamethrower-tank was, however, allowed to drop owing to a variety of causes, of which the principal were the dislike of the British G.H.Q. in France for flame-throwers generally, and the concentration of caterpillar-building resources at home on the gun-carrying tank.

[Battery FT]

Experiment proceeded therefore on heavy types intended for trench warfare, and greater lightness and simplicity than was possible with the Menchen design was aimed at. Later in 1915 the Department produced a heavy flamethrower " battery " which embodied many of the features of the Menchen, and some of those of the Hersent apparatus which had been evolved in France. This " battery " is typical of the normal heavy flame-thrower. The "battery" (fig. 2) consisted of four vertical cylinders 16 in. in diameter and 48 in. high; on the top of each cylinder was a valve (controlled at first by a wheel and later by special mechanism) which was attached to a siphon tube in the interior of the container. The four valves were connected up in series by short lengths of flexible metallic tubing. The container communicated by a length of flexible tube with a rigid tube terminating in a nozzle; this discharge tube was mounted in the trench parapet behind a shield in such a way that the jet could be delivered in any direction and with any elevation. In the final container valve i.e. that leading to the delivery piping was mounted a trigger valve. On each container was strapped a gas bottle (compressed air, later nitrogen) containing 60 cub. ft. of gas compressed to 1,800 Ib. per sq. inch. Between this and the oil container were interposed a reducing valve (to reduce the storage pressure to a working pressure of 250 lb. per sq. in.) and a pressure gauge. Each oil container, when filled about three-quarters full (as was the usual practice), held 25 gal. and weighed 180 lb. filled. Ignition was at the nozzle by means of the electric device above mentioned. The range of this model was about 90 yd. actual throw. This apparatus, modified in details, was operated on one or two occasions in very unsuitable conditions during the battle of the Somme 1916, and was then rejected by G.H.Q.[100] [NB Four Livens Large Gallery Flame Projectors were also deployed at the Somme, two destroyed by German shelling.[101] They were made in Lincoln, probably by Ruston and Hornsby?.[102][n 13] [NB William Tritton & Sons, who developed the tank, were also based in Lincoln, like R&H.]


But before experiment was abandoned two important alterations were made, (a) The valves between the separate containers were done away with, and the freer flow of oil thereby obtained enabled a " record " range of 134 yd. to be reached. (6) The " director tube " built into the parapet was replaced by a so-called " monitor," a lazy-tongs device carrying a short, universal-jointed, nozzle-tube, which was raised above the parapet only during firing, the whole Installation at other times being below ground in a dugout. Other improvements were made to facilitate assembly and taking down in trench conditions. On one occasion a complete " battery " of four containers and monitor was taken down, removed, reassembled, filled and fired in slightly less than 15 minutes by ten men. The container unit was also lightened.[103]

by 'C. F. A.' (MAJOR CHARLES FRANCIS ATKINSON, T.D.) Late East Surrey Regiment. Distinguished Service Medal (U.S.A.). Order of Saint Anna (Russia). Formerly Scholar of Queen's College, Oxford. Staff Officer for Trench Warfare Research. 1915-7. British Instructor in Intelligence, American Expeditionary Force, 1918. Editorial Staff of the 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Author of 'Grant's Campaigns; The Wilderness and Cold Harbor'; etc.

Other Enc. Britt. articles: Flamethrowers; Flying Corps (in part); Foch, Marshal; Grenades (in part); Intelligence, Military (in part); Liege; Masuria, Battles in; Maubeuge, Siege of; Namur; Narew, Battles of the (1915); Naroch Lake.[104]


No-one seems to have any info about this tank. Reliably-sourced 'known' facts: (ie Enc. Britt.)[105]

  • 1. One prototype at least was built
  • 2. It was "built concurrently with the first tanks"
    • Which first tanks? Little Willie built July-September 1915, "Mother" completed Jan 1916, Mark I tanks went into production in February 1916.
    • I imagine (hah!) that any FT-tank development with Menchen would have taken place after the first Mark Is were in production.
  • 3. It was "on a larger scale" than the other "first tanks"
    • I assume 'hah' that it was simply longer, rather than scaled-up overall... Would the engine have barely been able to cope with the extra fuel load, but would it have had any armament? Maybe more like a Supply Tank, all stripped out?
    • So would removing the armament compensate for the extra load of hi-flam fuel in bottles? And what if it did get hit?
    • Could it be related in any way to the 'tadpole' tail which appeared on a few 1917 Mark IV tanks, apparently in an attempt to cross the wider trenches of the Hindenburg Line?
  • 4. "Later in 1915" the Department produced a heavy flamethrower 'battery' which "embodied many of the features of the Menchen, and some of the Hersent."
    • The story stays with the working flamethrowers: perhaps the FT-Tank was developed in parallel with the heavy battery.
    • For the Menchen-Hersent battery, "Each oil container, when filled about three-quarters full (as was the usual practice), held 25 gal. and weighed 180 lb. filled." 25 gal=about half a 40-gallon drum. Not very big, then. Sooo - 4 x 180=720 lb. The cylinders were 16" x 48", about twice the diameter of a modern actylene cylinder.
    • It's the volume that counts: the Livens and the Menchen-Hersent types had approx the same range, 90-100 yds: but the Livens, weighing two tons, probably spouted much more volume (having seen the documentary.)
  • 5. Menchen FT patents, application filing dates: 18 October 1915 and 20 Jan 1916

Unsourced info re Norris-Menchen types[edit]

"Here's a photo of a British Norris-Menchen portable flamethrower being demonstrated to troops at a gas school in France, November of 1918. As far as I know it's one of the only photos ever taken of this weapon. The Imperial War Museum, the National Archives, and the Royal Engineers Museum don't have any photos of the Norris-Menchen." WWI Forum

"An instructor of the Special Brigade, Royal Engineers, demonstrating the Norris-Menchen flamethrower at a gas school in France, November of very late in the war, the armistice was signed on 11th November. It was a semi-portable weapon, carried on poles which supported it when the gas pressure was released. The Norris-Menchen had a laden weight of 130 lbs and was usually placed on the ground when fired, the valves operated by an assistant. The instructor wears the Suit, Anti-liquid Fire, Pattern 3023/1918." Flickr

Text from 'British Portable Flamethrower': "Colonel Charles H. Foulkes (third from right) and Serbian officers watch the demonstration of a Norris-Menchen at a gas school in France. It is likely that the Norris-Menchen was tested at the front. A note from the German XIV Reserve Corps Headquarters, Ia No. 629, Secret, dated April 24, 1916, states in part the following:

"On the 23.3,16 attention of the Divisions was called to the fact that information had been received from the Moritz listening apparatus as to practice by the British with flame projectors and lachrymatory bombs. The enemy continues to practice with flame projectors behind his front. Moritz Listening Post No. 52 reports such a practice for the 29th of this month. It is quite possible that the enemy intends shortly to use this weapon against us. Whether he combines his attack with artillery fire is doubtful. It is not absolutely necessary.

“The troops are to be instructed as to the special features of this new weapon. The small portable projectors constitute a danger to the enemy’s own troops if the men carrying the apparatus are hit. Every effort must be made to do this.

“Signed, von STEIN” [106]

Text from 'Heat-resistant Suit for British Flamethrower Sapper': Colonel Charles H. Foulkes, commander of the Special Brigade (third from left) describes a Norris-Menchen portable flamethrower to Serbian officers at a gas school in France, 1918. The device was adopted by the British in December of 1915. True??? The flamethrower sapper standing in front of the weapon wears a hear-resistant suit that appears to be camouflaged in wide bands of sprayed color. The Menchen lance visible on the left used a portfire as the ignition system. It was detonated with a spark from a dry-cell battery fitted to the top of the lance. URL?

Other warlike inventions[edit]

Improvements relating to projectiles. - United Kingdom Patent GB124477
Application date: 1916-01-20
Publication Date: 1919-04-03

Hmm, is this the tracer bullet?

Later life[edit]

  • 1917 - Returns to USA on the SS Kroonland, still married to Madge. Possibly more development of flamethrower in US???? Possibly unlikely, since the US had banned their use during the war. But US forces used them in the Pacific war.
  • 1918/9 - Law suits re. Arsene Lupin v. Vitagraph Co. of America
  • Jan 1920 Forms the Celebrated Authors' Society, Ltd., for dramatic scripts for film rights.
  • April 1920 - sells Arsene Lupin stories for $360,000
  • September 1920: He and a friend were in the close vicinity of the Wall Street bombing, and were one of the first on the scene to try to identify the explosive used.[107]

Victor Beveridge[edit]

Well, well... Joe was with "Victor Beveridge, a former British intelligence officer". See Hopeless Cases: The Hunt for the Red Scare Terrorist Bombers, by Charles H. McCormick

Beveridge Victor Victor Beveridge. Motoring Art. 7 November 2016 is unsure whether the postcard artist of 1904 (who signed VB) is the same as the journalist.

Marriages March 1897 (>99%) : BEVERIDGE Robert Victor, married in Birkenhead 8a 679 Genes Reunited forum page

He drew the covers for The Advertising World, The Organ of British Advertisers. Vol 6, nos. 1-6 June-November 1904 Antiqbook dealers. Menchen may well have been acquainted with this esteemed organ, being involved with EAP Ltd.

This may have been the same Victor Beveridge who took the photo of Winston Churchill at the Sidney Street Siege in 1911.

I have little reason for thinking this, except that Joe Menchen was also connected with User:MinorProphet/George C. Crager (a somewhat fake 'Major'), who had a purported business from c1910 in Whitechapel High Street, less than a mile away from Sidney Street.

Menchen liked big cars, he owned a Sunbeam 7-seater in France in 1914. He was an inventor and was involved in designing a flame-thrower tank in the UK in 1915-6, and was involved with the military intelligence section. Thus he could have possibly have come across Victor Beveridge, the "former intelligence officer".

A certain Robert Victor Beveridge was a Corporal in the Army Service Corps, and was promoted temporary 2nd Lieutenant in June 1917. (4th entry from the top), NB follows on from end of

See also 2/Lieutenant Robert Victor BEVERIDGE Royal Army Service Corps.WO 339/99522

Menchen imported Schacht trucks into Britain during WW1; his father-in-law was the founder or a director of the company. See 20 Frith Street#Joseph Menchen.

Joe Menchen returned to the States in 1917. A certain Robert Victor Beveridge travelled to the US on the Columbia in 1919:

First Name : Robert Victor
Last Name : Beveridge
Nationality : Great Britain, Scottish
Last Place of Residence : London, England
Date of Arrival : August 30th, 1919
Age at Arrival : 40Y 8M
Gender : Male
Marital Status : Married
Ship of Travel : Columbia
Port of Departure : Glasgow
Manifest Line Number : 0024

Ellis Island Records

The motoring journalist seems to have been the same person who reviewed a LaFayette car, "Lieutenant Victor Beveridge, an authority, writing in British Motor" [but probably written in the US] (Pittsburgh Daily Post (PA), 9 May 1920 page 42) NB subscription required, OCR text only.

Thus he could easily be the same person who was with Menchen in September 1920 at the Wall Street Bombing. He may have called himself a 'former intelligence officer' to a newspaper reporter, but as a motoring journalist in the 1920s he would have known how to disguise the odd fact or two.

I also boldly assume he is the author of an article occasioned by a visit to the Dodge factory in Detroit: Diary of an American Motorist: Comment from Chicago - By Capt. Victor Beveridge. Sunday Times (Perth, WA) 3 June 1923 p. 11.

Some officers received a promotion when they were demobbed, and this may be the case here, because Beveridge was in the Army from 1914-1922. NB Joseph Menchen was surrounded by people in the US showbiz world who were habitually evasive about themselves and used all sorts of false titles etc. As a result I tend to treat military titles with suspicion, although this 'Captain' may be genuine.

Well, it seems that the same Victor Beveridge married Contessa Julita Fera de Cerrini at the Chapel Royal, on 1 March 1927 Wedding. The wedding took place at the Chapel Royal... The photo shows Beveridge in Army uniform, with what looks very much a single pip on his shoulder, or possibly two, but definitely not a Captain's three.

"Victor Beveridge, of England, recently stopped his 10,000 [mile?] automobile trip to marry in London Countess Julieta Fera de Cerrini, and the two to<di up the tour as their honeymoon..." The Evening Review (East Liverpool, Ohio), 28 June 1927 p. 13 NB Poor OCR text only w/o subscription.

Robert Beveridge, born 3 November 1868 in Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland. Although the Birth Registration shows his name as Robert Beveridge, his name could have been Robert Victor Beveridge. He married Julita Cerrini. Their child was Patricia Beveridge. Robert Morris Beveridge & Elizabeth Wallace Lorimer, Md. 1856 in Old Cumnock, Aryshire, Scotland

1167.EDMUND FREDERICK ASTLEY was born 1924, and died 1986. He married PATRICIA (CONTESSA) BEVERIDGE 1956, daughter of ?? BEVERIDGE and CONTESSA DE CERRINI. She was born 1930. Genealogy Report: Descendants of Ralph De Bridtwesell

More later life[edit]

  • 1920s More inventions
  • 1926 Copyright tussle over novels of Laura Jean Libby
  • 1927 Al H. Woods planned to make a new film of The Miracle, possibly with Lady Diana Manners?? or Carmi??: but a court case established that JM had definitely sold the entire film rights to Woods.
  • 1930s Various literary efforts including Nellie McClung,[108], more inventions
  • At some point he and Madge divorced, in Dade, Florida. (County records...)
  • 1940 - working on aerial torpedo or gas bomb
  • Died in California, 9 October 1940 - buried in Glendale.

Arsène Lupin films[edit]

  • 1913: Formed Société des Films Menchen - gained film rights from Maurice Leblanc for the greater majority of his books featuring Arsène Lupin, a French detective modelled after Sherlock Holmes.
  • 1913: Opened Studios Menchen at Épinay-sur-Seine, possibly prompted by Georges Lordier's success.[109]
  • 1915 Arsene Lupin (B&W., UK, 1915) with Gerald Ames prod. company London Films Co. Ltd (not to be confused with London Films of Alexander Korda)[110][111]
  • In 1916 Menchen obtained the rights for the remaining Lupin book by Leblanc, the original Arsène Lupin.
  • In 1918 and 1919 Menchen brought two court cases against Vitagraph over the Arsene Lupin film rights.[112][113][114][115]
  • In 1920 Menchen sold the film rights for the Lupin novels to Robertson-Cole for $360,000[116] (anywhere between $3m and $60m in 2012, according to various indicators).[117]
  • The next Arsene Lupin film to be made was 813 (B&W., US, 1920) with Wedgewood Newel.

Norris-Menchen Flamethrower[edit]


Theatrical Mechanical Association[edit]

Jos. Menchen (the name is constructed like Al. Woods) belonged to the Theatrical Mechanical Association (TMA), a US labor union for theatre stage hands. In addition to protecting the interests of theatrical employees such as working conditions and pay, the Association also provided welfare such as relief and housing for distressed members, distributing tokens which could be exchanged for goods etc. in shops where they were accepted.[118][119]

"One thing that technology has not changed in 279 years is the love of the craft, doing a tough job well and the pride in being the best: a Local One stagehand."
History of IATSE Local One[120]

In 1863 the first stage employees' organization was named the Theatrical Workman's Council (TMC), one of several craft unions which grew up in the wake of Abraham Lincoln's election with the aid of the working-class vote. The TMC became the Theatrical Mechanical Association in 1865 when it incorporated under New York State law. On 26 April 1886, many TMA members met at 187 Bowery, New York, to draw up a new constitution, marking the beginning of Theatrical Protective Union Number One (Local One). The National Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (NATSE) was founded on 17 July 1893 by TMA representatives of ten cities assembled at Elks Hall in New York, to join with their Broadway brothers.[121]

“I want to say that this is probably the proudest moment of my life: starting as an apprentice boy in a local union, and being introduced as the International President. I don’t think any man in the labor movement could ask for more.”
(Richard Walsh, President of the IATSE, at the 1942 IA Convention)[122]

For examples of TMA notices in the trade press, see The New York Clipper, October 3 1910 OR 1911, p. 847.) The TMA, like many labour unions, adopted terms similar to those used in Freemasonry like 'lodge', 'hall' and 'brother'; but there otherwise is no link with masonry (although Menchen in his 1906 catalogue Menchen 1906, p. 3? says that his firm can provide all sorts of deceptive illusions for Masonic rituals).

As the motion picture industry continued to grow during the 1910s, many serious theatres adopted a format similar to to the one Menchen had helped to pioneer in 1896 and which Al Woods and Frank Godsoll exported to France and Germany as 'Kinovaudeville', consisting typically of six acts of vaudeville, a feature photoplay, a comedy and a newsreel.[122]

In an 1987 interview, Richard Walsh (who joined IATSE Local No. 4 as an apprentice at the Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York in 1917 and was first elected President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in 1942) recalled his experiences in vaudeville which cannot have been very dissimilar to Joseph Menchen's:

“Well, I came in because of a change in the theaters. When the theatres started to change from legitimate to vaudeville and pictures that’s when I came in. Because the stage hands of the days before me didn’t think Vaudeville was worth working. So we young fellows were taken in to rush out and hang the sign on and to run back and run the switchboard and to run over there and push the piano out. We’d have four or five men in a house, but with legitimate theatre, you’d have fifty, sixty men sometimes and maybe more.

You maintained the electrical equipment, you maintained the seats in a theatre, you changed the attraction signs, you repaired the lines [ropes] when they got worn out or weren’t safe anymore, you knew it was, you done everything in theatre that was necessary to keep the theatre working.”[122]

List of patents[edit]

  1. ^ * US patent 421221, Menchen, Joseph & Zweisler, Louis, "Weighing and measuring scoop", issued 1890-02-11 
  2. ^ * US patent 574926, Menchen, Joseph, "Ceiling-mounted knife switch", issued 1897-01-12 
  3. ^ * US patent 761977, Menchen, Joseph, "Lens Box", issued 1904-06-07 
  4. ^ * US patent 744778, Menchen, Joseph, "Object projector", issued 1903-11-24  (see JLM Electrical Catalogue for name)
  5. ^ * US patent 770766, Menchen, Joseph, "Method of projecting imitations of the Aurora Borealis", issued 1904-09-27 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The 2½-hour full-colour feature-length documentary With Our King and Queen Through India appeared in February 1912.
  2. ^ Entries from various editions of Hoye's Directory of Kansas City, Missouri. The entries for 1885 & 1887 may refer to someone else.
    • 1885 - Menchen Joseph, wks. (works) A. F. Co. bds. (boards) [at] Eldorado House (p. 399)
    • 1887 - Menchen Joseph, mattress mkr. (maker) Sammons & Holman, r. (resides) 1610 w. 9th (p. 456)
        • Menchen Anna, domestic Washington, ne. (north east) cor. (corner) 12th
    • 1891 - Menchen Joseph, electric supplies, 11 w 6th street (p. 441)
    • 1892 - Menchen Joseph, propr Joseph Menchen's electrical works r.(esides) 1712 e 8th (p. 401)
        • MENCHEN'S JOSEPH ELECTRICAL WORKS 9 to 15 w 6th Joseph Menchen propr.
    • 1894 - Menchen Jos. b. (boards) [at] Grand Mo (Missouri) Hotel (p. 401)
      Retrieved 06/2012 from (Registration and credit card number required, payment due after 7 days unless cancelled.
  3. ^ The ‘old’ Orpheum Theatre in Kansas City was on the corner of 9th Street and May Street, and opened on 23 September 1893 as the Ninth Street Opera House. Designed by architect Oscar Cobb and with a seating capacity of 2,000, the building replaced an earlier Ninth Street Theatre (also leased by Abraham Judah) which had burnt down. The Ninth Street Opera House was taken over by the Orpheum circuit in February 1898 and remained in their control until the building of the New Orpheum Theatre on Baltimore Avenue in 1914. "Orpheum Theatre" at
    Theatrical electrician owning seven electric calciums; six olivette boxes; one 18 inch glass-lined reflector, for front light 6000 candle power strong: 65 gelatines; 40 frames; 3 lenses: right and left and main line switch boards ; rheostats for making lightning and electric scenic effects, and complete stage electrical lighting, wants position with some responsible company : electric scenic effects a specialty.
    Address Joseph Menchen, No. 211 West 6th St., Kansas City, Mo.
    Member of N.A.T.S.E. (National Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and T.M.A. (Theatrical Mechanical Association). See #Theatrical Mechanical Association section above. New York Dramatic Mirror, 16 November 1895, p. 16
  5. ^ The old Ottawa Auditorium had burned down on 3 March 1895. The foundation stone of the new Opera House was laid 9 July 1895, and the opening dedication ceremony took place 31 January 1896. The new manager was Charles H. Ridgway, later state Senator. See The Rohrbaugh Theater at
  6. ^ The Vitascope was originally invented by Francis Jenkins in 1893 and named the Phantascope. The US rights were handled by Thomas Armat and licensed to Edison in 1895.
  7. ^ Vitagraph certainly didn't appear at Tony Pastor's New Fourteenth Street Theatre on March 23, 1896 as claimed at this article. See Page 19, vaudeville stage
  8. ^ Johnson & Dean were stunningly well-dressed Afro-American dance partners. See Johnson & Dean at Streetswing.
  9. ^ The number of US patent #574926, patented 12 January 1897, appears on a drawing of a switch on p. 64 of Menchen's September 1906 catalogue (#4), tho' it is not for the same device shown the patent documentation. Maybe uncle Joe pulled a fast one...
  10. ^ The first complete fight to be filmed with electric lights was the Jeffries-Sharkey bout on 3 November 1899, by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.(Miller 2006, p. 316) Although the film is thought to be lost, a few seconds survive of Vitascope's bootleg film made by Smith and James French on the night. Source: The History of the Discovery of Cinematography, Chapter 15 Accessed 2012-12-28. This film was shown to at the Empire Theater in Rochester, NY, in December, 1899, "an eager audience [...] was affronted by a fly-by-night New York company's bootleg account of the Jeffries-Sharkey fight secured on a small camera smuggled into the crowd on the evening of the fight. Except for three or four wretchedly-focused rounds, the exhibition was faked. "That is, it was merely a repetition of the same rounds run through slower or faster as the operator saw fit.
  11. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 17 September 1904, p. 8 JOSEPH MENCHEN CO. is now located at 354 W. 50th St. We will be pleased to show you our new four-story building, where you will find our Photographic, Chemistry, Electrical and Mechanical Departments, the most complete establishment of their kind, combined under one roof, occupying a floor space of 12,000 square feet.
    We furnished all the electrical appliances for the St. Louis World's Fair, viz. "Under and Over the Sea", having thirty-eight stereopticons, sixty inches in diameter; also "Creation", "Hereafter", "Siberian Railway", and "The Haunted Castle". The "Johnstown Flood" at Coney Island, Atlantic City and Asbury Park — and all stereopticon effects in Luna Park.
    We are patronized by all prominent managers, making big productions. Tel. 4577-4578 Columbus. P. S. - Our appliances are the only electrical appliances that are allowed used in the City of Chicago since the Iroquois fire. All are built in accordance with the National Board of Fire Underwriters' requirements. WHY TAKE CHANCES ON OTHERS? Protected by U. S., Canadian and Great Britain patents, Nos. 744.778, 1,576,103, 776,774, 776,775 and 242,003 British patent. We warn managers not to use mica or glass fronts covered by our patent.
  12. ^ The Electric Theatre, 341 Walworth Road, was situated at the junction with 1 Liverpool Grove, London, SE17 2HW. 'Electric Theatres' were established in London by Joseph Jay Bamberger, a New York City stockbroker who had financed nickelodeon construction in that city through the Electric Theatre Company. The first two in London were in Shepherds Bush (capacity 415, opened Jan 1908) & at 341 Walworth Rd. (720 capacity, opened Feb 1908). McKernan 2006 The Shepherd's Bush venue was an existing business, and the Walworth Road address was previously the Congregational Sutherland Chapel. Source: Survey of London p. 102 Survey of London, p. 102
  13. ^ Livens' father, Frederick Howard Livens was Chairman of Ruston and Hornsby and seemed to have helped in the design of the Livens Projector. Source:Frederick Howard Livens Grace's Guide. Accessed 6 February 2016
  1. ^ Hoye's Directory of Kansas City, Missouri, 1881.
  2. ^ Hoye's Directory of Kansas City, Missouri, 1894.
  3. ^ a b New York Dramatic Mirror, 16 November 1895, p. 22
  4. ^ Grau 1910, pp. 155-156.
  5. ^ Grau 1912, pp. xvi–xvii.
  6. ^ Also find the other Grau book where he says it had been taken over by someone else.
  7. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 2 May 1896, p. 19.
  8. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 11 July 1896, p. 17 col. 2 "KEITH'S UNION SQUARE: Lumiere's Cinematographe created a decided sensation here last week. It was fully described in last week's MIRROR, and it is only necessary to add that the audiences were very enthusiastic over the new discovery."
  9. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 29 August 1896, p. 17 col. 2
  10. ^ a b The Proliferation of Motion Picture Companies and an Assessment of the Novelty Year - The Phantoscope and Other Projectors at
  11. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, Feb 6 1897, p. 20
  12. ^ a b New York Dramatic Mirror 6 Feb 1897 p. 20 N.B. Was his Kineopticon his own design, or akin to Birt Acres' 1896 invention? The clue may be in the name, Menchen's was spelled with a 'k'.
  13. ^ The Kiss on YouTube
  14. ^ Police Patrol on YouTube.
  15. ^ Musser 1991, p. 95.
  16. ^ The First Sleigh-Ride on YouTube.
  17. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 14 Nov 1896, p. 17 "The Cinographoscope is a new moving picture machine which Mr. Pastor has just brought from Paris. It is shown this week for the first time."
  18. ^ The Cinographoscope (in French) was a projector with a discontinuous movement, unlike the Kinetoscope. The film, projected at 15 frames/sec, but the image was still for 2/3 of the time, 2/45 sec - there may be some dodgy maths here. French review, August 1896. When did the kinetoscope return to Pastors?
  19. ^ Mora, Helene (1894). Kathleen. New York: George Underhill. 
  20. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 29 October 1898
  21. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 20 January 1897, p. 20, col. 2
  22. ^ The Chicago Tribune 1 Mar 1897, p. 5 registration needed
  23. ^ The Olympic Theatre later became the Apollo Theatre (at
  24. ^ Mlle. Winifred, who was to have appeared, did not do so, owing to the fact that the electrician who is designing her new effects did not have his work finished in time. New York Dramatic Mirror, 9 Jan 1897, p.17, col. 2
  25. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 2 Jan 1897, p. 17, col. 1
  26. ^ TONY PASTOR'S.--Winifred, the pretty and graceful serpentine dancer, was one of the best features of a very good bill. She presented three dances, "Night," " Fire " and "The Lily." and all were rapturously applauded. The light effects were marvelously pretty especially in the fire dance, in which the performer seemed to be completely wrapped in lurid flames." New York NY Dramatic Mirror, 29 May 1897, p. 16?
  27. ^ Menchen Catalogue 1906, pp. 48-49,52.
  28. ^ Herbert, Stephen; McKernan, Luke. "Marie Louise Fuller,". Who's Who of Victorian Cinema. 
  29. ^ Streible 1997, p. 20.
  30. ^ a b Menchen Catalogue 1906, pp. 10,12.
  31. ^ In 1899 The New York Times printed a list of 50 names taken from advertisements in domestic and foreign papers, including the zoooptotrope, the phenakistoscope and the vitaletiscope. 'Topics of the Times', New York Times, 28 January 1898
  32. ^ Frazier 2012, p. 36.
  33. ^ Kamp, David (30 December 2008). "Whether True or False, a Real Stretch". New York Times. 
  34. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 1 December 1900 "Used this season by Johnson & Dean, previously used by Weber & Fields. The LOBSTERSCOPE complete and right to use the same by the week or season, can be obtained by applying to WEBER & FIELDS, New York. Any one using The Lobsterscope, or an Imitation of the same, without permission, will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
  35. ^ Gypsy Rose Lee 1999, p. 138.
  36. ^ Lobsterscope at Limelight Productions Inc.
  37. ^ a b c New York Times, July 26, 1905.
  38. ^ MPW 1912b, p. 908 Vol 12, No 10 8 June 1912
  39. ^ arc lights make link to Menchen re films
  40. ^ a b c Menchen Catalogue 1906, p. 10.
  41. ^ a b Streible 2008, pp. 98-102.
  42. ^ Fielding 1967, p. 30Statement by Albert E. Smith in 1925.
  43. ^ This seems to be a personal attack on Menchen.
  44. ^ Fielding 1967, pp. 36,40.
  45. ^ Musser 1991, p. 141.
  46. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror 26 August 1899, p. 16
  47. ^ Cullen 2007, p. 557.
  48. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 21 October 1899 p. 22, col 1
  49. ^ "Stella" was probably not Stella Gilmore, also of Sam T. Jack's company (Mrs. Mary C. Weaver), died Hollywood, CA, 21 September 1950. Billboard, 7 October 1950, p. 26
  50. ^ Gardiakos, Soterios. Pre 1900 American made projectors.
  51. ^ The Princess Chic at IBDB
  52. ^ Index to The Record and Guide, Vol. LXVIII, 28 September 1901, p. 389.
  53. ^ Menchen 1906, p. 10.
  54. ^ Krefft, Bryan. "International Theatre". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  55. ^ Advertisement, New York Times July 26, 1905
  56. ^ Menchen Catalogue 1906, p. 77.
  57. ^ Luna Park promotional brochure
  58. ^ Brandt 2003, p. xvii-xviii.
  59. ^ New York Dramatic Mirror, 17 September 1904, p. 8
  60. ^ Gaskins III, Lee E. "Under and Over the Sea". At the Fair: The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  61. ^ Gaskins III, Lee E. "Creation". At the Fair: The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  62. ^ Gaskins III, Lee E. "Hereafter". At the Fair: The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  63. ^ Gaskins III, Lee E. "Great Siberian Railway". At the Fair: The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  64. ^ Rides at the World's Fair
  65. ^ [ Billboard, Cincinatti, 14 May 1904, p. 1
  66. ^ New York Times 13 May 1904
  67. ^ Record and Guide, 25 June 1904, p. 1639 col. 2.
  68. ^ 354 W 50th St. later became Dalton's Garage, where one of the mechanics was Wilma K. Russey, who in 1915 became New York's first woman taxi driver.
  69. ^ "Wilma K. Russey". Library of Congress. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  70. ^ MIDI sound files for the entire show of Piff! Paff!! Pouff!!! at playback requires MIDI-compatible sound card and a soundfont such as 8MbGMSFX.sf2 This soundfount can be loaded directly by media players such as VLC player.
  71. ^ Girls Will Be Girls at IBDB. It ran for only nine performances, 27 August - 03 September 1904.
  72. ^ Billboard, 18 February 1904, p. 8 col. 3
  73. ^ Among his creditors were E. B. Latham & Co (sold electric fan motors and electrical supplies), and International Brass & Electric Company (who made induction, resistance and spark coils).
  74. ^ Cahn 1906, p. 90.
  75. ^ Advertisement in The Billboard, 2 March 1907, p. 41 "We have on hand the large Johnstown Flood which has been at Nantasket Beach for the past two seasons. Also a small Johnstown Flood which was at Kansas City last season, and one Mt. Vesuvius in Eruption."
  76. ^ For example, see advertisement in The Billboard, 2 November 1907
  77. ^ (Special Cable to VARIETY.)
    London, May 1.
    It has developed that before leaving this side on the Titanic Henry B. Harris arranged with Joseph Menchen for the U.S. rights to the moving pictures of "The Miracle." Mr. Harris had the only negatives taken on board the boat. Variety, 4 May 1912, p. 1c
  78. ^ McKernan 2006.
  79. ^ "Managers, Attention! - We take pleasure in announcing that a Branch office of our New York Works has been established at 341 Walworth Road SE London, and that we are prepared to build and install in Europe, on percentage basis or outright sale. Park Amusement. Joseph Menchen Electrical Company, 360 W 50th Street, NY. Joseph Menchen, sole European Agent, 341 Walworth Road. Telegrams, "menchen, London" Cablegrams "menchen London" or New York. Source: The Era Almanack 1909 p.31
  80. ^ [ Electric Theatre, Walworth Road. Cinema Treasures, where else?
  81. ^ Arrivals at Ellis Island Do a cite web thang!!
  82. ^ The Billboard, 10 September 1910.
  83. ^ New York City directory, 1910 (free registration for access, automatic card billing after 7 days)
  84. ^ The Billboard, 23 December 1911, p. 87 approx. Find PDF!!!
  85. ^ The New York Times 9 May, 1912
  86. ^ 'The Stage' Year Book 1913, pp. 293–294.
  87. ^ The copyright of the play and the music remained with Bote & Bock. See Frohlich & Schwab 1918, p. 640
  88. ^ Federal Reporter (F) Vol. 251 1918, pp. 258-260.
  89. ^ The Cinema News and Property Gazette, Vol. 2, March 1913, p. 3
  90. ^ Patrimoine en Seine-Saint-Denis: les studios et laboratoires L'Eclair, pp. 3-4 (in French).
  91. ^ MPW 1913c, p. 1382 Vol 17, July-September 1913
  92. ^ MPW 1914c, p. 52 Vol. 21, No. 1, 4 July 1914.
  93. ^ MPW 1914d, p. 38 Vol 22 No. 1, 3 October 1914.
  94. ^ Saunders 1999, p. ???.
  95. ^ McNab & Noon 2015, p. 14.
  96. ^ McNab & Noon 2015, pp. 15-16.
  97. ^ "GB191514715 (A)- Improvements relating to Flame or Liquid Discharging Apparatus applicable for Cremating and for Warlike Purposes. " accessdate=6 July 2016}}
  98. ^ "GB191514716 (A)- Improvements relating to Flame or Liquid Discharging Apparatus Applicable for Cremating and for Warlike Purposes." accessdate=6 July 2016}}
  99. ^ "GB191516062 (A)- Improvements relating to Flames Discharging Apparatus applicable for Warlike and other purposes. " accessdate=6 July 2016}}
  100. ^ Encyclopedia Britt. Vol XXXI (31) pp 77-9
  101. ^ See Time Team special with recreation of Livens projector, on UK TV
  102. ^ Telegraph report
  103. ^ Encyclopedia Britt. Vol XXXI (31) pp 77-9
  104. ^ Encyclopedia Britt. Vol XXXI (31) pp 77-9
  105. ^ Encyclopedia Britt. Vol XXXI (31) pp 77-9
  106. ^ Flickr
  107. ^ "Experts tell how bomb was made". New York Times. 18 September 1920. p. 6a. Retrieved 15 December 2016. (OCR text only, pay site)
  108. ^ Good external link
  109. ^ Abel 1998, p. 17.
  110. ^ Dreaded imdb emtry...
  111. ^ List of approx. 75 films made by London Films Co Ltd between 1914-1917
  112. ^ Société des Films Menchen v, Vitagraph Co. of America et al., 1918
  113. ^ De Croisset et al. v. Vitagraph Co. of America et al. (Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. December 10, 1919.) No. 79. Summary: Two separate parties tried to sue a single third party for different reasons (copyright, & film rights) - case disallowed.The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 262. Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, March-April, 1920, pp. 100-102
  114. ^ page 1, page 2 & page 3 Scuzzy OCR...
  115. ^ Nicer, but not copyable.
  116. ^ (Wid's Daily 1920a, p. 809) (24 April 1920, XII:24, p. 1
  117. ^ Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount - 1774 to Present
  118. ^ In a letter from Charles W. Schweitzer, First Grand Vice-President, Grand Lodge, TMA, to The Billboard in 1910 (in which he carefully spells out some wrong names for the T. M. A.) explains the the T.M.A.'s purpose in building a retirement home in Mt Clemens, Michigan, and advertises the Association's next session in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1911. The Billboard, 2 April 1910, p. 15, cols. 1-2.)
  119. ^
  120. ^ "History of IATSE Local One". Local One - IATSE. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  121. ^ "History of Local One at 125". Local One IATSE. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  122. ^ a b c A Short History of Theatrical Stage Employes Local No.4, IATSE, accessed 01 December 2012

External links[edit]

List of publications at the Digital Cinema Library

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