The Einstein Theory of Relativity

The Einstein Theory of Relativity

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The Einstein Theory of Relativity (1923
1923 in film
-Events:*April 15 - Lee De Forest demonstrates the Phonofilm sound-on-film system at the Rivoli Theater in New York with a series of short musical films featuring vaudeville performers.-Top grossing films :-Films released in 1923:U.S.A...

) is a silent film
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

 directed by Max
Max Fleischer
Max Fleischer was an American animator. He was a pioneer in the development of the animated cartoon and served as the head of Fleischer Studios...

 and Dave Fleischer
Dave Fleischer
David "Dave" Fleischer was an American animator film director and film producer, best known as a co-owner of Fleischer Studios with his two older brothers Max Fleischer and Lou Fleischer...

 and released by Fleischer Studios
Fleischer Studios
Fleischer Studios, Inc., was an American corporation which originated as an Animation studio located at 1600 Broadway, New York City, New York...


In August 1922, Scientific American
Scientific American
Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

published an article explaining their position that a silent film would be unsuccessful in presenting Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

's theory of relativity
Theory of relativity
The theory of relativity, or simply relativity, encompasses two theories of Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity. However, the word relativity is sometimes used in reference to Galilean invariance....

 to the general public. They argued that only as part of a broader educational package including lecture and text would such a film be successful. Scientific American then went on to review frames from an unnamed German film reported to be financially successful.

Six months later, on February 11, 1923, the Fleischers released their relativity film, produced in collaboration with popular science journalist Garrett P. Serviss
Garrett P. Serviss
Garrett Putnam Serviss was an astronomer, popularizer of astronomy, and early science fiction writer. Serviss was born in upstate New York, and majored in science at Cornell. He took a law degree at Columbia, but never worked as an attorney...

 to accompany his book on the same topic. Two versions of the Fleischer film are reported to exist - a shorter two-reel (20 minute) edit intended for general theater audiences, and a longer five-reel (50 minute) version intended for educational use.

The Fleischers lifted footage from the German predecessor, Die Grundlagen der Einsteinschen Relativitäts-Theorie , directed by Hanns-Walter Kornblum, for inclusion into their film. Presented here are images from the Fleischer film and German film. If actual footage was not recycled into The Einstein Theory of Relativity, these images and text from the Scientific American article suggest that original visual elements from the German film were.

This film, like much of the Fleischer's work, has fallen into the public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

. Unlike Fleischer Studio's Superman
Superman (1940s cartoons)
The Fleischer & Famous Superman cartoons are a series of seventeen animated Technicolor short films released by Paramount Pictures and based upon the comic book character Superman....

or Betty Boop
Betty Boop
Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer, with help from animators including Grim Natwick. She originally appeared in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop film series, which were produced by Fleischer Studios and released by Paramount Pictures. She has also been featured in...

cartoons, The Einstein Theory of Relativity has very few existing prints and is available in 16mm from only a few specialized film preservation
Film preservation
thumb|300px|Stacked containers filled with reels of [[film stock]]The film preservation, or film restoration, movement is an ongoing project among film historians, archivists, museums, cinematheques, and non-profit organizations to rescue decaying film stock and preserve the images which they contain...


External links