9. A Former Owner, Who Mysteriously Disappeared, is Credited with Inventing Film

Just weeks before he was set to premiere his moving picture film at a screening at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, where he was renting rooms at the time, Louis Le Prince mysteriously disappeared. The race to be the first to capture a moving image on film was a fierce one. Many credit Thomas Edison with the achievement, however, filmmaker David Wilkinson, and a growing number of others, believe credit is due to Le Prince.

In his documentary, The First Film, Wilkinson sets out to prove that Le Prince was the first to capture motion on film when he used a camera to shoot family members walking around a garden in Leeds in 1888. After experimenting with projection techniques, Le Prince was set to debut his moving pictures in New York in 1890. While visiting his brother in France, however, Le Prince reportedly boarded a train to Paris and was never seen again. Many theories surround Le Prince’s mysterious disappearance. His widow believed Edison had him killed, while others posit suicide or an escape to start a new life.