This is the first ever moving picture image of a kiss. It was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. There is a longer Edison film of a kiss, filmed in 1900, that has at times been confused with this one.
May Irwin kiss / Thomas A. Edison, Inc. ; producer, New York world.
United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1896.
From Maguire & Baucus catalogue: An osculatory performance by May Irwin and John Rice. The most popular subject ever shown.
From Edison films catalog: By May Irwin and John Rice. They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house every time. 50 feet. 7.50.
Copyright: no reg.
May Irwin (Beatrice Byke), John C. Rice (Billy Bilke).
Camera, William Heise.
Duration: 0:18 at 30 fps.
Scene from the New York stage comedy, The widow Jones, in which Irwin and Rice starred. According to Edison film historian C. Musser, the actors staged their kiss for the camera at the request of the New York world newspaper, and the resulting film was the most popular Edison Vitascope film in 1896.
Filmed April 1896, in Edison’s Black Maria studio.