Thanks! Nice to have all these in one place.
If I may somewhat digress... As has been stated a billion times before me I'm sure, this period in human history (the late 1880s through the start of the 1900s, marking the tail-end of the Victorian era as it were) was just such an amazing moment of human enlightenment and invention. There's really nothing to compare it to. A "big bang" if you will. It must have been dizzying to people at the time. Frightening? Exciting?
I've always wondered why -- why then? What happened at this point in history that caused such a deluge of invention? Did a space portal open up or something? Sound, film, cars, flight. Not just "stuff" and technology, but music and art -- everything. Bad stuff too. Communism, revolutions, propaganda, wars to end all wars. What the heck happened!!!?
Most events, inventions and advancements in human history and development, seemed to happen slowly over centuries and somewhat unrelated to each other. Obviously, there was a snowball effect here -- where once the technology and tools were in place, things were going to explode so-to-speak. But still... this point in history is such a vortex of cosmic proportions.
The closest thing in our time, some would say, is the internet and "the information age." While it is a multi-faceted explosion of its own -- with a lot of impacts outside its confined virtual space -- it still seems to come from a single stream. Back then, it must have seemed to be coming literally from all around. The question of "what will they think of next?" really meant something. In our time, we've largely been refining what they invented. And putting batteries in things that don't need it.
Perhaps that's why film from this period is so captivating. It not only captures people experimenting with a new invention, but actually captures them swimming out of a different age of human existence. Peeping through that vortex to see something -- perhaps us.
"My, we've gotten fat," they must think.