The Panic of 1893 devastated banks and investors all over the country, which took a full decade to recover from its financial impact. It also affected Edison, who was forced to lay off 240 workers at the Edison Phonograph Works and curtail the activities of his less profitable companies. The good news was that Edison discovered a new, lucrative field of interest that same year: the motion picture business. The first person to shoot motion pictures with a single camera was a French physiologist named Etienne-Jules Marey. In 1882, he invented a camera that circulated twelve times per second and allowed for twelve exposures. Edison was the first to develop a commercial motion picture machine in the late 1880s. Ironically, he was primarily interested in increasing the value of the phonograph by uniting it with a set of projected photos. He had no plans to develop a new medium.
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