The World’s Oldest Cat Video

By Adam Sewall on Feb 27 2012 at 8:00 AM

The Internet is obsessed with cat videos: surprised cats, keyboard cats, boxing cats -- if there is a video with cats in it, chances are the Internet loves it.

Yet long before YouTube even existed (when "viral" referred exclusively to diseases) there was the cat video (head over to The Atlantic to watch) -- the one that begot the slew of cat videos we love today. In 1894, the world's first movie production studio, Black Maria, produced a film featuring two cats boxing. The Kinetoscope, a machine Thomas Edison conceived, moved a strip of film over a light source with a high-speed shutter, to capture the fighting felines. So the kitty clips of today have origins tracing back more than a century. 
 
But is this really the oldest cat video? That honor would go to Eadweard Muybridge, who in 1887, invented a multi-cam setup to record continuous movement. A machine helped created the illusion of motion from film strips that contained still images of a running cat.
 
"Obviously it's not actually a video, but it's certainly evidence that even at the dawn of cinema, over a century before YouTube, cats ruled the moving image," The Atlantic wrote.
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