The History of Sound in Motion Pictures

Hulfish

The Hulfish material is from David S. Hulfish’s 1909 book, The Motion Picture: Its Making and Its Theater.

It’s an early 20th-century reference to the ongoing development and attempts to create a viable cinema with sound. It also highlights the focus at that moment on synchronization in a primitive mechanical form, ultimately recommending “playback” during filming as the best solution for the time. The bigger technical obstacle still to be solved is amplification, and some very interesting aspects of that technical journey are to come in future additions to this column.