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On this Day in Movie History, May 13, 1898: Edison sues American Mutoscope Co.

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On this day, May 13, 1898, Thomas Edison sues the American Mutoscope Company, claiming that the studio has infringed on his patent for the Kinetograph movie camera.

The American Mutoscope and Biograph Company was a motion picture company founded in 1895 and active until 1928. It was the first company in the United States devoted entirely to film production and exhibition, and for two decades was one of the most prolific, releasing over three thousand short films and twelve feature films.

In December 1908, Biograph joined Edison in forming the Motion Picture Patents Company in an attempt to control the industry and shut out smaller producers. The “Edison Trust,” as it was nicknamed, was made up of Edison, Biograph, Essanay Studios, Kalem Company, George Kleine Productions, Lubin Studios, Georges Méliès, Pathé, Selig Studios, and Vitagraph Studios, and dominated distribution through the General Film Company.

The Motion Picture Patents Co. and the General Film Co. were found guilty of antitrust violation in October 1915, and dissolved

1911 – Robert Middleton (Samuel Messer) (actor: Harrad Experiment, The Law and Jake Wade, Court Jester, Desperate Hours, Career; died June 14, 1977)

1922 – Bea (Beatrice) Arthur (Bernice Frankel) (actress: The Golden Girls, Maude, Mame; died Apr 25, 2009)

1925 – Herbert Ross (director: True Colors, My Blue Heaven, Steel Magnolias, Dancers, Footloose, Pennies from Heaven, California Suite, The Turning Point, The Goodbye Girl, The Sunshine Boys, Funny Lady, The Owl and the Pussycat; actor, director: Play It Again, Sam, Goodbye, Mr. Chips; died Oct 9, 2001)

1937 – Zohra Lampert (actress: Alan & Naomi, Splendor in the Grass)

1939 – Harvey Keitel (actor: Smoke, Pulp Fiction, Rising Sun, The Piano, Sister Act, Thelma and Louise, Bugsy, The Two Jakes, The Last Temptation of Christ, Death Watch, Blue Collar, Taxi Driver, Mother, Jugs and Speed, Shining Star, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Mean Streets, Holy Smoke, U-571)

1941 – Senta Berger (actress: The Victors, See How They Run, The Quiller Memorandum, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium)

1946 – Tim Pigott-Smith (actor: The Jewel in the Crown, Remains of the Day)

1949 – Franklyn Ajaye (actor: The Wrong Guys, Fraternity Vacation, The Jazz Singer, Convoy, Car Wash, Keep on Truckin’)

1950 – Joe Johnston (Director/Visual Effects/Producer, directed: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Wolfman, Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III, October Sky, Jumanji, The Rocketeer, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Visual effects editor: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Battlestar Galactica (TV series))

1958 – Frances Barber (actress: A Zed & Two Noughts, We Think the World of You, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, Home Sweet Home)

1964 – Stephen Colbert (Writer/Producer/Actor: Writer:The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (TV movie), SNL Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas (TV movie), A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! (TV movie), others: Producer: The Colbert Report (TV series), The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (TV movie), A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! (TV movie), The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (TV series), Strangers with Candy (co-producer) Strangers with Candy (TV series); Actor: Company, Monsters vs Aliens(voice), The Love Guru, Bewitched, The Great New Wonderful, Strangers with Candy, Nobody Knows Anything!)

1974 – Brian Geraghty (Acotr/Producer. Actor:ATM, Ten Year. Seven Days in Utopia, Open House, The Chameleon, Krews, Easier with Practice, The Hurt Locker, I Know Who Killed Me, An American Crime, We Are Marshall, The Elder Son, others