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This is an authorized biography, written by William Kennedy Laurie Dickson and his sister Antonia Dickson with Edison's permission. W. K. L. Dickson was an experimenter at Edison's laboratory in Orange, New Jersey. He is best known for his key work on Edison's motion picture devices, the Kinetograph (camera) and Kinetoscope (peep show viewer). The text appeared first as a series of articles in Cassier's Magazine, a monthly journal for the engineering profession. The first article was published in November 1892, the final article appeared in December, 1893. Most of the text was written by Antonia Dickson with her brother furnishing technical details of Edison's activities. Edison and his staff generously supplied supporting documents. There are numerous photographs, most supplied by W. K. L. Dickson but some by J. Ricalton a contractor searching for laboratory resources abroad. Drawings were supplied by L. Bauhan and R. F. Outcalt. Outcalt, is, of course, famous for his pioneer newspaper comic strips, began his career with Edison.
Antonia Dickson's text is in a florid prose much in favor during the 19th Century so it is not an easy read, but the text covers much of the activity at Edison's laboratories during a rich period in Edison's work. Dickson was involved in two major projects, ore milling -- the effort to extract iron and other minerals from low grade ore -- and motion pictures. Edison's Kinetoscope made it's public debut between the time the final article was written for Cassier's Magazine and the publication of the book so the chapter on the Kinetograph/Kinetoscope was revised for the book version. It is one of the earliest articles on the invention of cinema.