One of the earliest films was a boxing match between cats

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Here's some more fodder for your retro feline obsession. One of the earliest short films ever recorded was a boxing match between cats shot in July 1894 by Thomas Edison and his motion picture technicians. And according to a synopsis of this narrative tour de force, boxing was the least of the cats' worries:

Professor Welton's Trained Cat Circus boasted cats that rode bicycles, turned somersaults and walked through fire. But the boxing cats were the most popular of his attractions playing New York vaudeville houses and roof gardens during the summer of 1894.

Cruel though it may be, it looks considerably safer than the lost art of fireworks boxing. Early films were not the paragon of high class, as Edison also pioneered on-screen sensuality and the naughty nightgown flick, with his steamy 1897 short Seminary Girls. ("A number of young ladies, in their night robes, are having a frolic, and are interrupted by a teacher. One girl makes herself very conspicuous by crawling under a bed.")


Edison also filmed a 1907 version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, wherein Teddy Roosevelt appears out of nowhere (at the 11:00 mark, specifically) to murder the Momma and Poppa bears. ("The sudden appearance of T. R. was based on a well-known incident when President Roosevelt was on a hunting expedition in November 1902 and refused to shoot a bear cub.")


You can read more about the history of Edison's moviemaking here, and the Library of Congress has a collection of Edison's early films on YouTube. (114-year-old spoiler alert: it was two saucy dames who demoralized the barber shop.)

[Via Kino/Boing Boing]