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Handwritten postcard by Louis Lumière (1904)

Handwritten postcard by Louis Lumière (1904)

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Inventor Louis Lumière rewards a customer who authorized the use of his portraits to create postcards.

Letter written and signed by Louis Lumière to Mr Marziou, probably a client who authorized Lumière to use his portraits to create postcards, in exchange for a copy with his and his family's photograph (our document). On the front, the text below and the photograph taken by the Lumière brothers; on the back, the address, with the seal and the mention "Société Lumière - Lyon". In French. 13.8 cm x 9 cm. Lyon, France, April 20, 1904. Good condition. Single piece.

Lyon, April 20, 1904.


Having obtained from Mr. Sallerin permission to publish his portraits on postcards on condition that I send you one of them, I send you this copy, begging you to accept the expression of my distinguished sentiments.


Louis Lumière (1864 - 1948) and his brother Auguste, both engineers, invented the cinematograph, a movie camera and movie projector. They are considered the fathers of cinema along with Georges Méliès, another Frenchman. They produced some short documentaries to promote the invention, but without believing in a commercial future.

The Lumière brothers were the sons of a photographer and film maker, and lived in the French city of Lyon. Taking advantage of the material from the factory, they developed other important techniques, especially in the field of photography: the first process of color photography, the dry photographic plate and the photograph in relief.

Beginning in 1904, the postal administration divided the back of the card into two parts, one for correspondence and the other for the address. Therefore, some photographers, like the Lumière brothers, took advantage of the new space available to promote their productions, which quickly popularized photography all over the world.

This postcard, written and signed by one of the greatest inventors of the century, then becomes a historical document, 100 years before digital photography and the first social networks.

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