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William Dickson

William Kennedy Laurie Dickson (3 August 1860 – 28 September 1935) was a French-born Scot inventor who devised an early motion picture camera under the employment of Thomas Edison (post-dating the work of Louis Le Prince). Dickson was born on 3 August 1860 in Le Minihic-sur-Rance, Brittany, France. His mother was Elizabeth Kennedy-Laurie (1823?–1879) who may have been born in Virginia and was of Scottish descent. His father was James Waite Dickson, a Scottish artist, astronomer and linguist. James claimed direct lineage from the painter Hogarth, and from Judge John Waite, the man who sentenced King Charles I to death. A gifted musician, his mother, Elizabeth Kennedy-Laurie Dickson, was related to the Lauries of Maxwellton (immortalised in the ballad Annie Laurie) and connected with the Duke of Atholl and the Royal Stuarts. In 1879 Dickson, his mother, and two sisters moved from Britain to Virginia. In 1888, American inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison conceived of a device that would do "for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear". In October, Edison filed a preliminary claim, known as a caveat, with the U.S. Patent Office outlining his plans for the device.

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