As far back as 1894, they figured out that cat videos were what the people wanted.
Yep, one of the earliest films recorded was two cats wearing tiny boxing gloves and fighting each other in a tiny boxing ring.
“Prof. Welton’s Boxing Cats”, shot in July 1894, is the first cat video ever recorded.
This is how Edison Films marketed it :
“A glove contest between trained cats. A very comical and amusing subject, and is sure to create a great laugh.” (by Edison Films)
It features two cats wearing shoulder harnesses that keep them standing on their back paws while boxing gloves cover their front paws.
While it may seem cruel to us now, maybe it beat the daily grind of riding bicycles, turning somersaults and walking through fire (!) for Professor Welton’s Trained Cat Circus.
first cat video- viral videos
Edison Films made hundreds of “Actualities”, little, minute-long movies in the documentary-style… sort of.
These movies were shown in parlors to one person at a time in a device called a Kinetoscope.
It allowed for less than 1 minute of film to run by, which was plenty because people would have been absolutely blown away!
Short, whimsical, popular – Actualities are much like our viral videos.
Edison himself was a fan of shorter videos over long movies.
So, basically, he was making gifs of people falling and cats fighting back in the 1800s.
Still, good to see the cat/person paradigm was the same then as always :
Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.