The Law of Contact

The Night Before Christmas (December 16, 1905)

Thomas Edison production of The Night Before Christmas from 1905

Released on December 16, 1905: Thomas Edison, one of the pioneers of motion pictures, filmed this first movie of the famous poem.

Directed by Edwin S. Porter

The Actors: unknown.


Free Download of the old movie The Night Before Christmas
RIGHT-Click your selection to Download (control key + click for mac)

The-Night-Before-Christmas.mp4 (42mb - 720x540 ipad/mobile)
The-Night-Before-Christmas.wmv (80mb - 720x540 for computers)

You can burn a DVD using the larger WMV file on most computers with software that already comes with newer computers.

My passion for sharing the first generation of recorded music, motion pictures and television is mostly inspired by the great inventions and inventors that permitted later generations to experience the sight and sounds of long ago. There have been great actors, singers and performers since the first cave man carved a picture on a wall, but once the performance was finished, there was no way to preserve that performance for future generations. Then in the late 1800's inventors like Thomas Edison changed our world forever. We remember Thomas Edison mostly for creating the long lasting electric light bulb, and then creating the methods for producing and delivering electricity to homes. In Niles, Ohio, where I now live, the town has always had their own electric company, but it is not called an electric company, it is the Niles Light Department. What else could one use electricity for other than lights? Who could have predicted that one day lighting would be the smallest part of our electrical usage. During this same period Edison invented practical working phonographs that could preserve speech and song. Thomas Edison was also experimenting, like several others around the world, with moving pictures, but was having trouble getting or making good film stock. In 1893 a fellow named Eastman Kodak began making and selling film for motion pictures, and the motion picture business was on its way. In 1905 when this motion picture was filmed, the Edison Manufacturing Company produced 81 movies, mostly short subjects.

Pop a little bowl of white kernel popcorn with some warm melted butter on it, and enjoy nine minutes of motion picture history as you watch the first recorded video of the famous Clement Clarke Moore poem, courtesy of Thomas Alva Edison and Santa Claus.

family preparing for Santa
The family is preparing for Santa's visit on the night before Christmas
Pillow Fight
Before the kids go to sleep on Christmas Eve they enjoy a rousing pillow fight
Santa Claus
Santa Clause checks his books for the naughty and nice children
Santa Claus
Santa Claus rubs his nose magically while wishing us all a Merry Christmas!
Santa Claus
Santa is making toys in his workshop
Santa Claus is on the roof top ready to jump down the chimney
Santa Claus