Edwin S. Porter

Edwin Stanton Porter (April 21, 1870 – April 30, 1941) was an American early film pioneer, most famous as a director with Thomas Edison's company. His most important films are Life of an American Fireman (1903) and The Great Train Robbery (1903). Porter was born and raised in Connellsville, Pennsylvania to Thomas Richard Porter, a merchant, and Mary Jane (Clark) Porter; he had three brothers and one sister. After attending public schools in Connellsville and Pittsburgh, Porter worked, among other odd jobs, as an exhibition skater, a sign painter, and a telegraph operator. He developed an interest in electricity at a young age, and shared a patent at age 21 for a lamp regulator. He was employed for a time in the electrical department of William Cramp & Sons, a Philadelphia ship and engine building company, and in 1893 enlisted in the United States Navy as an electrician. During his three years' service he showed aptitude as an inventor of electrical devices to improve communications. Porter entered motion picture work in 1896, the first year movies were commercially projected on large screens in the United States.

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