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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » Urban Science : The Birth of a Flower

Urban Science : The Birth of a Flower  (1910)

Blooming flowers

A lyrical record of nature in action, Urban Science: The Birth of a Flower is a very early example of time-lapse photography, exploring a variety of plants as they burst into bloom.

Beautifully capturing the poetry of flowers as they open their petals to the light, innovative filmmaker Percy Smith dedicated much time and ingenuity to the recording of his slow-growing subjects. Even rigging up a system to continue filming their movements as he slept, he utilised gramophone needles, candle wicks and other assorted objects to modify his equipment.

With the intriguing use of new photographic technology, everything from roses to garden anemones blossomed in front of cinemagoers' eyes, causing great excitement when the film was first screened in 1910.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: British Film Institute (BFI)

Film credits

Photography: Percy Smith
Production Organisation: Kineto
Blooming flowers
Blooming flowers