1891 – 27.6.1974
Arthur Kingston born in Britain of a French mother and English father and educated both in France and England and was apprenticed to a Parisian firm of engineers in 1907 but left the following year to join the firm of Mathelot et Gentilhomme who were manufacturing film and sound synchronising equipment for Charles Pathé.
He returned to England in 1911 and found work with Warwick Trading company servicing the film processing plant, projectors, printers, perforators and cameras, etc.
In 1912 he found himself shooting newsreel footage, leaving Warwick and joining Pathé Fréres where he was transferred to the Pathé Gazette and issued with his own camera.
By 1915 he volunteered as an aerial cameraman in the Royal Flying Corps. Here he redesigned the shutters on Thornton-Pickard cameras which were constantly failing. In 1919, he was asked to photograph his first feature length film, Blabys of the Stewponey. In 1920 he worked with early sound-on-film systems and filmed an interview with Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton CVO OBE FRGS (the polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic) just before the departure on his final voyage. He continued with his freelance newsreel work until 1956. By 1923 he is working for The British and Colonial Film Co.
In 1925 he set up his own firm of experimental engineering and for eight years made much of John Logie Baird’s experimental television apparatus. Among his many inventions between the wars were an acoustic and electrical home recording system, a three-colour additive motion picture process, one of the first combined picture and sound film cameras, and in 1934 one of the first commercially successful methods of manufacturing plastic lenses.
In the post WWII years his most important invention was a fast pull-down mechanism for television recording cameras – moving cine film frame by frame in less than two thousandths of a second.
Baynham Honri/Phil Méheux