The Gentleman's Chair was built by William Dickson, the pioneer who invented the modern motion picture. Dickson worked for several years at the West Orange laboratories under Thomas Edison. He did not however, gain much support from Edison to develop the technology further and after a number of disagreements between the pair Dickson left Edison's employment. In 1897 he moved to England to bring his inventions to a new audience.
The recent discovery of one of Dickson's inventions has shed new light on his activities. We believe that William Dickson founded a men's club for wealthy film enthusiasts and during his short stay in England he built a chair with the ability to covertly project motion pictures. In addition to the discovery of the chair was also a short film, which provides clues to its nature. It would appear that the chair was designed for viewing more risqué films and so its user found its apparent guise as a reading chair a useful cover. The chair and accompanying film was a discovery by three interaction designers from Dundee University; we have worked for several months to carefully restore the chair to working order so that others may experience this little known wonder.
This is a short documentary featuring archive footage of Dickson's chair in use.