Siegmund Lubin (born Zygmunt Lubszyński, April 20, 1851 – September 11, 1923) was a German-American motion picture
pioneer who founded the Lubin Manufacturing Company
(1902–1917) of Philadelphia
Siegmund Lubin was born as Zygmunt Lubszyński, a son of Samuel Lubszyński and Rebeka Lubszyńska, Polish Jews
, in Breslau
, Germany (now Wrocław
) or in Poznań
on April 20, 1851. His father was a successful ophthalmologist
the Lubszyński family moved to Berlin soon after Zygmunt birth for economic reasons. Young Zygmunt Germanicized his first name to ''Siegmund'' and graduated from the University of Heidelberg
. In 1876 he emigrated to the United States
, where he also worked as an optometrist
Around 1881, he shortened his surname from the Polish Lubszyński to Lubin.
He soon progressed to making his own camera and projector combination, which he sold. In 1896 he began distributing films for Thomas Edison
. In 1897 he started making films, notably Meet Me at the Fountain
in 1904, and in 1902 formed the Lubin Manufacturing Company
it in 1909.
[ His company also sold illegally copied prints of many films by other directors, notably those of Georges Méliès, making Lubin one of the foremost early practitioners of film piracy.
By 1910 his company had built a film studio, "Lubinville", in Philadelphia,] [ at Twentieth Avenue and Indiana Street.]
A fire at its studio in June 1914 destroyed the negatives for his unreleased new films. When World War I broke out in Europe in September of that year, Lubin Studios was among the American filmmakers who lost foreign sales. The Lubin Film Company went out of business on September 1, 1917, after having made more than a thousand motion pictures. Siegmund went back to work as an optometrist.
He died on September 11, 1923 at his home in Ventnor, New Jersey. [ He was buried on September 14, 1923.]
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Siegmund Lubin has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (with his first name as "Sigmund") at 6166 Hollywood Blvd.
The King of the Movies: Film Pioneer, Siegmund Lubin
- biographical page with time line and other material by Joseph P. Eckhardt, Professor of History, Montgomery County Community College
Ed Cunningham's Philadelphia, Siegmund Lubin, Video
Siegmund Lubin: King of the Movies
Betzwood, Digital History from the Libraries of Montgomery County Community College
Category:American people of Polish-Jewish descent
Category:American film studio executives
Category:American film production company founders
Category:Businesspeople from Philadelphia
Category:People from Ventnor City, New Jersey
Category:German emigrants to the United States
Category:Lubin Manufacturing Company