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American filmmaker Edwin S. Porter invented the Simplex camera for the Edison Company, and pioneered new techniques in films like The Great Train Robbery.
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With the Famous Players Company, Porter also made the hits The Prisoner of Zenda (1913) and Tess of the Storm Country (1914). After several creative disagreements with his collaborators, Porter went back to inventing improvements in film equipment and further experimenting with 3-D photography. He invested the money he made from making movies into his own film equipment company,
Precision Machine Company. Porter's company was successful until the stock market crash of 1929 put him out of business.
Following the stock market crash, Porter took whatever work he could get as a machinist and retreated into a life of seclusion. In the 1930s he tinkered with home-movie cameras, attempting to develop an affordable model. After he had a stroke he was unable to proceed with his experiments. Porter died with little fanfare on April 3, 1941, at the Taft Hotel in New York City.
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