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Thomas Armat papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS94

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Thomas Armat Papers consist of a few letters to Thomas Armat and members of his family and 67 glass negatives with photos of documents and early motion picture devices. The correspondence includes 1 letter from Thomas Edison to Armat crediting Armat with the invention of the motion picture projector and 1 letter from Orville Wright to Armat regarding the Smithsonian Institution. Many of the photos are of legal documents for a case, Armat Motion Picture Company v. Edison Manufacturing Company.

Bulk dates: 1895 - 1946 Span dates: 1895 - 1978 Extent: .75 LINEAR FEET


  • 1895-1978
  • Majority of material found within 1895 - 1946

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical Note

Thomas Armat was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia on October 26, 1866. A mechanic and inventor, he is best known for teaming with Charles Francis Jenkins to invent the motion picture projector. They showed their "Phantoscope" at the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia September 1895. The co-inventors broke up over patent issues. Subsequently Armat showed the invention to Thomas Edison, who agreed to manufacture it and call it the "Vitascope." Late in his life, Armat received a special Academy Award for his contributions to the film business. Thomas Armat died on September 30, 1948.


1.0 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Accession data: Gift of Mrs. C. Brooke (Mary T.) Armat, July, 1988.

Thomas Armat papers
In Progress
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057