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Blackton, James Stuart (05 January 1875–13 August 1941), motion picture pioneer, was born in Sheffield, England, the son of Henry Blackton, a carriage maker, and Jessie Stuart. After the family moved to the United States in 1886, Blackton worked several years as a carpenter while taking night classes at City College of New York. He then became an illustrator and reporter for the ...

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Edna Hopper Seated in her berth on a train. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-95412).

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Hopper, Edna Wallace (17 January 1864?–14 December 1959), actress, entrepreneur, and financier, was born and raised in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Walter Wallace. (Her mother’s identity is unknown.) Little is verifiable about her early years, except that she was educated at the Van Ness Seminary, as public records were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. She began her stage career on a whim when, at a reception, she met and charmed comedian Roland Reed into issuing her an invitation to join his company. In August 1891 she made her debut as Mabel Douglas in the musical comedy ...