Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Garrett P. Serviss’ The Einstein Theory of Relativity

Today on Far Future Horizons we are proud to present a 1923 silent animated motion picture based on Garrett P. Serviss’ popularization of Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity - The Einstein Theory of Relativity published in 1923.

The Einstein Theory of Relativity is a 20 minute silent black and white animated film. It was produced in 1923 by the Fleischer Studios, best known for their Betty Boop cartoons.

A Still from the film The Einstein Theory of Relativity

This film was produced in collaboration with popular science journalist and science fiction author Garrett P. Serviss to accompany his book on the same topic. 

Serviss was the author of Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898), written on commission from The Boston Post as a sequel to "Fighters from Mars", an un-authorized and heavily altered version of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.

Edison's Conquest of Mars (1898)

A Still from the film The Einstein Theory of Relativity

Two versions of the Fleischer film are reported to exist - a shorter two-reel (20 minute) edit intended for general theatre audiences, and a longer five-reel (50 minute) version intended for educational use.

A Still from the film The Einstein Theory of Relativity

The film aims to explain Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to anyone willing to invest 20 minutes in watching the movie. Though it is almost a hundred years old, its simple but ingenious animation is very effective in demystifying Einstein’s theory without the need of advanced physics or mathematics.

The movie starts by examining the meaning behind the term relativity and how it relates to the general theory. It then proceeds to demonstrate how things such as motion, direction, size, speed and time are all relative to the observer’s point of view or the general frame of reference.


Serviss’ book and an accompanying DVD of this wonderful film are available from Amazon.com and Apogee Books.

Edison's Conquest of Mars is also available from Apogee Books and Amazon.com.

The Einstein Theory of Relativity: a 1923 Silent Animated Film

The Einstein Theory of Relativity 1923 from ricordidimenticati on Vimeo. from ricordidimenticati on Vimeo.

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