My grandfather was a mechanics by trade, but he was also a tech guy of his times. He had a movie camera and he would love to do stop animation. Yes, I saw one of his movies he made when I turned 1, meaning, more than half a century ago!
I understand why many old "home" movies had people squint when they looked toward the person filming. I remember how my grandpa had that set up with 16 lights, 8 on each side of his camera. It must have been quite heavy to hold as it was attached to the camera and not on stands. Grandpa would go around and film here and there. Those lights were so bright that it was really hard to look toward him (not even just at him).
Of course, we knew he was coming as the bright lights would precede him, but even if we had our eye closed, we could feel the heat of those lights. They were far from the cooler lamps we have now. Whenever he would get close to us, we felt like a wood stove was moving toward us. We really felt it.
Over the years, grandpa had made many many films of us, at various gathering (often at Christmas), and a dozen of stop animations. He would usually create intros for his film with moving letters. That is at least, what I remember of the film of my first birthday. Too bad, all those have been lost. We are not sure where they went, but we suspect they were thrown out to the garbage, years after he passed away. What a loss!
What was your first encounter with technology? Did you have relatives who were interested in the latest gadgets? Share your stories in the comments below.