Haydon and Urry Eragraph                      1897 - 1899 Haydon and                      Urry Eragraph 1897 - 1897 Haydon                        and Urry Eragraph 1897 - 1899 Haydon and Urry Eragraph                      1897 - 1899 Haydon and                      Urry Eragraph 1897 - 1897 Haydon                        and Urry Eragraph 1897 - 1899 Haydon and Urry Eragraph                      1897 - 1899

Haydon & Urry was a London firm that produced cinematographic equipment and films during the late 1890s. The company's involvement in the cinema trade was short-lived, but they are noted for supplying many of the first fairground film exhibitors. 

The Eragraph
Surviving Models
The Monte Brothers
The Jubilee Films
The Travelling Showmen
Randall Williams
Other Showmen
Haydon & Urry Timeline
Other Interests
Related Webpages


Haydon & Urry, Limited was formed in 1893 with three directors: George Haydon, mechanical engineer; Frank Harvey Urry, mechanical engineer; and George Sommerville, gentleman. Their primary business was the manufacture of mechanical devices including vending machines, gas meters, phonographs, polyphones, and slot machines. They also made a viewing apparatus (still images only) which they advertised as the Autocosmoscope, claiming it produced "lifelike reproductions of living pictures" and was "the most perfect penny-in-slot seeing machine ever produced."

The firm was originally located at 31 Furnival Street then moved to 34 Gray's Inn Road in 1895.  In October 1896, they leased new premises at 353 Upper Street, Islington, after-which they opened their own film production studio in an adjacent building on Church Street in May 1897.

Haydon & Urry’s participation in the developing cinema trade lasted only two years. The company began to manufacture its own cinematograph in February 1897, followed by the production of films in April 1897. The last of the films credited to Haydon & Urry operators were advertised in December 1898 and the last time the Eragraph appeared in the firm’s advertising was in April 1899. Very few films were supplied by the firm after that and no copyright was claimed for the few they did supply.

The company was sold and transferred to Automatic Machines (Haydon & Urry's Patents) Limited in March 1900 and according to an advertisement in The Guardian on March 19, 1900, George Haydon agreed to remain on as managing director of  the new company for five years. The new company acquired the stocks of film as well as the patent rights to the Eragraph, but their  interests appear to have reverted back solely to the production and sale of automatic machines, gaming devices and slot machines (they apparently no longer manufactured or sold the Eragraph).

The Eragraph

During the years 1896-1899, Haydon & Urry produced as many as four different model cinematograph projectors:

(1)   The firm's first model was apparently one built with a "claw" mechanism. This may have been the first machine they provided to one or two of the showmen to "test  the waters":

"This would almost certainly be a "claw" movement projector, as Arthur S. Newman, F.R.P.S., in a "Scientific Paper", published in the "Cinematograph Times" in August, 1934, says of an early projector, invented by Haydon and Urry: "This simple movement was adapted to be used in an ordinary optical lantern.  A rotating spindle drove an arm with a ratchet-shaped end, which entering the perforations, moved the film forward on the down stroke and slid over the perforations on the up stroke. This was in 1896." (R.S. Taylor:  Showmens' Enterprise as Film ExhibitorsMerry-Go- Round: Vol. IV, No. 3, March 1945: pp 18-19)

(2)    The Eragraph 1897 Model 

Haydon & Urry's first application for patent (No. #3572, dated February 10, 1897) was for a machine fitted with a maltese cross mechanism and was submitted in the names George Haydon and Haydon and Urry, Ltd. This was their first model sold on the open market. The machine was advertised as "The New Kinematograph" in The Era in February 1897, but was renamed "The Eragraph" in April 1897. Subsequent advertising indicated that machine functioned both as a camera and a projector (Era, 17 July 1897).

Note:  Early-cinema specialist Deac Rossell believes “The Eragraph” may have owed much of its design to German engineer Max Gliewe. Gliewe began manufacturing a five-sided Maltese action in the spring of 1896 and his company subsequently ordered fifty machines from Haydon & Urry (see Who's Who of Victoria Cinema: Gliewe)

(3)   The New Model Eragraph

Haydon and Urry's second application for patent (No. #20296, dated September 3,  1897) appears to have been for improvements made to their Eragraph 1897 model. This application was also submitted in the names George Haydon and Haydon and Urry, Ltd. The company began advertising this model in December 1897. It was apparently modified more than once (patent applications 1689 and 1690, dated January 21, 1898) and was advertised as the "1898 Improved Model” in The Magic Lantern Journal in 1898.

(4)   The British Eragraph

The firm began advertising “The British Eragraph” in December 1898. This model was brought out after their final application for patent (No. 22,903, dated November 1, 1898), which was once again made in the names, George Haydon and Haydon and Urry, Ltd.

Note:  Frank Harvey Urry also applied for a patent (No. 21,741) in 1898 (separate from Haydon & Urry) for “Improvements in apparatus for exhibiting pictures of objects in motion. Oct. 15th.” (Era, 22 Oct 1898)

Surviving Models

Owner:  Michael Rogge (Holland)
Webpage: Collecting Vintage Film (Movie Cine) Cameras and Projectors
Previous Owner: unknown, purchased from Early Technology, Edinburgh, Scotland
Production/Serial No.: The serial number "47" is stamped between the plates, but is left blank after "Pat No"
Model:  likely one of Haydon & Urry's early models (perhaps the Eragraph 1897 Model)
Drive Method/Mechanism:  maltese cross
Film accomodation: Edison gauge
Description: Working model. Upper Street name plate. No base. Focusing is by a lens positioned between the plates.
Notes: Appears to be similar to the model held by The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, Yorkshire.

Michael Rogge's Eragraph.

This machine is probably Haydon & Urry's earliest model,
but it appears to be a different model than the one owned by
Eric Lange (see below).

Photos provided by Early Technology, Monkton House, Old Craighall,
Edinburgh, Scotland.
Eragraph                      Projector Urry 4

Haydon                      and Urry Name Plate

Owner:  Eric Lange, Lobster Films, 13, rue Lacharrière, 75011 Paris
Previous Owner:  once owned by the family of the late George Williams (early travelling exhibitor)
Production/Serial No.: 155
Model: certainly one of the earlier models (perhaps the New Model Eragraph)
Drive Method / Mechanism: 5-sided Maltese cross
Film accommodation: Edison gauge
Description: Excellent condition. Upper Street name plate. Wooden base stamped W. B. Ltd. Top of back plate is stamped W.B. B. Ltd.

Notes:  Eric's machine is thought to be the best surviving example of an Eragraph (no pieces missing and fully functional). It was sold with eleven films (seven English titles, four French): Military Parade / Horse Guards / Drum Major, No. 440; River Fisherman, No. 1002; Comic Courting Couples and Park Bench (Haydon & Urry's "Kissing Duet" and "On the Benches in the Park"??) ; Boys Swimming from Dingy, No. 1045; Horseguards Parade; Cart and Horse Mishap; Street Dancers and Barrel Organ; Danse Tyrolienne (Lumiere); Dublin: Pompiers. Un Incendie I (Lumiere); Negres Aschantis: Danse Du Sabre II (Lumiere) and Les Sables D'olonne: Bal des Sablaises (Lumiere).

Eric Lange's Eragraph.

This machine is an earlier model and appears to be similar to the
one in the former Barnes Collection. 

Photos provided by Eric Lange
Eragraph 1 Eragraph 3 Eragraph 2

Urry1 An earlier view of the Lange machine,  owned at one time by early film exhibitor, George Williams (see University of Sheffield Discovers Earliest Film)

Photo taken by Karen Williams, 1988. Copy provided by Randall Williams of Chellaston. Derbyshire.

Christies (sale item
Previous Owner:  unknown
Production/Serial No.:
Model: appears to be one of the later models (perhaps the "British Eragraph" advertised in December 1898)
Drive Method/Mechanism: Maltese cross
Film accommodation: 35 mm film
Description: "Brass hand-cranked mechanism, intermittent movement with maltese cross, top-mounted film holder, front plate with lens and maker's plate, the whole mounted on a rack-over assembly and attached to a wooden base board with a painted steel electric light lantern "
Notes:  This is likely the firm's last model. It is of a more refined and robust construction than previous models. There is reduced spacing between the plates (better rigidity) and the lens is mounted on the front plate rather than between the two chassis plates.


Christie's Sale Item, Lot No. 0074, Sale No. 5143
Location: Kensington, South London
Sale Date: Mar 28, 2007 (sold for 2,640 British pounds)

Photo: Courtesy of Christie's Image Ltd., 2007

(auction item)

Auctioned by Bonham (UK)

Haydon & Urry projector auctioned by Bonhams (UK).

"With maker's engraved plate: 'Hayden and Urry 353 Upper Street London Pat. No. '; 35mm brass hand cranked, maltese cross intermittent movement, the front plate with lens, adjustable gate, shutter and film drive mechanism (lacks shutter), the whole mounted on a wooden base board."

Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams

Other Known Eragraphs

The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television
(Bradford, Yorkshire): Eragraph in Science Museum collection:
Previous Owner: formerly owned by Mr. J. Henderson of Stockton-on-Tees (1948)
Model:  likely one of the earlier models (perhaps the Eragraph 1897 Model)
Drive Method/Mechanism: Maltese Cross
Film accommodation: Edison gauge
Description: Upper Street name plate. Consists of mechanism only.

Barnes Brothers (formerly housed at the Museum of Cinematography, St Ives, Cornwall)
Previous Owner:  Unknown
Production/Serial No.:
Drive Method/Mechanism: Maltese cross
Film accommodation: 35 mm film, Edison gauge
"The Apparatus consists of two parallel brass plates 1/8 in. and 1/4 in. thick, which are connected at their corners by steel rods with brass sleeves, so that they stand about 4 inches apart. The thicker back plate carries the film mechanism, comprising a Maltese cross and cam for imparting the intermittent movement to the sprocket wheel which is situated below the picture aperture. The roll of film is suspended between two uprights at the top, and issues freely from the bottom of the instrument as no take up spool is provided. The objective lens is mounted between the two brass plates and travels backwards and forwards on a screw for focussing, a suitable aperture being provided in the front plate to allow the image to pass. The shutter is situated immediately behind this aperture and is revolved by means of a pinion geared to the main drive and supported at its other end by a bearing in the front plate. The machine, together with its lantern, are mounted on a wooden baseboard, the forward section of which slides back and forth so that the distance between the two units can be varied to suit the requirements of the illuminant." (Barnes, J. (1996) The Beginnings of the Cinema in England, Vol. 2)

La Cinémathèque Française (51, rue de Bercy, 75012 Paris)
Previous Owner:  W. Day
Production/Serial No.: 1
Model: appears to be one of Haydon & Urry's later models
Drive Method/Mechanism: 5-sided Maltese cross
Film accommodation: 35 mm film, Edison gauge
Description: Upper Street name plate. Crank on right hand side; working model; 34 cm H, 45 cm L, 32 cm W, Lens 4 cm. Wooden base.
Note: This machine appears to be slightly different from the earlier models. The production number "No. 1" on the engraved plate suggests it was the first in a new series.

The Monte Brothers

James, George and Dick Monte were three brothers employed by Haydon & Urry during the years the company was involved in supplying the cinema trade. James Monte was apparently working for the firm in 1896 when George Haydon began developing a machine to project animated photographs. George and Dick Monte were subsequently hired to act as cinematograph operators and to assist James in making films. By June 1897, Haydon & Urry were selling a number of films produced by the Monte brothers. Their footage of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Procession on June 22, 1897 was a top moneymaker for the firm.

The Monte brothers also acted as agents for Haydon and Urry by booking films, demonstrating and supplying equipment, and helping theatre and show proprietors get started with film exhibition.

 "I then started travelling showmen who used the usual model of Fantascope, but we persuaded one to try this machine out in the St. George’s Hall. He was the first showman to have a cinema machine. We gave him pictures we had taken and he started projection in 1896. He went through the winter and found the machine a very good show." (James Monte (a.k.a. Monty Williams) at a meeting of the British Kinematograph Society in London: Bromhead, Col. A.C. (1933) Reminiscences of the British Film Industry: in Proceedings of the British Kinematograph Society: p 22. London)

“We were all professional photographers, which is how we came to be attached to the firm of Haydon and Urry, Ltd., of Islington. They were very clever scientific engineers but knew nothing about the photographic side. Between us we produced not only films but machines to show them and we really supplied 100 per cent of the showmen. . . . Thank goodness the new Haydon and Urry machine and a free show just saved the position. Off to the Fairs we went – terrific business everywhere!" (Letter written by Dick Monte (under the trade name Randall Williams) in Low, R. & Manvell, R (1948): The History of British Film: 1896-1906: Vol. 1: Reprinted 1973, Geo. Allen: Appendices: pp 118-119)

“In the view of “The Miracle of the Movies” in your issue of January 10th, some of the pioneers of cinema shows on the fair grounds are mentioned. My brothers and myself were certainly among the first in the trade, we supplied machines, films and equipment to practically all of the showmen at that time, and gave them the idea of showing to the public. We were then associated with the firm of Haydon & Urry, of Islington. We booked our own films and supplied the trade. My two brothers James and George have passed on, but I am still about and have traded for 50 years as Randall Williams (Richard Monte by birth). I also had the pleasure of travelling my own shows and machines, besides having several halls . . . ” (World’s Fair, Jan 31, 1948, p. 6)

Haydon & Urry's interest in the cinema trade was short-lived and appears to have petered out after the Monte brothers left the firm - George Monte left  in 1897 to manage a bioscope show for Jack Cooper in Sunderland; James left in November 1898 to travel to Australia; and Dick left in January 1899, when he married Carrie Williams, the daughter of the late showman, Randall Williams. Dick and Carrie subsequently took over the Randall Williams Cinematograph Show, opening for the first time as proprietors of the show at King's Lynn Mart in February 1897. (See The Monte Williams Showmen)

Note: The Monte brothers were all professional photographers taught by their father, James Monte Sr., who owned and operated several photographic studios in North West London.

The Jubilee Films

The Monte brothers produced several of the films supplied by Haydon & Urry including the series of six films (450 feet) of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Procession on June 22, 1897. James Monte claimed that his films of the procession were shown at London Pavilion the same night they were filmed and were exhibited in Liverpool early the next morning:
"Another successful cinematographer was Mr. Monti Williams [James Monte], who on Westminster Bridge, with his Eragraph camera made by Haydon and Urry, broke all records for the Diamond Jubilee picture of Queen Victoria by showing it on the same night at the London Pavilion Music Hall for Mr. Felix Glenister, who had an Eragraph projector installed under the direction of Signor Polverina [Polverini] and Mr. Fred Griffiths. This film was developed and printed at Islington, and the print was dried on top of a horse-cab on its journey to the theatre. So great was their enthusiasm that the audience with one accord rose and sang "God Save the Queen," and insisted on the film being shown once again. This was not so simple a task as it is now; the film, after showing, was allowed to drop loosely into a basket as there were then no restrictions from the London County Council. At the London Pavilion that night no less a personage than the great comedian Dan Leno helped to rewind it. A second print of this film was also made and wound upon a drying fame, and while still wet was dispatched by train to Liverpool, where, upon its arrival, it was shown by Mrs. Reynolds at her then famous Waxworks Show in Lime Street at 4 o'clock on the following morning before a large audience, which had waited all night, and after the first screening went delirious with amazement and delight. The film had to be shown four times." (Filming the Diamond Jubilee: A Popular Exhibit, Times, 9 April 1935, p 19)
James Monte was prone to overstating his accomplishments and much of what he said has to be taken with a grain of salt. However, his claims regarding the Jubilee films appear to be somewhat accurate inasmuch that the films were apparently ready for presentation within hours of being filmed. In the context of the article published in The Times in 1935, there are sources that confirm that Dan Leno was performing at the London Pavilion the night of the Queen's procession (London Standard) and that the films were exhibited in Liverpool within 24 hours (Liverpool Daily Post, 27 July 1897, p 7; see Reynolds). Comments made by cinema historian, John Barnes, also suggest that the Jubilee films were not the only films produced by Haydon & Urry operators that were processed and ready for viewing the same day they were filmed:
"On Friday, 16 July, Signor Polverini presented, in addition to the Jubilee films, one of Henley Regatta showing the Eton College eight beating Leander. But what was so remarkable about this performance was the fact that the race had only taken place that day. We have reason to believe that the credit for this feat belongs not to Signor Polverini, but to Haydon & Urry, who are known to have filmed the event, and also to have supplied the London Pavilion with their Eragraph projector."  (Barnes, Beginning of the Cinema in England, 1894-1901, Vol. 2, 1897, p195)

The Travelling Showmen

It is generally acknowledged, that at the beginning of the cinema in Britain, that it was the travelling showmen who introduced the new medium of living pictures to the wider general public in their fairground shows and, that the showmen's early involvement was a leading factor in the rapid spread of the cinema in Britain at the end of the 19th Century. Among the first showmen to see the potential of exhibiting films in their shows were Randall Williams, George Green, Tom Norman, William Taylor, James Chittock, and Albert Biddall.

Randall Williams

One of the first showmen that Haydon & Urry supplied with a projector and films was ghost show proprietor, Randall Williams. There is a bit of a controversy as to where and when Randall first exhibited films, but the first confirmed reference to his "cinematograph exhibition" was at Rotherham Status Fair on November 2, 1896 (Era, 7 Nov 1896). The next references to him exhibiting films were at the World's Fair in London (December 26 - February 6) and at King's Lynn in February 1897 (see Randall Williams - King of Showmen). There is no record of the projector that Randall used at King's Lynn, but it is generally believed that it was supplied by Haydon & Urry. The company had applied for a patent for their projector on February 10, 1897, just after the World's Fair had closed and just five days prior to Randall opening at King's Lynn at the start of the fairground season. Randall was already acquainted with at least one member of the firm at that time having met James Monte in 1895 when James was assistant secretary for the Showmen's Annual Supper (Era, 12 Jan 1895). There is no doubt that Randall was closely associated with the firm because his daughter, Carrie, married Dick Monte, one of the firm's employees.     

"I have been able to ascertain that the very first showman to exhibit the cinematograph in a portable booth was Randall Williams, who purchased a machine from Messrs. Hayden and Urry. (R.S. Taylor: Showmens' Enterprise as Film Exhibitors, Merry-Go-Round, Vol. IV, No. 3, March 1945: pp 18-19)
"Their chief associate and exhibitor was Randall Williams. The Eragraph was a strong and reliable machine, popular with many travelling showmen." (Denis Gifford in Who's Who of Victorian Cinema)
“This firm [Haydon and Urry] was situated at 353 Upper Street and achieved considerable success with its Eragraph projector. It also produced its own films. . .  It is just possible that it supplied the machine used by old Randall Williams at the Royal Agricultural Hall, in which case this would have been the first of its Eragraph projectors, which did not appear on the open market, however, until the following year.” (Barnes, Beginnings of the Cinema in England, Vol. 2: 1897: pp 166-168.)

Other Showmen

Randall Williams was probably Haydon & Urry's best known associate, but their Eragraph projector proved popular with other showmen because it was reliable and sturdy - essential requirements for exhibitors who were "out on the road."

Reynolds Exhibition:  Alfred Reynolds, the proprietor of a waxworks and variety exhibition located at 12 Lime Street, Liverpool was using an Eragraph in 1897. Reynolds was probably the first show proprietor to exhibit the films of Queen Victoria's Jubilee Procession (filmed by Haydon & Urry) outside London:

"The Jubilee Procession. -- Mr. Reynolds, of the popular gallery in Lime-street, can claim to have established a record in the prompt reproduction of this great event, inasmuch as he exhibited on Wednesday afternoon to his patrons a most realistic animated photograph of the Royal procession. Her Majesty is seen entering St. Paul's churchyard, her carriage drawn by the eight cream-coloured ponies, and followed by an escort of royal princes, &c. This interesting scene will be shown in conjunction with the many other attractions at the popular gallery. (Liverpool Mercury, Saturday, 26 June 1897, p7)

“Holiday Attractions at Reynolds’s – The programme for the holiday season at this ever popular place of amusement is now complete, and Mr. Reynolds offers his patrons a full and varied list of attractions. The Royal Jubilee procession (the photographs of which, with Mr. Reynolds’ well-known enterprise, were shown by the cinematograph within twenty-four hours after the event had taken place) continues to excite admiration and surprise as the various interesting and imposing features of the pageant pass before the audience. A novel and striking innovation has been introduced by the colouring of the cinematograph films, reproducing the tinted effects of the limelight on the dress and figures of the dancers.” (Liverpool Daily Post, 27 July 1897, p 7).

Signor (Ernest) Polverini: Polverini was an early film exhibitor. He began exhibiting films in early January 1897 using the "French Cinematographe" (most likely supplied by Barron Bros. of the Interchangeable Automatic Machine Co.), but it appears that by July 1897, he had switched to an Eragraph projector. Polverini's cinematograph exhibition was noted at theatres and other venues across Britain from 1897 until 1899. He advertised his show at the Victorian Era Exhibition in July 1897 as "Polverini's Pantomimograph Hall" (Morning Post, 9 July 1897) and later that month at the London Pavilion as "Polverini's Animated Photographs" (Era, 31 July 1897). 

“At the London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus, Signor Polverini was exhibiting a series of Jubilee films, which we have reason to believe, were supplied by Haydon & Urry Ltd. who also, it is understood, were the suppliers of the projector used during the performances. This Islington firm had recently been equipped with extensive facilities for producing their own films and the Jubilee series were probably among the first of their successes. Six episodes of the procession were ordered for sale at £4 each, and each film, was 75ft in length." (Barnes, Beginning of the Cinema in England, 1894-1901, Vol. 2, 1897, p 195)

Albert Biddall brought a complete outfit from Haydon and Urry in 1897 and brought George Monte back to Castle Douglas in Scotland to operate it. (Fairground Strollers and Showfolk).

George Aspland was another showman who used a Haydon & Urry projector supplied by James Monte (The Travelling Cinematograph Show, p55)

Harry Scard was supplied with an Eragraph by Haydon & Urry employee Dick Monte:

"Showman Harry Scard (1860-1939) of "Wadbrook and Scard" fame was one of the first to show animated pictures in South Wales using a Haydon and Urry projector". (Merry-Go-Round: Vol. IV, No. 6, June 1945). 
"When a projector was acquired from Haydon and Urry in 1897 films were introduced in the show at Bloxwich Wakes". (The Travelling Cinematograph Show, p165)

John Cooper, a Yorkshire showman who travelled with a small bioscope show in the English north-east, is believed to have been equipped with a Haydon & Urry projector supplied by George Monte (who left Haydon & Urry to manage Cooper's bioscope in 1897). One of the films shown in Cooper's bioscope was the Haydon & Urry film, "The Bride's First Night".

Powell's Eragraph was one of the travelling bioscope shows exhibiting in 1898 (Era, 8 April 1899).

Thurston's Eragraph (Era, July 16, 1898)

James Crighton owned an Eragraph (Era, 3, Feb 1900) and at one time called his show "Crighton's Electric Eragraph" (The Travelling Cinematograph Show, p 86) 

George Lewis (Randall Williams' cousin) used a Haydon & Urry projector as part of his "China" mechanical exhibition (Era, mid 1897.

James Norman's Eragraph (Era, June 17, 1899)

Dick Monte used an Eragraph in the Randall Williams Cinematograph Show (his wife, Carrie, inherited the show when her father died). The last mention of the Eragraph being used in the show was at Hull Fair in 1900.

Hamilton Brothers used an Eragraph in their Diorama exhibition.
"The Embryo Cinema . . . Among the many attractions toured with the Diorama and the music-hall artistes, was the novelty known as the Eragraph, or the newest animated photographs. This was the embryo cinema. With this quaint Eragraph were shown certain important scenes, such as came from the Boer front, or the town of London, in a dim, flickering, uncertain manner. It was interesting and wonderful enough . . . " (Victor Hamilton, Evening Telegraph, 1 January 1931, p 3)

Haydon & Urry Timeline


Frank Urry, 23, born Isle of Wight, farm labourer (census, Isle of White, 1891)

George Haydon, 30, born Islington, manager to electrical engineer (census, Islington, 1891)

George Sommerville, 33, born Birmingham, clerk, accounts (census, St. Pancras, 1891)


The firm of Haydon and Urry Limited (Haydon & Urey) was formed in 1893 with three directors: George Haydon, mechanical engineer; Frank Harvey Urry, mechanical engineer, and George Sommerville, gentleman.


Haydon & Urry, engineers, located 31 Furnival St. EC (Post Office London Directory, 1894-1895)

The Memorandum of Association dated 1 July 1895 established the company's mandate "to carry on business as mechanical engineers and manufacturers of machines and machinery, and to buy, sell, manipulate, import, and deal in machines, machinery, and commodities of all kinds". The three Directors were George Haydon (mechanical engineer), Frank Harvey Urry (mechanical engineer), and George Sommerville (gentleman).  [National Archives: Board of Trade Record BT31/6284/44487]


Haydon & Urry Ltd., 34 Gray's Inn Road earlier in the year (Post Office Commercial Directory, 1896)

October: the firm leased new premises at 353 Upper Street, Islington. Their offices and showroom remained at that location until the company was sold  in 1900: 

“WANTED KNOWN . . . Haydon and Urry (Limited) on account of the Business having outgrown the Accommodation afforded by their Premises in Gray’s-inn-road, have acquired the lease of No. 353, Upper-Street, Islington, N (opposite Agricultural Hall)". (Era, 17 Oct 1896)


“Haydon & Urry Ltd, automatic delivery machine maker & mechanical engineers, 353 Upper Street, Islington” (Post Office London Directory, 1897)

February: Application for cinematograph patent; application #3572, dated February 10, 1897, submitted in the names George Haydon and Haydon and Urry, Ltd. (Barnes, J. (1996) The Beginning of the Cinema in England; Vol. 2, p 66)

February: Haydon and Urry’s first advertisement for their cinematograph appeared in The Era (the showmen’s trade paper):

 “THE NEW KINEMATOGRAPH (Patented). At last a Perfect Machine. At last a Practical Apparatus. A challenge to the World. We are prepared to compare Shows with any machine on the Market, no matter by what maker or at what price. Working perfectly with or without Shutter. No vibration. No flickering. No tearing of films. No trouble to manipulate Machine or Light. . . . The only Apparatus showing absolutely perfect Pictures without Electric or Limelight. Our new Illuminant and Generator, eclipsing both for and cheapness, convenience, portability, and safety, supplied with Apparatus, so that Purchasers are ready to show at Five Minutes Notice” . . .  (Era, 20 Feb 1897; Issue 3048)
February: A catalogue from the 1897 Dunfermline Scientific and Industrial Exhibition (a travelling exhibition held at Dunfermline, Scotland from February 25 to March 20, 1897) listed two exhibitors of cinema photography - Herbert Crouch of Glasgow (a wax works proprietor) and "Professor Haydone" of London:

 Exhibitor #34 - Professor Haydone, London: Kinematograph - Living Photographs. The most scientific and matured result of photography. (Dunfermline Press, 27 March 1897)

 "Professor Haydone's kinematograph, which makes portraits dance about and engage in the general rush of life with as much activity as if the forms were flesh and blood is a great success" (Dunfermline Journal, 6 March 1897)

 "The Eragraph has been Awarded Silver Medal and Diploma at Dunfermline Scientific Exhibition, 1897 (Era, April 24, 1897)

March: advertising “The Latest Kinematograph (Patented) The only machine that carries with it a written guarantee from the Makers that it will not tear films. Can others do as much? Absolutely no flicker whether used with or without Shutter. The only machine that will give satisfaction with Acetylene Gas if used with our Patent Generator and Burner. Films can be inserted and started working with Twelve Seconds. . . . We will supply a complete Kinematograph, Lens, Lantern, One Film, Acetylene Generator, our patent Burner for same, and 8ft. Fold-Up Opaque Screen. Everything ready for Working for £36 net. . . . The Kinematograph can be attached to Purchaser’s Lantern if required, and can be worked with Lime or Electric Light. Burners, Saturators, Arc Lamps, and all Fittings for this supplied. Having completed our Arrangements we are now open to accept Engagements to exhibit Animated Photographs and send skilled operators with Machines and suitable selections from our enormous Stock of Films to any Part of the United Kingdom. We have been catering to Showmen and Entertainers for many years and we know exactly what they Want. . . . Haydon and Urry, Limited . . .  Telegrams “Showmen, London.” (Era, 6 March 1897; Issue 3050)

March: advertising “The New Kinematograph (Patented) . . . . We are now arranging Engagements for exhibiting Animated Photographs, and are sending out Skilled Operators with Machines and Selections from our enormous Stock of specially selected Films to all parts of the United Kingdom. . . . Messrs. Haydon and Urry, Limited, beg to give notice that, after a large experience of every accredited Machine on the market, and exhaustive investigation, their Machine has been adopted by the Scientific Exhibits, Limited, 445, Strand, W.C. who have been appointed Sole Licensees, and that this Machine can only be obtained from that company and the Manufacturers . . “ (Era, 13 Mar 1897; Issue 3051)

April: advertising "The New Kinematographe. . . Now showing at over Thirty Theatres and Halls . . . We are now Open to take Films of any Special Subject desired. We are also completing our Film Production Plant and shall shortly be able to supply English Subjects at prices hitherto unheard of (Era, 3 Apr 1897; Issue 3054)

April:  Haydon and Urry renamed their cinematograph 'The Eragraph':

“The Eragraph. The Animated Picture Machine of the Age 1897 Model. Constructed by Haydon and Urry, Limited, the Patentees. (Era, 24 Apr 1897; Issue 3057)

May:  Haydon & Urry were producing their own films by April 1897, and in May 1897, they opened a film production studio on 20-22 Church Street (adjacent to their offices on Upper Street):

“Important Notice to Film Buyers. We have just completed an Extensive and Up-to–Date Plant for producing Films, and have great pleasure in informing our numerous customers that in the short space of Fourteen Days we shall be able to supply them with Exclusive English Subjects at about One-half the Price now asked for films. These subjects have been taken by our own Staff of Operators and are of the most Attractive Animated Scenes calculated to enlist the warmest approval of the British Public, of the highest class of Workmanship and Definition, of accurate Edison gauge, and the Emulsion will not crack or pull off. . . . N.B. We are now booking Orders for Films of the Jubilee Festivities. Order Early. (Era, 1 May 1897; Issue 3058)

June: Haydon and Urry operators filmed “The Derby” on June 2nd. It was the first film known to have been produced by the firm.

June: advertising "The Eragraph (1897 Model) is the Latest and Most Scientific Apparatus for the Projection of Animated Photographs" . . . "The only animated picture machine awarded a Silver Medal in Great Britain" . . . Films. Films. Films. The 1897 Derby, Now Ready. Films of the above race. 75ft of Sharpe First-Class Photos for £3 10s. (Era, June 5, 1897; Issue 3063)

June: Haydon and Urry operators (the Monte brothers) filmed Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Procession on June 22nd (a series of six films). Their films of the procession were reputedly shown at the London Pavilion in Piccadilly Circus on  the same night they were filmed and are believed to have been  the first footage of the event shown to the public:

 “Jubilee Procession. Grand Series of Six Films. Taken by our new Eragraph. The Best and Sharpest Pictures ever produced, including Her Majesty the Queen. Price £4 each. Edison Gauge . . . These films are strictly copyright. . . . Sole Proprietors and Manufacturers of the Eragraph.” (Era, 26 Jun 1897; Issue 3066)

July:  A Notice of Change in the Situation of the Registered Office, dated 2 July 1897 indicated the company had moved its office and showrooms to 353 Upper Street, Islington. [National Archives: Board of Trade Record BT31/6284/44487]

July:  Advertising for the Eragraph indicated the device was capable of both filming and projecting films.

“Films. Films. Films. Jubilee Procession. . . .Taken by our new Eragraph. The Best and Sharpest Pictures ever produced, including Her Majesty the Queen." (Era, 3 July 1897; Issue 3067)

July: "At Henley this week some beautiful pictures of the contests have been taken by Messrs. Haydon and Urry's Eragraph. An unique position on the umpire's boat has enabled the operator to get some splendid results. These were shown at the London Pavilion for the first time last night." (Music Hall Gossip: Era, 17 July 1897, Issue 3069)

September: “Theatrical Patents. 20,296. Hayden, Urry, Limited, and George Hayden, 70 Chancery-lane, London. Improvements in and relating to apparatus for obtaining and displaying kinematographic or zoetorophic pictures. Sept, 3 rd., 1897.” (Era, 11 Sept 1897; Issue 3077).

September: “Royal Institution Fine Arts, 175 Sauchiehall Street. Do not miss seeing The Animated Pictures by The Improved Kinematograph. Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Procession (15,000 Pictures taken, Seventeen Minutes to Pass); Stirring Spanish Bull Fight, Champion High Diving Feats, &c., &c. (Glasgow Herald, 15 Sept 1897)

December: advertising “New Model Eragraph. . . H. & U. are now prepared to Supply Their Exclusive and Up-To-Date Subjects on a Specially Thick and Durable Film, expressly produced for Hard Wear and manufactured solely for them . . . (Era, 4 Dec 1897; Issue 3089)

December: Advertising indicated "The Eragraph" had won a "Gold Medal at the 1897 Wigan Trades and Arts Exhibition" (Era, 11 Dec 1897; Issue 3090). Although there was no mention of their cinematograph, a report in the local newspaper confirms that the firm did in fact exhibit at Wigan in 1897:

"The phonograph belonging to Messrs. Haydon and Urry is a first rate treat to its patrons, giving the latest novelties in musical, comic, vocal, and elocutionary effect, and we had the pleasure of listening to some of the latest London humorous songs; and the kitchen maid can find a friend in "Tut tut." (Wigan Examiner, 30 Nov 1897, p 8. Details provided by Wigan Library Information Services).

December: Haydon & Urry was the only firm known to have filmed the Funeral Procession of actor William Terriss who was stabbed by another actor on December 16, 1897. He was buried at Brompton Cemetery, December 21, 1897.  

Films Produced/Distributed by Haydon & Urry: 1897    

The 1897 Derby (June 2) (Era, June 5, 1897; Issue 3063) (75 ft)

Queen Victoria's Jubilee Procession (22 June)  (Era, 26 June 1897; Issue 3066) (6 films, each 75 ft)   

Henley Regatta. Scenes at Henley taken 14 July at the Umpire’s landing stage (each film 75 ft) (Era, 17 July 1897, Issue 3069)
(1) The Grand Challenge Cup. Exciting finish between the Leander and Dutch (Eight Oar Boats)
(2) Ladies Challenge Plate . . the Emanuel Boat (Cambridge) and Christ Church (Oxford)
(3) Review of the Boats
(4) Boats passing under Henley Bridge going to the Regatta
(5) The New College (Oxford crew) landing at the Boathouse at Landing Stage
(6) Arrival of the Eton Crew at the Landing-stage    
Cornish Coast and Sea (July 31) (Era, 21 Aug 1897, p 16)

Alexander Park Racecourse and Paddock (19 June) (Era, 21 Aug 1897, p 16)
Funeral Procession of the Late Mr. William Terriss (21 Dec) (Era, 1 Jan 1898, p 36; Issue 3093) (75 ft)

The King on his Yacht at Cowes" (Heard, M, contributor: Randall Williams: Who's Who of  Victorian Cinema, British Film Institute, pp 152-153) (Note: this film was not advertised in Era)

Note: In Who's Who of Victorian Cinema, Mervyn Heard suggested that Haydon & Urry were "influenced by their neighbouring competitor, George Barron, of the Interchangeable Syndicate Co., Upper Street." There is little doubt Barron Bros. were Haydon & Urry's main competitors in supplying the travelling show trade, but they did not move to Upper Street, Islington until March 1898 (more than a year after Haydon & Urry got involved in the cinema trade). Barron's ad in The Era in March 1898 stated, "Wanted Known, the Interchangeable Automatic Limited have Removed to New Premises, 327 Upper-street, Islington." (Era, 12  March 1898).


“Haydon & Urry Ltd, automatic delivery machine maker & mechanical engineers, cinematograph machine & film manufacture 353 Upper Street, Islington (London Post Office Directory, 1898)

January: advertising “New Model Eragraph is now ready. This apparatus has many improvements upon last season's model . . . From facts which have come to our knowledge we find it necessary to inform the public that our Only Business Address in London is as above [353 Upper St] and that All Apparatus Sold by us is of Our Own Manufacture and is stamped with our Name . . . The Late Mr. William Terriss. We have succeeded in taking a good Cinematograph film of the Funeral Procession of this lamented actor passing from hearse to the grave, embracing a large number of his personal and professional friends. We are now Printing a Limited Number of Copies. . . Manufacturers and Patentees of “The Eragraph” . . . The Eragraph, now Showing at Palace, Nottingham; Whitehaven Exhibition; World's Fair, Islington" . . . (Era, 1 Jan 1898; Issue 3093)

January:  "THEATRICAL PATENTS:  - 1689. George Haydon, and Haydon and Urry Limited, 353 Upper-street, Islington, London. Detached film carrier, for use with cinematographic and the like apparatus. Jan. 21.  - 1,690. George Haydon, and Haydon and Urry Limited, 353 Upper-street, Islington. Improvement in apparatus for taking and projecting Zeotrophic or Cinematographic pictures. Jan. 21.  (Era, Jan 29, 1898; Issue 3097)

January:  advertising "The Eragraph 1898 Model . . . used with unqualified success at Victorian Era Exhibition (all Last Season); Imperial Institute (all last season); London Pavilion (Six Months); Royal Aquarium; Empire, Glasgow; Palace, Nottingham; Royal, Colchester; Empire, Sheffield and other Theatres and Halls too numerous to Particularize . .  N.B. Fully test Film of our own Manufacture on East base, exclusive and up-to-date subjects from 30s. each . . . (Era, 29 1898; Issue 3097)

Note:  Haydon & Urry's claim that the Eragraph was used with "unqualified success at Victoria Era Exhibition all last season" was likely a reference to Randall Williams' show. Randall exhibited "Professor Pepper's Ghost" and animated photographs at the Exhibition the entire summer of 1897. Another showman who exhibited films at the Exhibition was Signor (Ernest) Polverini. Polverini was known to have used an Eragraph, and he exhibited films at the exhibition for a short period in July before moving on to the London Pavilion (Polverini's Pantomimographic Hall, Morning Post, 9 July 1897)

January: Haydon and Urry representatives attended the Showmen’s Fifth Annual Supper at the Agricultural Hall (Randall Williams presided). (The Showmen’s Supper, Era, 29 Jan 1898; Issue 3097)

February:  There was a break-in at Haydon & Urry's premises:

    “3,000 Feet of Photos Stolen by Burglars. The premises of Messrs. Haydon and Urry, photographers and film manufacturers, Upper-street, Islington were entered in the early hours of Wednesday         morning by burglars who have effected their escape with 51 cinematograph films (all 60ft. to 70ft. in length, and in round boxes) and a quantity of brass lenses and apparatus. Immediately the             crime was discovered information was given to the police, who are now investigating the matter. (Bury & Norwich Post, 1 March 1898)

April: The culprits were caught and the Court hearing was reported in The Era:

“On Tuesday, at the London County Sessions, William Henry Smith, twenty-four, labourer, Frank Leslie, twenty-two, clerk, and Arthur Roberts, twenty-one farrier, were charged upon indictment with breaking and entering the shop of Haydon and Urry, Limited, Cinematograph Manufacturers and experimental engineers, of 353 Upper-Street, Islington, N, and stealing eighty-five cinematograph films of various subjects, thirteen projecting lenses, a typewriter, a cycle, and a magic lantern valued at £200. Mr. Kershaw prosecuted. Mr. Watt defended Smith. The premises were entered into for the fourth time in a few months in February last, and the burglars, besides carrying off a great deal of property, damaged many mechanical figures to the extent of £50. The accused men were subsequently arrested, and it was proved that they had dealt with articles stolen from the prosecutor’s place, but the jury acquitted all the prisoners. The Chairman (to the prisoners)  – Be careful in future. If the jury had known all that I do the verdict might have been different. (Theatrical Gossip, Era, 9 Apr 1898; Issue 3107)

April: advertising “Films. Films. Films. . . . Additional subjects taken by Haydon and Urry’s Eragraph . . . . (Era, 30 April 1898; Issue 3110)

October: “Theatrical Patents . . .  21, 741.  Frank Harvey Urry, 61 Frobisher-road, Hornsey, London. Improvements in apparatus for exhibiting pictures of objects in motion. Oct. 15th. (Era, 22 Oct 1898; Issue 3135)

Letterhead Letter from Frank Urry to Secretary, Agricultural Hall, London, 21 October, 1898.
Re: Brewers, Malsters and Co. Exhibition (held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in November 1898)

"We are obliged by your letter of this day's date enclosing copy letter from the Clerk to the London County Council with reference to the proposed exhibition of the cinematograph in the Berners Hall during the forthcoming Brewers Exhibition and in reply to the enquiry we beg to say that we proposed to show the cinematograph strictly in accordance with the published regulations of the Council, that we should place the machine away from the audience at the far end of the Hall the pictures being shown through a translucent screen, the electric arc light would be used  . . Frank H. Urry

(London Metropolitan Archives: Ref. LCC/MIN/10,886. Permission to reproduce granted by City of London, London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London)

November: “Theatrical Patents . . 22,903. George Haydon and Haydon and Urry Limited, Upper-street, Islington, London. Improvements in or in connection with Kinematographe and the like apparatus (Era, 12 Nov 1898; Issue 3138)

December 1898 saw the last of the films advertised by Haydon & Urry credited to their own operators or copyright  (which may have been due in part to James Monte leaving the firm at the end of November 1898):

“The British Eragraph. Write at once for particulars of  Our New Patent Safety Automatic Shutter the only Perfect Protection against Fire.  . .  Can be fitted to any machine. . .  Films, Comic. Films. Original. Films, Select. Our New List is now ready  . .   All our own Copyright and Manufacturer, including the most successful films of the Season. The New BRIDE'S FIRST NIGHT and TWELVE MONTHS AFTER . . . (Era, 24 Dec 1898; Issue 3144)

"The Eragraph 1898 Improved Model” (advertisement in Magic Lantern Journal Annual 1898-99)

“The Showmen’s Universal Provider” (advertisement for the Eragraph in The Showmen's Year Book)

Films Produced/Distributed by Haydon & Urry: 1898    

Sunderland Football Team (Semi-Final). (March) (Era, 26 March 1898, p 27d; Issue 3110) (75 ft)
The Grand National (26 March) (75 ft) “Ran in a snowstorm. Marvelous effect”. (Era, 2 Apr 1898, p 31d; Issue 3106)

B.29. Metropolitan Handicap, Alexander Park, 1898 (9 April) “An exceptionally interesting racing  film, the start and finish being at the same point, and both being included  in the one film.” (Era, 30 Apr 1898, p 27b; Issue 3110)                           

B.30. Trick Bicyclists (April) “Amusing and clever display of Burlesque Riding by the Brothers Henry, the well-known American riders.” (Era, 30 Apr 1898, p 27b)
The Brothers Henry Demonstrate Trick Cycling (The British Film Catalogue: 1895-1985: A Reference Guide)
B.31. Amateur Cycle Race (Unpaced) (April) The final heat (Gamage Cycling and A.C. Tournament). “A Capital race, closely contested, Ingram winning by half a length.” (Era, 30 Apr 1898, p 27b; Issue 3110)

B.32. Grand Parade by the Celebrated Dunlop Pacers (April) “Including six quints, a quad (manned  by men of colour), and a tandem. An exceedingly interesting procession” (Era, 30 Apr 1898, p 27b; Issue 3110)
B.33. Cycle Polo Match - Toledo v Cleveland (April) “Excellent exhibition of this novel and  exciting game.” (Era, 30 Apr 1898, p 27b; Issue 3110)

B.34. Three Miles Cycle Match (April) “A.A. Chase (Safety) v. Grace and Hall (Tandem) “A good race. Chase won by a three parts of a length.” (Era, 30 Apr 1898, p 27b; Issue 3110)

The Bride's First Night (75 ft) (Era, 24 Dec 1898, p 27b; Issue 3144)

According to John Barnes, Haydon & Urry produced two photoplays in late 1898: "The Islington firm of Haydon & Urry Ltd, makers of the Eragraph projector, continued to produce a few films. To begin with, these were nearly all topical or news items, but toward the end of the year, following the trend of other film makers, they switched to the production of photoplays. Their first effort in this direction was a film called The Bride's First Night, which was followed by a sequel called Twelve Month's After." (Beginnings of The Cinema in England: Vol. 3: 1898, p 94)
The Bride's First Night: “A young bride enters a bedroom and begins to undress in a modest fashion. Her husband watches from behind a screen, mopping his face with a handkerchief in an excited fashion. She clambers into bed; he emerges from behind the screen and commences to undress, kneeling beside the bed and covering her face with kisses (69 ft)" (British Film Institute,  http://www.bfi.org.uk/nftva/catalogues/film/2253)

Twelve Months After (75 ft) (sequel to the Bride's First Night) (Era, 24 Dec 1898,  p 27b; Issue 3144)


"Haydon & Urry Ltd., cinematograph machine and film manufacturers, automatic delivery machine makers and mechanical engineers, 353 Upper Street, Islington, N -- T.A. "Showmen" (Post Office London Directory, 1899, p 1201).

April: The last time the name “Eragraph” appeared in Haydon & Urry advertising was in April 1899 (Era, 22 Apr 1899; Issue 3161). After April, “cinematographs and films” were advertised in the same ads offering “automatic machines of every description”. (Era, 8 Jul 1899; Issue 3172, etc.).

December: Haydon and Urry were advertising the “Latest War Films” (soldiers leaving for the Transvaal). The films were noted as being “Taken by Special Permission” but there was no mention of the films being produced by Haydon & Urry operators, nor that the films were subject to the company’s own copyright.

Note:  The War Films were the last of the films advertised by Haydon & Urry. John Barnes stated (Beginnings of The Cinema in England: Vol. 5: 1900: pp 102-103) that the company issued two films after the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901, but the firm was no longer in existence at that time.

Films Produced/Distributed by Haydon & Urry: 1899    

The Queen's Arrival Netley (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Royal Waxworks (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Sensational Fishing Scene (Very Comical) (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158) (March 1899) (75 ft)

On the Benches in the Park (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Colonel Cody Shooting (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

The Kissing Duet (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158) (close up of couple kissing)

Landing at Low Tide (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158):  “Comedy: a boatman carries a fat  woman to shore and they both fall in the sea” (Barnes, J., The Beginnings of The Cinema in  England: 1900: Vol 5:  p 155). Note: This is likely the same film as Lady Overboard (mentioned by M.C.B. Arthur in The House of Williams: Merry Go Round: Vol. 2, No. 8: May 1943: pp  5-12). Dick Monte claimed he played the part of the woman in the film.

Lady and the Boat: “As a couple in a rowing boat near the seashore, the lady prepares to be carried ashore by a boatman. He drops her in the water; she clambers back in the boat and wrings out her skirt. She is finally carried safely ashore (74 ft). Note: Possibly Landing At Low Tide (Haydon & Urry, 1899)" (British Film Institute)

A Trick on Boatmen (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158) (75 ft)

Bathing in Rough Sea (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Panorama of the Thames (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Impromptu Bath (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Arrival of Train (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Turn-out of Fire Brigade (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

The Queen’s Carriage - Jubilee Procession (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Parade of the Grenadier Guards (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

The Great Fight. Knockout (Era, 1 April 1899, p 2; Issue 3158)

Grenadier Guard Leaving for the Transvaal (Era, 13 Jan 1900; Issue 31996) (filmed in December 1899)

20th Battery Royal Horse Artillery in Khaki Leaving for Transvaal (Era, 23 Dec 1899, p 28; Issue 3196)


March: Haydon and Urry was sold and transferred to Automatic Machines (Haydon & Urry's Patents) Limited pursuant to an agreement dated 14 March 1900. [National Archives: Board of Trade Record BT31/6284/44487]

The new company acquired the stocks of film as well as the patent rights to the Eragraph, but their  interests appear to have reverted back to the production and sale of automatic machines, gaming devices and slot machines only (they apparently no longer manufactured or sold the Eragraph).

 “Automatic Machines (Haydon and Urry’s Patents), Limited. Application for Shares . . . Many exhibitions where penny-in-the-slot machines are placed require the Kinematograph (living pictures) and the sale and letting out of these both at public places of amusement and at private houses will be another profitable source of revenue.” (The Times, March 19, 1900, p 6)

 “Many exhibitions where penny-in-the-slot machines are placed require the Kinematograph (living pictures) and the sale and letting out of these both at public places of amusement and at private houses will be another profitable source of revenue.” (Application for Shares . . . Automatic Machines (Haydon and Urry’s Patents), Limited: The Times, March 19, 1900, p 6)

November: Advertisement “Voluntary Winding-Up Notices: Haydon and Urry Limited (the business and undertakings of the Company having been sold to the Automatic Machines) Haydon and Urry Patents, Ltd. (Era, 10 Nov 1900; Issue 16497)


George Haydon, head, 38, Islington, engineer (census, Northampton)

George Sommerville, head, 43, Birmingham, Director Of Public Companies (census, Islington)

Frank Harvey Urry, 37, Isle of Wight, solicitor managing clerk (census, Hornsey)

Films Distributed by Haydon & Urry: 1901

The Queen leaving Netley Hospital (January 26) (Dennis Gifford: British Film Catalogue)

The Queen in Her State Carriage (January 26) (Dennis Gifford: British Film Catalogue)

Other Interests:  Automatic Machines, Gaming Devices, etc.

According to Nic Costa, author of Automatic Pleasures, the History of the Coin Machine (1988), Haydon and Urry Ltd. were the "leading lights in the field of coin operated machines." They established a number of companies based in North London from the early 1890s and Frank Haydon (the son of George) carried on in the business up until the Second World War. "The final incarnation of Haydon and Urry was as the Licensed Victuallers Automatic Machine Company catering to pubs and hotels. It was in this guise that they launched a machine that was a precursor to the pinball, based on the game of billiards"

Machines/games designed and produced by Haydon and Urry Ltd. or by Automatic Machines Limited (Frank Haydon):

    Autocosmoscope (a stereoviewer displaying still images) advertised in The Era as 'the most perfect penny-in-slot seeing machine ever produced'.
    The Flower Machine (Haydon and Urry bought the rights for the machine from John Price)
    The Village Blacksmith (c1895) See The Costa-Haskell Collection
    Colonial Shooting Machine - see The Costa-Haskell Collection
    Tivoli - one of the most influential gambling games of all time
    Pussy Projectile Shooting Machine (marketed in the 1930s by the British American Novelty Co)
    Hitler Shooter - a redesigned version of the Pussy Projectile (the object being to shoot out Adolph Hitler's teeth)


    HMSO: Application # 11,792 for Improvements in coin-freed winding mechanisms for use in mechanically-operated instruments, such as polyphones and the like. Haydon & Urey Limited & George     Haydon (inventors).
    HMSO: Application #18,429 for improvements in coin freed game apparatus. Automatic Machines (Haydon & Urry's Patents) Limited, George Haydon & Frank Harvey Urry (inventors).
    HMSO: Application # 19,196 for improvements in coinfreed games of skill apparatus. George Haydon & Frank Harvey Urry (inventors).
    HMSO: Application # 22,494 for improvements in or relating to coin-freed games of skill. George Haydon (inventor).

Hayden and Urry (Ltd.) v. Price (The Times, July 31, 1897, p 5)
Grafe [Grasse?] V. Automatic Machines (Haydon & Urry’s Patents) Ltd. (Times, 6 Dec 1902)
See also PennyMachines.Co.UK:  http://www.pennymachines.co.uk/  


Barnes, J. (1976) The Beginnings of the Cinema in England: 1894-1896: Volume 1: Reissued 1998, University of Exeter Press.
Barnes, J. (1996) The Beginnings of The Cinema in England: 1894-1901: 1897: Volume 2: University of Exeter Press.
Barnes, J. (1988) The Beginnings of The Cinema in England: 1894-1901: 1898: Volume 3: Reissued 1996: University of Exeter Press.
Barnes, J. (1997) The Beginnings of The Cinema in England: 1894-1901: 1899: Volume 4: University of Exeter Press.
Barnes, J. (1997) The Beginnings of The Cinema in England: 1894-1901: 1900: Volume 5: University of Exeter Press.
Bromhead, Col. A.C.: Proceedings of the British Kinematograph Society: Reminiscences of the British Film Industry: London : The Society?, 1933 [Copy provided by British Film Institute]
Chanan, Michael (1980) The Dream that Kicks: The Prehistory and Early Years of Cinema in Britain: 2nd edn., publ 1996: Routledge, London. 
Gifford, Denis (1986) The British Film Catalogue, 1895-1985: A Reference Guide: Porter.
Herbert, S. & McKernan, L., eds. (1996) Who's Who of Victorian Cinema: British Film Institute.
Low, R. & Manvell, R: (1948) The History of British Film: 1896-1906: Vol. 1: Reprinted 1973, Geo. Allen: Appendices: Letter from Randall Williams (Richard Monte): pp 118-119
Scrivens, K. & Smith, S., eds. (1999) The Travelling Cinematograph Show: New Era Publications, Tweedale.

Board of Trade Records:

National Archives: BT31/6284/44487: Memorandum of Association: Haydon & Urry Ltd.: 1 July, 1895
National Archives: BTR BT31/6284/44487: Haydon & Urry:  Notice of Change in the Situation of the Registered Office:  2 July 1897
National Archives: BTR BT31/6284/44487: Haydon & Urry: Special Resolution: 6 October 1900

Newspapers and Journals (advertisements, etc.)

The Era
, 49 Wellington-street, Strand, W.C. (issued Saturdays).
The Times (London)
Newman, Arthur S.: Scientific Paper: Cinematograph Times: August 1934: referenced in: R.S. Taylor: Showmens' Enterprise as Film Exhibitors: Merry-Go-Round: Vol. IV, No. 3, March 1945: pp 18-19
Filming the Diamond Jubilee: A Popular Exhibit, The Times, April 9, 1935, p 19)
Wigan Trades and Arts Exhibition: Wigan Examiner, Nov 30, 1897, p 8: phonograph belonging to Messrs. Haydon and Urry: provided by Wigan Library Information Services
Dunfermline Scientific and Industrial Exhibition (Feb-March 1897); articles from Dunfermline Press, 27 March 1897: Dunfermline Journal, 6 March 1897. Catalogue of Dunfermline Scientific and Industrial Exhibition 1897: Details and copies of newspaper clippings provided by Mr. Chris Neale, Dunfermline Carnegie Library, Abbot Street, Dunfermline KY12 7NL)
The Showmen's Year Book (1898) publ. The United Kingdom and Van Dweller's Protection Assoc., Manchester; Rev. Thomas Horne, editor.


British Film Institute (list of Haydon & Urry films); Haydon & Urry's Lady and the Boat
Letter from Finsbury Library re 353 Upper St, Islington (1901)
Letter dated October 21, 1899: from Frank H. Urry, Haydon & Urry Ltd, 353 Upper Street; Islington: to R. Venner, Secretary, Agricultural Hall, Ltd. (Papers of the Theatres and Music Hall Committee relating to the Royal Agricultural Hall 1880-1899 (ref. LCC/MIN/10,886): London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB) [Permission to reproduce]
Details of Eragraph at National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (letter to Randall Williams, Chellaston, Dec 19, 2005)
Details of the Eragraph at La Cinémathèque Française (Catalogue)
Details of Eragraph owned by Michael Rogge (Holland) (emails) (machine sold by by Early Technology: Monkton House, Old Craighall, Edinburgh Scotland). Photos provided by Early Technology
Email from Michael.Bennett-Levy@virgin.net: permission to use photos of Haydon & Urry projector on Early Technology website: Early Technology, Monkton House, Old Craighall, Edinburgh.
Details and photos of the Eragraph owned by Eric Lange of Lobster Films, 13, rue Lacharrière, 75011 Paris. This was the same machine owned by George Williams that was the subject of a letter  Mervyn Heard sent to Peter Williams in 1988.
Letter from Mervyn Heard to Peter Williams (July 7, 1988) re Haydon & Urry, Randall Williams, Richard Monte, and Eragraph projector owned by the family of George Williams of King’s Lynn.  Heard was in possession of the projector at the time and Karen Williams took a photo of it (copy provided by Randall Williams, Chellaston, Derbyshire).


Eric Lange, Paris.

The late Dick Monte, who spent countless hours doing research on Randall Williams, Dick Monte, and Haydon & Urry Ltd.

The late Peter Williams (grandson of showman Randall Williams) and his daughter Karen, who did a lot of the original research in the 1980s.

Randall Williams (grandson of Randall Williams), a chartered engineer and one time of member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (MIME), who lent his considerable knowledge about machines, mechanisms, construction methods, etc.

Related Webpages

Randall Williams

The Monte Williams Showmen

Randall Williams, Monte Brothers, Haydon & Urry References

Copyright  Pauline Tindale, July 1, 2005.Updated September 11, 2016. Contact Travellers UK