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02.05.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By David Luhrssen
When they were introduced in the 1890s, motion pictures were a marvel in an age of marvels. Cities were being lit by electricity and crowned by skyscrapers, telephones carried distant voices and pictures began to move in a jerky semblance of real life. But with new technology came old controversy. One of the first movies shown publicly in New York, The May Irwin Kiss (1896), drew fire. Only 18...