Early pinhole photography
The first known description of pinhole photography is found in the 1856 book The Stereoscope by Scottish inventor David Brewster, including the description of the idea as "a camera without lenses, and with only a pin-hole". One older use of the term "pin-hole" in the context of optics was found in James Ferguson's 1764 book Lectures on select subjects in mechanics, hydrostatics, pneumatics, and optics.
Sir William Crookes and William de Wiveleslie Abney were other early photographers to try the pinhole technique.
Film and integral photography experiments
According to inventor William Kennedy Dickson, the first experiments directed at moving pictures by Thomas Edison and his researchers took place around 1887 and involved "microscopic pin-point photographs, placed on a cylindrical shell". The size of the cylinder corresponded with their phonograph cylinder as they wanted to combine the moving images with sound recordings. Problems arose in recording clear pictures "with phenomenal speed" and the "coarseness" of the photographic emulsion when the pictures were enlarged. The microscopic pin-point photographs were soon abandoned. In 1893 the Kinetoscope was finally introduced with moving pictures on celluloid film strips. The camera that recorded the images, dubbed Kinetograph, was fitted with a lens.
Eugène Estanave experimented with integral photography, exhibiting a result in 1925 and publishing his findings in La Nature. After 1930 he chose to continue his experiments with pinholes replacing the lenticular screen.