The Library of Congress on YouTube proves all “new media” starts with crazy cat photos

Cat Boxing, 1894

The Library of Congress today announced the launch of a Library of Congress YouTube Channel. There are only about 70 videos now, but according to the blog post, the LOC is “not just going to upload a bunch of videos and then walk away. As with our popular Flickr pilot project, we intend to keep uploading additional content.” The channel includes vintage footage from some of Thomas Edison’s early experiments with “moving pictures” like the great 1894 “cat boxing video” on the left. Indeed, one thing that is clear when glancing through some of this early footage is just how little things have changed in 115 years — new media technology goes through a period when early experimentation looks just like goofing off.

Another hit film from 1894 is this gem called, “Atlete with Wand.

Little-known film trivia: Last year, a Japanese filmmaker posted his remake of Athlete with Wand on YouTube: