Sanson, Raoul



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

  • Photographie Eclair (generally); Phot. Chimiste (Rue Paul Devaux)

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional / Connected


Life dates

Caudebec-lez-Elboeuf [Seine-Maritime, F], 1860 - Oissel [Seine-Maritime, F], 1941


1885 - 1886 Bruxelles, Place Sainte-Gudule, 3
Predecessor: Donat Alphonse
Raoul Adrien Grimoin, known as Grimoin - Sanson and trading as Sanson, ° 7.5.1860; + 3.11.1941. Photographer and chemist. Initially listed in the foreigners' register in 1882 as a teacher, his profession was subsequently given as a photographer in June 1887 and chemist in July 1891. Arrived in Rue Bodeghem, 13 on 23.1.1883, coming from Brussels - Saint-Gilles, and left by May 1884 ("residence unknown" to the population registry). According to his autobiography "Le Film de ma vie", published in 1926, Sanson was a violinist in the Kursaal orchestra in Ostend, where he also worked as a magician in 1883.
1886 * - 1892 / Bruxelles, Rue Paul Devaux, 16
Successor: Thiel Georges
Arrived at this address on 12.4.1886. Photographed the funeral of Crown Prince Baudouin in 1890. Took initial steps as a recognized expert to introduce Bertillon-system anthropometry into the Belgian justice system in 1891-1892. "Mr Hallet the investigating magistrate has taken the excellent initiative of proposing to establish an identification service in Brussels similar to the one operating in Paris. He has turned to Mr Raoul Sanson to whose skills as a photographer and chemist our magistrates have long had recourse. The procedure introduced by Mr Sanson, who spent several months in Paris within Mr Bertillon's service, has immediately demonstrated the usefulness of forming such an identification service in Brussels" ("Un service d'identification", La Meuse, 25.2.1892).
1892 * - 1893 Bruxelles, Place Sainte-Gudule, 15
Arrived here on 27.10.1892 before returning to France without informing the municipal authorities, probably during the following year. Patent of 15.6.1894 for "a new system of rapid photo-engraving" for intaglio printing. Registered a printing firm "Sanson - Grimoin, Garnier et Compagnie" in Paris [F] on 15.5.1894, in partnership with Louis Jules Garnier, a photoengraver in Sèvres, which was dissolved on 7.8.1894. At his wedding in Brussels on 12.1.1895, Sanson was recorded as a photographer living in Paris. He was operating around this time at Avenue du Maine, 27. Also in 1895, Grimoin - Sanson acquired a pirated Edison kinetoscope which inspired his pioneering efforts in the field of cinematography.
Grimoin - Sanson's own rudimentary camera/projector combination was patented as the "Phototachygraphe" and exhibited at the "Exposition nationale et coloniale" in Rouen in 1896. He went on to invent a panoramic film projection system comprising ten synchronised projectors. The "Cinéorama" was patented on 27.11.1897 and a company formed to market it. A "Cinéorama" was installed at the Paris "Exposition universelle" in 1900 but the installation malfunctioned. His company went bankrupt and its equipment was sold off in 1901. Grimoin - Sanson was recorded as an engineer living in Brussels in February 1900 and was subsequently active in the fabric and rubber industries, supplying material for gas masks from his factory in Nanterre [F] in 1911.


1885 - 1886 Bruxelles, Place Sainte-Gudule, 3
1886 * - 1892 / Bruxelles, Rue Paul Devaux, 16
1892 * - 1893 Bruxelles, Place Sainte-Gudule, 15


Genres / subject matter



GIANATI, Maurice. "Les débuts au cinématographe de Raoul Grimoin-Sanson (1895-1899)" in: Sur les pas de Marey : science(s) et cinéma, edited by Thierry Lefebvre, Jacques Malthête & Laurent Mannoni, Paris, 2004, pp. 253-282.




Record source



Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 9.9.2019 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; SFJ revised 15.10.2019 & 6.1.2020; MD revised 26.10.2020 & 8.2.2021; SFJ revised 16.2.2021 & 16.5.2021 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght




Maintenance notes