5. Louis Le Prince
Louis Le Prince was a pioneer of the motion picture industry, along with the Lumiere Brothers and, of course, Thomas Edison. As a young man, Le Prince had frequented the studio of Jacques Daguerre (of Daguerreotype picture fame) and became fascinated with first images and then moving pictures, receiving a patent for his Le Prince Single-lens Cine Camera in 1888, ahead of Edison.
However, before Le Prince could get the recognition that he deserved, he disappeared suddenly and mysteriously in 1890 after boarding a train at Dijon, bound for Paris. There are a number of theories about what happened to Le Prince after he boarded the train, some of them mundane, others slightly more outlandish. It has been suggested that he killed himself because he was on the verge of bankruptcy or disappeared deliberately to avoid being exposed as homosexual. It has also been suggested that his brother murdered him in a row over his mother’s will. Le Prince’s widow even maintained that Thomas Edison ordered a hit on him in order to get him out of the way and prevent him from taking the credit for his invention.
Whatever you may choose to believe about his fate, what is certain is that Le Prince’s Cine Camera recorded the world’s first moving images with the Roundhay Garden Scene in 1888.