Sergei Maksimovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maksimovich, Sergei Olimpievich


Born June 5 (17), 1876, in St. Petersburg; died Dec. 27, 1941, in Leningrad. Soviet scientist and inventor in the field of color cinematography and photography.

Maksimovich graduated from a higher technical school in Darmstadt in 1901. From 1901 to 1916 he worked at the Separate Department for the Procurement of State Papers (now known as Goznak) in St. Petersburg. From 1919 to 1930 he was a professor at the Higher Institute of Photography and Photo-graphic Engineering (later Fotokinotekhnikum [Photography and Cinematography Technical School]), and in 1930 he became a scientific worker at the Research Institute of Geodesy, Aerial Photography, and Cartography.

In 1909, Maksimovich patented a trichromatic cinematograph method. In 1912 he developed a new method of making color motion pictures; the method was used for the production of a short color film in 1914. He was the first to use a splitting prism, which eliminates parallax during filming, in color cinematography(1920). Maksimovich’s studies and inventions in sensitometry were very important for the development of photography; in particular, he established the relation between the optical density of a developed film (layer) and the nature of the light flux (Maksimovich effect). He was responsible for a number of inventions in galvanoplastics and electrical engineering.


Lialikov, K. S. “S. O. Maksimovich—pioner tsvetnoi kinematografii v Rossii.” In Uspekhi nauchnoi fotografii, vol. 2. Moscow, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.