One of the long neglected areas of film scholarship has been the technology developements over time. From the earliest days of the industry, cameramen, etc, had to come up with methods to handle film, shoot at different speeds, film from the air, and on and on. When archives first broached the idea of film preservation, for the most part film itself was the object of our affection. It wasn’t until much later that we realized the importance of this cinemachinery in the industry. From early cameras, lighting, and printers, the developments came fast and furious. Some were monsters in size and shape, like the original Mutoscope Camera of A, M & B. Carl Gregory developed a practical optical printer in 1927-28.
These and devlopments like them were one of the things responsible for the technical improvements in film production that made it to the screen. I have always found this period to be a treasure trove of technological development, and look forward to seeing much more research into this area of the early film industry.