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Development in Silent lengths of films

One way to look at the early development of films is to look at the progression of the length of films presented. However, there are many oddities and problems such as film speed. There was no set rate of frames per second so time would vary greatly depending upon the exhibitor. This is why early silent film was measured in linear measurements instead of time. To help calculate, 1000 ft would be about 15-17 minutes. Here's a chart of progression with each a commercial film that took the record for length at that time:

80 ft Soldier's Courtship May 1896
150 ft Death of Nelson Oct. 1897
210 ft Sloper's Visit to Brighton July 1898
320 ft Our New General Servant Aug 1898
620 ft Marley's Ghost Nov 1901
800 ft Alice in Wonderland May 1903
820 ft Incidents in Life of Lord Nelson Oct. 1905
870 ft Life of Charles Peace Nov 1905
1000 ft Dick Turpin's Ride to York May 1906
1200 ft Cinderella Dec 1907
1240 ft Romeo and Juliet June 1908
1280 ft Sexton Blake Oct. 1909
1630 ft Martyrdom of Adolf Beck Dec 1909
2000 ft Henry VIII Feb 1911
2500 ft Rob Roy Sept 1911
3700 ft Oliver Twist* Sept 1912
4300 ft Lorna Doone Dec 1912
6200 ft East Lynne May 1913
7500 ft David Copperfield Aug 1913
9170 ft the Christian Nov 1915

*Oliver Twist was the first feature film in the UK to go over an hour. This was a Hepworth Production of 4 reels starring ex-beauty queen Ivy Millais as Oliver Twist and John McMahon as Fagin. It was released 2 months after Vitagraphs version in the US.

The Christian in 1915 held the record in film length until 1923 when The Prodigal Son was released at 18454 ft which was the longest silent film released in the UK.

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