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John Randolph Bray (25 August 1879, Detroitmarker - 10 October 1978, Bridgeport, Connecticutmarker) produced the first animation film in color The Debut of Thomas Cat (1920) in Brewster Color, developed by Percy D. Brewster of Newark, New Jerseymarker. Bray Productions produced over 500 films between 1913 and 1937, mostly animation films and documentary shorts. Cartoonist Paul Terry worked briefly for Bray Studios in 1916.

The entertainment branch of Bray Pictures Corporation closed in 1928. Documentary production for theatrical release continued through the late 1930's. The educational/commercial branch, Brayco, made mostly filmstrips from the 1920s until it closed in 1963.

Bray Studios was still in operation in the early 70's, shortly before Bray died at the age of 99 in 1978.

Jam Handy's company, the Jam Handy Organization, began as a Chicagomarker-Detroitmarker division of Bray Studios, to service the auto industry's need for industrial films. Jam Handy made several thousand industrial and sponsored films and tens of thousands of filmstrips, many for the auto industry, closed in 1983.

He visited Winsor McCay during his production of Gertie the Dinosaur and claimed to be a journalist writing an article about animation. McCay was very open about the techniques that he developed and showed all the details to Bray. John Randolph Bray later patented many of McCay's methods and tried to sue him. McCay prevailed, however, and received royalties from Bray for several years thereafter.

Frank Nankivell, an Australian involved in animation was running his own art studio in New York. In his unpublished book A Bowl of Rice and Other Grains he wrote, “In 1914 when I was asked by a newly formed motion picture company to produce some animated cartoons, the proposition interested me and I signed up. With a staff of assistants, animators, and tracers, I set up a camera in Lincoln Square Arcade Building at Sixty-sixth Street and Broadway. It was early days of cartoons in motion. The method in use at the time was the tracing on sheets of paper a complete drawing of every movement. My son, Frank, an Engineering student at Cornell, suggested that I trace only the movements on a sheet of transparent celluloid, and the stationary parts on another celluloid. This enabled us to have a permanent background or setting for the acts, reducing labour by 60 per cent.”

“Two of my so-called friends who had free access to my studio were working for the John Randolph Bray’s Studio as animators. They saw that we used cells and carried this information to Bray. He and another producer combined and patented the celluloid method, thus drawing royalties from all animated companies. They never came near me after that. They did not dare.”

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