Most of us were told in school that the motion picture was invented by Thomas Edison. In fact, Frenchman Louis Le Prince invented the world's first motion picture camera in 1886, years before Edison's first movie in 1891.
Le Prince's surviving devices are on display at the National Media Museum in the U.K. Shown here are two examples.
According to Wikipedia:
In September 1890, Le Prince boarded a train on a Friday, promising friends he would rejoin them in Paris on the following Monday for the return journey to England, to be followed by a trip to the US to promote his new camera. However, Le Prince did not arrive at the appointed time and he was never seen again by his family or friends. All that could be established about his last whereabouts was that he was seen on 16 September 1890 boarding the 2:42 train at Dijon for his return to Paris.
The French police, Scotland Yard and the family undertook exhaustive searches but never found his body or luggage. This mysterious disappearance case was never solved.
At the time that he vanished, Le Prince was about to patent his 1889 projector in England and then leave Europe for his scheduled New York official exhibition. His widow assumed foul play though no concrete evidence has ever emerged and Rawlence prefers the suicide theory. In 1898, Le Prince's elder son Adolphe, who had assisted his father in many of his experiments, was called as a witness for the American Mutoscope Company in their litigation with Edison [Equity 6928]. By citing Le Prince's achievements Mutuscope hoped to annul Edison's subsequent claims to have invented the moving picture camera. Le Prince's widow Lizzie and Adolphe hoped that this would gain recognition for Le Prince's achievement but when the case went against Mutoscope their hopes were dashed. Two years later Adolphe Le Prince was found dead while out duck shooting on Fire Island near New York. Suicide was presumed.
You can view Louis Le Prince's "Accordion Player" 17-frame film here.