Griffith

Griffith

[grif-ith]
Griffith, Arthur, 1872-1922, Irish statesman, founder of Sinn Féin. He joined the nationalist movement as a young man. In 1899 he founded the United Irishman, in which he advocated that Irish members of Parliament withdraw from Westminster and organize their own assembly. His goal was the creation of a dual monarchy of England and Ireland, like that of Austria-Hungary. His ideas found adherents who, in 1905, formed the Sinn Féin. Griffith took no part in the Easter Rebellion of 1916, but he was imprisoned several times (1916-18) by the British. Elected to Parliament in 1918, he joined the other Sinn Féiners in forming Dáil Éireann and was elected its vice president. He led the Irish delegation that negotiated the treaty (1921) establishing the Irish Free State. When Eamon De Valera, president of the Dáil, rejected the treaty, Griffith succeeded to his office. He died suddenly at the beginning of the civil war.

See biographies by P. Colum (1959) and V. E. Glandon (1985); study by C. Younger, A State of Disunion (1972).

Griffith, D. W. (David Llewelyn Wark Griffith), 1875-1948, American movie director and producer, b. La Grange, Ky. Griffith was the first major American film director. He began his film career as an actor and a scenario writer in 1908 with the Biograph Company. He soon began to direct and at once began to explore the full potential of camerawork, editing (or montage), and acting. He introduced the fade-in, fade-out, long shot, full shot, close-up, moving-camera shot, and flashback. He initiated scene rehearsals before shooting and was extremely meticulous about lighting arrangements. In 1913, taking his cue from the longer "spectacle" films produced in Italy, Griffith made the first American film of four reels, Judith of Bethulia (1913), and followed with the then-immense ten-reel Birth of a Nation (1915), an anthology of film technique and a landmark in the history of cinema. Stung by criticism of his negative portrayal of mulattos, he responded with a more audacious work. Intolerance (1916) sought to demonstrate the persistence of racial and social prejudice through the ages. In 1919, with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford, he founded United Artists. Among his films, frequently alternating between historical spectacles and modest domestic dramas, are Hearts of the World (1918), Broken Blossoms (1918), Way Down East (1920), and Orphans of the Storm (1922). Griffith had experimented with sound as early as 1921, but his movies with full sound were not commercially successful.

See Mrs. D. W. Griffith, When the Movies Were Young (1925); Lillian Gish's autobiography (1969); K. Brown, Adventures with D. W. Griffith (1973); R. Schickel, D. W. Griffith: An American Life (1984).

Griffith, town (1990 pop. 17,916), Lake co., extreme NW Ind.; inc. 1904. It is primarily a residential town in the Chicago metropolitan area. Manufactures include metal products, chemicals, and electronic equipment.

(born Jan. 22, 1875, Floydsfork, Ky., U.S.—died July 23, 1948, Hollywood, Calif.) U.S. film director. After acting in touring stage companies, he sold film scenarios to the Biograph Co., which hired him as a director (1908–13). In over 400 films for Biograph he developed filmmaking as an art form with techniques such as the close-up, the scenic long shot, and crosscutting, and he collaborated with cinematographer Billy Bitzer to create fade-out, fade-in, and soft-focus shots. He nurtured the careers of future stars such as Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Mack Sennett, and Lionel Barrymore. His epic dramas The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916) greatly influenced later filmmakers. After cofounding United Artists Corp. in 1919, he directed Broken Blossoms (1919), Way Down East (1920), and Orphans of the Storm (1921). His last films were Abraham Lincoln (1930) and The Struggle (1931). He is regarded as one of the seminal figures in the history of motion pictures.

Learn more about Griffith, D(avid) W(ark) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 31, 1871, Dublin, Ire.—died Aug. 12, 1922, Dublin) Irish journalist and nationalist, principal founder of Sinn Féin. As a young man, he edited political newspapers and urged passive resistance to British rule. He lost influence with the extreme nationalists when he did not participate in the Easter Rising (1916) but regained it when the British jailed him with other Sinn Féin members. In 1918 the Irish members of the House of Commons declared a republic and chose Eamon de Valera as president and Griffith as vice president. In 1921 Griffith led the Irish delegation to the self-government treaty conference and was the first Irish delegate to accept partition, embodied in the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921). When the Dáil narrowly approved it in 1922, de Valera resigned and Griffith was elected president. Exhausted from overwork, he died soon after.

Learn more about Griffith, Arthur with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Jan. 22, 1875, Floydsfork, Ky., U.S.—died July 23, 1948, Hollywood, Calif.) U.S. film director. After acting in touring stage companies, he sold film scenarios to the Biograph Co., which hired him as a director (1908–13). In over 400 films for Biograph he developed filmmaking as an art form with techniques such as the close-up, the scenic long shot, and crosscutting, and he collaborated with cinematographer Billy Bitzer to create fade-out, fade-in, and soft-focus shots. He nurtured the careers of future stars such as Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Mack Sennett, and Lionel Barrymore. His epic dramas The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916) greatly influenced later filmmakers. After cofounding United Artists Corp. in 1919, he directed Broken Blossoms (1919), Way Down East (1920), and Orphans of the Storm (1921). His last films were Abraham Lincoln (1930) and The Struggle (1931). He is regarded as one of the seminal figures in the history of motion pictures.

Learn more about Griffith, D(avid) W(ark) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born March 31, 1871, Dublin, Ire.—died Aug. 12, 1922, Dublin) Irish journalist and nationalist, principal founder of Sinn Féin. As a young man, he edited political newspapers and urged passive resistance to British rule. He lost influence with the extreme nationalists when he did not participate in the Easter Rising (1916) but regained it when the British jailed him with other Sinn Féin members. In 1918 the Irish members of the House of Commons declared a republic and chose Eamon de Valera as president and Griffith as vice president. In 1921 Griffith led the Irish delegation to the self-government treaty conference and was the first Irish delegate to accept partition, embodied in the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921). When the Dáil narrowly approved it in 1922, de Valera resigned and Griffith was elected president. Exhausted from overwork, he died soon after.

Learn more about Griffith, Arthur with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Griffith's experiment, conducted in 1928 by Frederick Griffith, was one of the first experiments suggesting that bacteria are capable of transferring genetic information through a process known as transformation.

Griffith used two strains of Pneumococcus (which infects mice), a type III-S (smooth) and type II-R (rough) strain. The III-S strain covers itself with a polysaccharide capsule that protects it from the host's immune system, resulting in the death of the host, while the II-R strain doesn't have that protective capsule and is defeated by the host's immune system.

In this experiment, bacteria from the III-S strain were killed by heat, and their remains were added to II-R strain bacteria. While neither alone harmed the mice, the combination was able to kill its host. Griffith was also able to isolate both live II-R and live III-S strains of pneumococcus from the blood of these dead mice. Griffith concluded that the type II-R had been "transformed" into the lethal III-S strain by a "transforming principle" that was somehow part of the dead III-S strain bacteria.

Today, we know that the "transforming principle" Griffith observed was the DNA of the III-S strain bacteria. While the bacteria had been killed, the DNA had survived the heating process and was taken up by the II-R strain bacteria. The III-S strain DNA contains the genes that form the protective polysaccharide capsule. Equipped with this gene, the former II-R strain bacteria were now protected from the host's immune system and could kill the host. The exact nature of the transforming principle (DNA) was verified in the experiments done by Avery, McLeod and McCarty and by Hershey and Chase.

See also

References

  • Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty (1944). "Studies on the Chemical Nature of the Substance Inducing Transformation of Pneumococcal Types: Induction of Transformation by a Desoxyribonucleic Acid Fraction Isolated from Pneumococcus Type III". Journal of Experimental Medicine 79 (1): 137–58.

(References the original experiment by Griffith. Original article and 35th anniversary reprint available.'')

  • 854 pages. ISBN 0-7637-1511-5.

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