Emerson Romero was an early film actor and a Charlie Chaplin impersonator in the 1920s. He also happened to be deaf. Romero wanted the film to remain accessible to his community. Romero bought his own film reels and began experimenting by making text cards and splicing the film to insert them between scenes.
In the mid-1920s, Herman G. Weinberg began translating films into German using a Moviola. This machine allowed him to edit subtitles directly while watching a film.
Closed captioning was first demonstrated in the United States at the First National Conference on Television for the Hearing Impaired in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1971.
The National Captioning Institute was created in 1979 to get the cooperation of commercial television networks.
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules require captioned programs shown on TV to be captioned when re-shown on the Internet.
In some countries, captions are called subtitles.