WATCH! Is This The Oldest Video of Albany?
Hard to say definitively if it's the oldest, but certainly from the early days of film. As it happens, it was taken by Thomas Edison. The film is dated 1901 and shows the Albany Fire Department, pre-motorized vehicles, being pulled by horses.
There's no explanation about what exactly is going on in this video. Were these crews being discharged to an actual fire in progress? Probably not, since a large group of spectators can be seen gathered on the side of the road as the horse-drawn fire buggies are pulled along almost like a parade. Plus, it was probably planned in advance for Edison to capture the 'parade' on film, as it's not likely he just happened to show up and start taking video at the exact time of an emergency.
In the 1890's, Edison patented his motion picture camera called the Kintegraph. He began a movie production business and over the next two decades, made about 1,200 short films. One of them is minute and a half video seen above.
Although his invention of the phonograph was developed years before, there was no audio recorded along with the video to capture the actual sound of the happening. Technology just wasn't there yet.
Thomas Edison's ties to the Capital Region are well known. He arrived in Schenectady and founded his Machine Works company in 1886. In 1892, this company would become known as General Electric.
Other videos taken by Edison are recorded as far back as 1888 and may be some of the earliest video ever recorded. Here's a compilation taken just a few years prior to the Albany video.