Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Have you ever heard of Eadweard Muybridge? I hadn't until I read the NYT Review of a new non-fiction book by Edward Ball ("The Inventor and the Tycoon"). I've learned that Muybridge was, mildly put, an eccentric genius. He was also an inventor, a photographer and a murderer. His patron was Leland Stanford, an American railroad tycoon, best remembered today for founding the Stanford University. Stanford loved horses. He wanted to know how they run, and in 1872 he turned to Muybridge to find a way to photograph their movement. It took the ingenious man a year until he found out how to do it. His "serial photographs" of galloping horses, shot by 12 cameras, proved that horses lift all four feet as they run. Muybridge also found a way to project the photographs onto a screen through a machine he called a zoopraxiscope. When the lighted photographes appeared in quick secession, Mr. Stanford was the first one to see a movie. The image seemed to gallop. That was the very beginning of the history of film.
Posted by Michael Kunze at 6:00 AM