Let’s meet Eadweard Muybridge

Let’s meet Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), a famous photographer who made an important invention almost by accident. He was born in the United Kingdom and moved to the United States when he was a young man. He made a name for himself with his excellent photographs of some sites in California, USA (the Yosemite National Park and of the city of San Francisco).

He was hired by a businessman to settle a bet for him. The businessman had claimed that a horse actually lifts all four legs off the ground while galloping.

Muybridge invented a technique of using several cameras to capture pictures of a galloping horse on a farm, and was able to show that the businessman was right. Soon, Muybridge invented a device called a “zoopraxiscope” that could project a series of pictures and give the sense of motion. The picture on the left shows the individual photos taken by Muybridge while the animation on the right shows them as a “moving picture”. Muybridge’s device influenced future inventions in movie projectors.

The businessman whose bet Muybridge settled was a person called Leland Stanford, and the farm where he took his pictures is now home to Stanford University, California, USA . Could it be that the reason we are able to enjoy movies today is because the founder of Stanford University had made a bet about a horse? :-)

Image Credits: All Muybridge’s images are under the United States public domain tag
Sources: Wikipedia, www.biography.com