Eadweard Muybridge b Edward Muggeridge Kingstonon Thames England April d

Eadweard Muybridge immigrated to the United States in 1852, where he began his career as a landscape photographer, producing stunning images of the US Pacific Coast, San Francisco, and Yosemite Valley. He also provided photographic surveys of the Central Pacific Railroad and documented the Modoc Indian Wars. In 1872 he was hired by the former governor of California, Leland Stanford, to prove that, at a particular moment in its gait, all four hooves of a galloping horse leave the ground. This required that Muybridge photograph a horse in motion—yet photographing a moving subject had never been done before. Muybridge produced the evidence confirming Stanford's theory, although no prints of this experiment survive.

In 1874 Muybridge shot and killed his wife's lover, Harry Larkyns. He was ultimately acquitted of murder charges on the grounds of justifiable homicide. He quietly left the country for Central America, where he photographed Guatemala and Panama. In 1876 Muybridge returned to California and, with Stanford's financial support, resumed his study of equine locomotion. In 1876 he built a track and lined it with a battery of cameras featuring electromagnetic shutters that allowed him to capture sequential photographs of a horse in motion. He stretched wires from each camera across to the opposite side of the track, directly in the pathway to be followed by the horse. As the horse galloped down the track, it tripped the wire connected to each shutter, effectively taking pictures of its own movements. Each shot had an exposure time of 1/500 of a second. The interval between each shot was 1/25 of a second. The resulting photographs, presented at the San Francisco Art Association on 8 July 1878, were highly acclaimed.

Following this success, Muybridge expanded his study to include series photographs of cows, elephants, oxen, and deer in the process of walking, leaping, or hauling heavy loads. In 1879 he invented the zoopraxiscope, a device that allowed him to project moving images. He painted copies of his photographic images around the circumference of a glass disk attached to a magic lantern. Another disk featuring a series of slots was mounted opposite the illustrated disk. When the two disks were spun in opposite directions, the slots functioned like a shutter and allowed for the individual static images to be projected as moving images. The zoopraxiscope debuted on 4 May 1880 at the San Francisco Art Association and was presented at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

After taking the zoopraxiscope on a celebrated lecture tour throughout Europe, Muybridge returned to the United States in 1882. Between 1884 and 1885 he resumed his experiments in animal locomotion at the University of Pennsylvania, where he struck up a relationship with the painter Thomas Eakins. He vastly expanded the kinds of animals he photographed and challenged the social conventions of the time by photographing nude men, women, and children engaged in a broad range of activities, from boxing and wrestling to bathing, ascending a staircase, and smoking cigarettes. In 1887 Muybridge published Animal Locomotion: An Electro-photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements, which featured over 19,347 photographic images.

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