Eadweard Muybridge

Facts about Eadweard Murbridge

Eadweard Muybridge died at 74 years old
Born: April 9, 1830
Died: May 8, 1904
Best known as: The guy whose frame-by-frame horse photos started the movies


Eadweard Muybridge Biography

Name at birth: Edward Muggeridge

Photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s series of frame-by-frame photos titled The Horse in Motion (1882) is considered to be a major influence on the development of motion pictures, if not the first motion picture ever.

In the 1870s, he was a successful commercial photographer who caught the attention of railroad tycoon Leland Stanford, who enlisted him to show whether a horse’s feet ever left the ground in a gallop. Muybridge devised a way that showed a horse did, indeed, leave the ground with all four legs at the height of a sprint.

The photos made Muybridge world famous, and he joined with the University of Pennsylvania to further study things in motion, resulting in a multi-volume set in 1887, titled Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movement. In the meantime, he’d adapted his images into a “zoopraxiscope” projector that animated them, if only for a few seconds. That, they say, was the birth of the movies. He returned to England in 1900, after a celebrated career that influenced the arts and the sciences.


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