First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sunrise 6:07 am: On horses and motion


Along one of the Dawn Joggers' routes on the Stanford campus is a state historical monument marking the development of motion pictures. It's near the one remaining working horse barn on the campus, which is appropriate. Leland Stanford, owner of the Palo Alto Stock Farm (now the univeristy) had met the English photographer Eadweard Muybridge and hired him to settle one of Stanford's claims - that there was a point in a horse's full gallop when all four hooves were off the ground. Muybridge got the proof in 1878 using, according to the marker, 24 cameras fitted with electroshutters (some sources say it was 50 cameras). The motion picture study, "The Science of the Horse's Motion," made the cover of Scientific American.

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