The Horse in Motion

1878 photographs by Eadweard Muybridge / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Horse in Motion is a series of cabinet cards by Eadweard Muybridge, including six cards that each show a sequential series of six to twelve "automatic electro-photographs" depicting the movement of a horse. Muybridge shot the photographs in June 1878. An additional card reprinted the single image of the horse "Occident" trotting at high speed, which had previously been published by Muybridge in 1877.

"Abe Edgington", owned by Leland Stanford; driven by C. Marvin, trotting at a 2-24 gait over the Palo Alto track, 15th June, 1878
"Sallie Gardner", owned by Leland Stanford; ridden by G. Domm, running at a 1.40 gait over the Palo Alto track, 19th June, 1878 (1878 cabinet card, "untouched" version from original negatives)

The series became the first example of chronophotography, an early method to photographically record the passing of time, mainly used to document the different phases of locomotion for scientific study. It formed an important step in the development of motion pictures. One of the cards (often retitled Sallie Gardner at a Gallop)[1][2] has even been hailed as "the world's first bit of cinema".[3] Muybridge did project moving images from his photographs with his Zoopraxiscope, from 1880 to 1895, but these were painted on discs and his technique was no more advanced than similar earlier demonstrations (for instance those by Franz von Uchatius in 1853).[4]

Muybridge's work was commissioned by Leland Stanford, the industrialist, former Governor of California, and horseman, who was interested in horse gait analysis.

In 1882, Stanford had a book published about the project, also entitled The Horse in Motion, with circa 100 plates of silhouettes based on the photographs, and analytical text by his friend and physician J.D.B. Stillman.

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