Collotype plates from Animal Locomotion, 1887
Well established as a leading California photographer, Eadweard Muybridge made the first of his motion sequence photographs in 1872, on commission from Leland Stanford. According to legend, Stanford had made a wager that a horse trotting at full speed had all four feet off the ground at certain times. Muybridge was able to capture silhouette images of the horse in stride, proving Stanford correct. In 1877, Muybridge began further experiments for Stanford with a battery of 24 cameras and a system of shutters activated by threads tripped by the moving horse. In 1882 the results of these studies were published in a volume titled The Horse in Motion. Beginning in 1884, the University of Pennsylvania sponsored Muybridge’s extensive project of photographic studies of animals and humans in motion. A selection of 781 collotype plates was published in 1887 under the title, Animal Locomotion. Muybridge created a devise for animating his still images in 1879 and called it the Zoöpraxiscope. Today he is recognized as one of the pioneers in the development of the modern motion picture.