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Activity Industry Sector
Arts, Media & Entertainment

Activity Originally Created By: Matthew Dills

Activity #2

Part of Lesson Plan: Persistence of Vision-Muybridge

Activity Overview / Details

After discussing the race, give students a brief history about Edweard Muybridge and the bet that led to the motion picture.

Leland Stanford was the eighth Governor of Califronia, serving from January 1862 to December 1863. In 1872 Stanford hired Edweard Muybridge, a world famous photographer and father of the motion picture, to prove whether all of a horses hooves leave the ground when in full gallop. Most people of that time believed that a horse always had one foot on the ground. Stanford believed otherwise and made a $25,000 bet with some of his friends, so the legend goes. To prove his point he hired Muybridge.

In order to prove the point, Muybridge had to invent a special camera system with a very fast shutter. He set up 24 cameras on a race track. The cameras were connected to trip wires that the horse set off as it galloped. Muybridge used 24 cameras arranged parallel to the track and spaced 27 inches apart. Muybridge was able to capture the horses full gallop and settle the bet.

Watch the film clip of Muybridge's motion study of the horse.

Materials / Resource