When a horse trots, do all four of its hooves ever leave the ground at once? At one time, we not only had no answer to that question, we had no way of finding out. But in 1872, when the matter piqued the curiosity of Leland Stanford, tycoon, former governor of California, co-founder of Stanford University, and race-horse owner, it did so at just the right time. Having made a bet on the answer, Stanford called on an English photographer named Eadweard Muybridge, known for his work in such then-cutting-edge subfields as time-lapse and stereography, and tasked him with figuring it out. Using a series of cameras activated by trip wires as the horse trotted past, Muybridge proved that all four of its hooves do indeed leave the ground, winning Stanford the wager.
Eadweard Muybridge’s Motion Photography Experiments from the 1870s Presented in 93 Animated Gifs
Eadweard Muybridge (; 9 April 1830 – 8 May 1904, born Edward James Muggeridge) was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion, and early work in motion-picture projection. He adopted the name Eadweard Muybridge, believing it to be the original Anglo-Saxon form of his name.