Today would be the 184th birthday of pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Born in Kingston-on-Thames, England in 1830, Muybridge emigrated to the United States at a young age. His groundbreaking animal locomotion studies helped pave the way for motion pictures, and his “zoopraxiscope” of 1879 is considered by many to be the first movie projector. A more dubious achievement, Muybridge also literally got away with murder, after a San Francisco jury acquitted him of killing his wife’s lover in 1874.
Muybridge moved to Philadelphia in 1880, where he befriended the painter Thomas Eakins, also an ardent photographer, who often worked alongside Muybridge, producing studies of animals and humans in motion. Muybridge returned to England in 1900 and died in his hometown four years later.
“ ‘Ike’ and ‘Maggie’ Racing,” 1887, by Eadward Muybridge