Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Home Innovation Eadweard Muybridge: pioneer in motion pictures

Eadweard Muybridge: pioneer in motion pictures

The English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) became world famous with large-format images of Yosemite Valley in the 1860s, but it was his work in moving image and projection that has had an influence on film, animation and special effects that endures to this day.

In the 1870s, Muybridge used time-lapse photography to document the construction of the San Francisco Mint and conducted multi-camera studies of running horses that changed our understanding of animal motion.

In 1878, he created a 360-degrees panorama of San Francisco that survives today as a stunning virtual reality experience. He went on to make many thousands of images capturing and representing human and animal motion.

Muybridge also developed the zoopraxiscope, a movie projector that predated the perforated filmstrip projectors of the early movie era. The hall he built for his presentation of moving images at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 was the first commercial movie theatre.

Muybridge’s zoopraxiscope projector along with thousands of prints and artefacts can be seen at the Museum and History Centre in Kingston-upon-Thames.

This is one of a series of stories about the impact of new thinkers, installed on the walls of the Islington head office of Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network.

Kasper de Graaf
Kasper de Graaf
Kasper is a writer and producer with wide experience of innovation in cities, industry and institutions. He has delivered innovation schemes in Vancouver, Istanbul, London, Manchester, Glasgow and numerous other cities. Kasper led the South Bank IQ research study about innovation in South London and co-authored the study ‘Creating a Manchester Design Manifesto’ with Lou Cordwell. He is a director of the design group Images&Co and the arts and culture organisation 2NQ, a steering board Member of the UK Design Action Plan ( and vice-chair of the Finsbury Park Trust. He has produced Design Manchester’s annual public debate about design and society since 2014 and chaired it since 2018. [Photo: Jake Bernard]


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