Eadweard Muybridge

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Eadweard J. Muybridge (pronounced /ˌɛdwərd ˈmaɪbrɪdʒ/; 9 April 1830 – 8 May 1904) was an English-born photographer who spent much of his life in the United States. He is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion which used multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip.[2]


Early life and career

Muybridge was born Edward James Muggeridge at Kingston upon Thames, London, England on April 9, 1830. He is believed to have changed his first name to match that of King Eadweard as shown on the plinth of the Kingston coronation stone, which was re-erected in Kingston in 1850.[3] Although he did not change his first name until the 1870s, he changed his surname to Muygridge early in his San Francisco career and then changed it again to Muybridge at the launch of his photographic career or during the years between.

In 1855 Muybridge arrived in San Francisco, starting his career as a publisher's agent and bookseller. He left San Francisco at the end of that decade, and, after a stagecoach accident in which he received severe head injuries, returned to England for a few years. While recuperating back in England, he seriously took up photography sometime between 1861 and 1866, where he learned the wet-collodion process.[4][5] He reappeared in San Francisco in 1866 with the name Muybridge and rapidly became successful in photography, focusing principally on landscape and architectural subjects, although his business cards also advertised his services for portraiture.[6] His photographs were sold by various photographic entrepreneurs on Montgomery Street (most notably the firm of Bradley & Rulofson), San Francisco's main commercial street, during those years.

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