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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » The Horse in Motion

The Horse in Motion  (1882)

The trotting horse 'Occident' by Eadweard Muybridge

A groundbreaking piece of work from innovative photographer Eadweard Muybridge, The Horse in Motion is a series of stills featuring a galloping racehorse and was the first animal ever to be shown in a moving image format.

Born in Kingston upon Thames, Muybridge moved to America where he developed a pioneering technique to photograph the animal in fast motion after being hired by the Governor of California, Leland Stanford, to prove scientifically that when a horse gallops it does, in fact, become airborne. Parallel to the racing track, he aligned a series of fifty cameras, each with a specially designed rapid shutter, and by connecting them to trip wires lain across the track he ensured each one automatically took its own picture as the horse sped by and the string broke.

Projecting the pictures in rapid succession to reproduce the horse's motion, Muybridge did much more than just win Stanford the $25,000 he reportedly bet on the outcome - he laid the groundwork for the development of motion pictures cameras, and hence the entire cinematic industry.

Film credits

Photographer: Eadweard Muybridge

Related links

Eadweard Muybridge
Stills
The trotting horse 'Occident' by Eadweard Muybridge
The trotting horse 'Occident' by Eadweard...
Eadweard Muybridge's experimental track used during the production of The Horse in Motion
Eadweard Muybridge's experimental track used...
Eadweard Muybridge portrait
Eadweard Muybridge portrait
Eadweard Muybridge's operations room at his experimental track used during the making of The Horse in Motion
Eadweard Muybridge's operations room at his...