THE SCIENTIFIC ORIGIN OF MOVING PICTURES
Eadweard Muybridge began his experiments in instantaneous photography in California in 1872 and subsequently carried them forward at the University of Pennsylvania, which provided him with grants amounting to more than $40,000. We thus have an instance in which scientific investigation supported by a university has been the origin of an enterprise of immense practical and commercial importance. The annual receipts from moving-picture shows in the United States are about $150,000,000; a royalty of ten per cent, on these receipts would defray the entire cost of all the real university and research work in this country.
The experiments of Muybridge at the University of Pennsylvania were originally undertaken to study animal locomotion, and in this direction were of much importance, both for science and for art. Painters and sculptors should represent men and animals as they appear to the eye, not as they appear in instantaneous photographs; but the knowledge of the position of the body in movement, first learned through such pictures, is of value to the artist comparable with a knowledge of anatomy. Several of the original pictures taken by Muybridge are here reproduced from original plates in the possession of the University of Pennsylvania, by the courtesy of Mr. George Nitzsche, recorder of the university, who has contributed to Old Penn an article describing the methods used.
On the grounds of the University of Pennsylvania a shed was built, about 120 feet in length, painted black with a net-work of white threads. Opposite the shed was the camera-house, shown in the illustration, in which were 24 cameras, each having a lens.3-inches in diameter. The cameras were operated electrically by a motor clock, so that twelve successive exposures could be made in one fifth of a second. In some cases three batteries of cameras were arranged so that simultaneous views from different positions were obtained. Thus in one of the pictures here reproduced the stride of a walking horse is shown in 36 different photographs, twelve successive positions being reproduced from three points of view. There is similarly shown the front and side views of movements in making a high jump. Instantaneous pictures of animal locomotion were subsequently made by M. Marey in Paris, who used a sensitized film, so that a succession of pictures could be taken with a single lens. Mr. Edison later applied the film to the kinetoscope and to projecting moving pictures on a screen with a lantern.
|Building Showing Battery of Twenty four Cameras.||Photographic Camera Divided into Compartments, each having a lens of the same construction, and arranged to correspond with the compartments in the Electro Photographic Exposors.|