I was walking in the tube - I can't remember whether it was the time after my xmas lunch with various editors or after our Christmas party, when I saw this photo on a poster. I was fascinated, I stopped to look at the images. I loved it, it was intriguing and different, pictures of people or animals in motion - 'moving pictures'.
Eadweard Muybridge lived in the 19th century and was from Kingston - if I had bothered visiting the local museum, I would have known that!
His motivation was to prove that a horse could fly - not as crazy as it sounds - he reckoned that in the galoping motion, a horse had all four hoves off the ground, but the motion was too quick for the human eye to capture.
So he set up an elaborate device to photograph a motion under three different angles - he also invited a device - called a zoopraxiscope to show played the motion pictures in a form of animation - a few years before film strips were invented.
(For the record, apparently, the first device ever invented was in 1870 and was called a Praxinoscope, while Myubridge's Zoopraxiscope was invented in 1878 - both devices were at the origin of cinema).
Muybridge not only proved that a horse is indeed airborne for a split second but more extraordinarily, what he really achieved despite himself is 'motion pictures', which he referred to as locomotion or moving-picture. His method is the 'technology' that was used in shooting the film the Matrix. So there, you all learned something new :)
The Top Ten Most Beautiful Libraries - CK, I thought of you when I saw this.