Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), the pioneering photographer who changed the history of the moving image, was born and grew up in Kingston upon Thames. He moved to the United States in 1852 where he developed his interest in analytical motion photography, eventually producing in the 1880s an exhaustive series of photographs, Animal Locomotion. The most famous of these were his galloping horse pictures and later experimented in synthesising motion from photography to prove the authenticity of them.
Zoopraxiscope courtesy of Kingston Museum (click on thumbnail to obtain a larger image)
He did this using the Zoopraxiscope, a device which projected a series of images from glass discs, basically a projecting version of the old Phenakisticsope or ‘spinning picture disk’. In the 1890s he returned to Kingston and on his death in 1904 left his equipment and prints to Kingston Museum. The museum displays the original Zoopraxiscope moving image projector, Muybridge’s biunial lantern with which he delivered his famous lecture tours on the ‘Attitudes of Animals in Motion’, a rare panorama of San Francisco (1878) and assorted packing crates and ephemera. The reserve collection (viewable by appointment) includes Muybridge’s lantern slides, zoopraxiscope discs, prints and a newspaper cutting book which Muybridge kept of his career and achievements.