New Delhi: The series of galloping horse images on the Google home page that seems to spring to life at the press of the play button is there as it is the 182nd birth anniversary of Eadweard J Muybridge (the J stands for James), the man behind the first ever galloping horse moving image (also the American bison cantering and more).
A man of many names, he began his life as Edward James Muggeridge and the name on his tombstone reads Eadweard Maybridge. However, he is most popularly known as Eadweard Muybridge, the creator of the zoopraxiscope - an early variation of (can also be considered to be the first) the movie projector. Muybridge first demonstrated the zoopraxiscope in 1879.
A galloping horse and a murder were the two highlights of Muybridge's life (he was born on April 9, 1830 and died on May 8, 1904). He killed a man, who was his wife's lover and was later acquitted, not as a result of the insanity plea that he had put forward but because the jury believed that the murder could be categorised as 'justifiable homicide.'
The Eadweard J Muybridge Google doodle merges one of the earliest forms of video with modern day Web technology.
The galloping horse, that is also the inspiration behind the Eadweard J Muybridge Google doodle, was an experiment called 'Sallie Gardner at a Gallop' that finally put to rest the debate over whether a horse's all four hooves get off the ground at the same time while it trots. The answer was a yes, as proved by a series of 24 photographs that was later shown on Muybridge's zoopraxiscope.
The galloping horse was actually a mare, owned by the then Governor of California Leland Stanford, called Sallie Gardner and a man called Domm was the jockey riding her.
A zoopraxiscope is a circular disc with a sequence of images and when the disc is rotated it gives an impression of motion.
Later developments in film projection such as Thomas Edison and William Kennedy Dickson's Kinetoscope drew inspiration from Muybridge's zoopraxiscope and therefore the English photographer has been recognised as a pioneer in photographic studies of motion and motion-picture projection.
The Google doodle may to some not count as a video doodle, that is if we go by the present day understanding of Web video but it is a video doodle as it exemplifies the base on of all video - that is a series of images played back at a high speed giving the human eye the impression that the objects in the video are in motion.
This 21-cell doodle doodle that merges one of the earliest forms of video with the power of the Web also gives an apparition of the Google logo using the Google colours (blue, red, yellow and green) on selected boxes.
According to our calculations, the Eadweard J Muybridge doodle is the 1344th Google doodle since the first ever 14 years ago.The 12 frames Google used to create the zoopraxiscope-like video effect
A GIF animation of Eadweard Muybridge galloping horse created by Waugsberg (Source: Wikimedia)
Muybridge's zoopraxiscope on display at Kingston Museum
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