Movies, United States

Moving Pictures

“I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end.”(Star Wars The last Jedi Trailer). If one said the name Eadweard Muybridge, would you know who that is? Well if you do not know who that is he is the creator and spark to what we call the movies today. Just think if their was no Star Wars, Hunger Games, and any other popular movies. We would not have any of these if it was not for Muybridge. Muybridge made a big impact of how he created moving pictures but no one really knows that he is the creator of film.

Eadweard Muybridge did not just start out being the creator of motion pictures. He started out small and started getting bigger in popularity as he got older. What got him big was when he started to become friends with Leland Stanford. Which made him shoot up in popularity and fame. Which got his name now worth something. Well one may be asking how come i do not know him now. Honestly he should be well known for creating moving pictures, which is our movies, TV shows, and computers now with out Eadweard Muybridge we would be very deficient in electronics perspective.

Eadweard Muybridge had a interesting life born on April 9, 1830 in England. His parents were John and Suzan Muggeridge. Eadweard Muybridge was a successful bookseller but he decided to change his surname to Muybridge from Muggeridge. He was doing well but then he got head injuries from a stagecoach accident in 1860. His injury caused vision and confusion so his bookselling did not do so good after that. That is when he moved to San Francisco to start his career as a photographer.

One may wonder what made Eadweard Muybridge even have any idea to create moving pictures. He was not even affiliated with the photography business until he got head injuries in 1860. Then he got very interested into photography because he had nothing else to do. As he got famous with photography in late 1800’s he met the California Governor Leland Stanford. Leland Stanford had a bet with someone about horses to solve the bet, he asked Muybridge to help him solve if all four hooves touch the ground when a horse gallops. Leland Stanford believed that all four hooves touch the ground when a horse gallops but he was not fully sure so him and Muybridge decided to photograph horses at the perfect time to find out for sure. Muybridge could not get the timing right when he took a photo of the horse running. He went to University of Pennsylvania to do more research he also published 7 different books about motion pictures. He finally found a method to take a picture of the running horse and he called it the Zoopraxiscope. The Zoopraxiscope is pictures on a wheel and light shines behind it and the wheel moves and the pictures change. It’s just like moving pictures when it rotates. If  Muybridge did not create this one would wonder what the world would be like now, maybe with no movie theaters.

Almost no one knows the name Muybridge but everyone knows the name Thomas Edison. Even though Thomas Edison is the creator of the light bulb his impact was like no other compared to the impact of Muybridge. Almost every single person in the world has been to the Movie theaters and or watched TV. It is all moving pictures which Eadweard Muybridge technically created. We all use it in everyday life if it’s just watching a actual movie or just TV. However, no one still knows the person who created it all for us. It is a huge factor for us as a society. Even has a author people in today’s society do not know Muybridge

Eadweard Muybridge had a major impact to his society when he first came out with the Zoopraxiscope. The first motion picture that started it was the horse and it running, then it went to other animals running. From the animals it jumped straight to people dancing, running and fighting. People felt like they were actually watching it happen. He started out with small machines around in public. People would enter some coins and would then be able to watch one of these moving pictures. Then Eadweard Muybridge thought of a better idea. He decided to do show in front of crowds of people in a room. Which that’s what started the idea of movie theaters. It was knew to people to meet in a large dark room to watch a animal run or people dance in moving pictures. This then became a very successful company.

Eadweard Muybridge had a very successful life until, he died on May 8, 1904. He died from prostate cancer in his hometown. Before Eadweard Muybridge died, he murdered major Harry Larkyns, who was his wife’s lover. He was acquitted into a jury trial for homicide. He sparked other people to keep adding on to what he did with moving pictures which soon advanced to movies and TV’s.

Almost everyone can agree Muybridge evolved our world into something else. He created one of the most important types of entertainment in the world. It did not just influence America it influenced the whole world to have movies and TV shows and all the other moving picture stuff. Like video game is all a bunch of moving pictures. Think of all the things he opened up to society, more jobs, and entertainment like computers and all sorts of other things. Would we be nearly as advanced as we are today without Muybridge?

Article by Jason Garrahan

Works Cited

“Eadweard Muybridge.”, A&E Networks Television, 29 Sept. 2015,

“The Horse in Motion | 100 Photographs | The Most Influential Images of All Time.” Time, Time,


The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Eadweard Muybridge.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 16 May 2017,


  1. Eadweard Muybridge was a very important man to our society and I do not think that we would still be as advanced as we are today if he did not exist. I learned about this is my APUSH class with Mr. Hodgins and he told us all about Muybridge. He also told me how Edison interviewed him and stole his ideas and made a profit off of him.

  2. Eadweard Muybridge is definitely a historical figure with a lack of recognition. The way he paved towards the modern film technology we have today, and more specifically the invention of the motion picture itself, occurred because of four things happening simultaneously- innovation, industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. The making of more cities, the large amount of foreigners, and the impacts of railroads are some of the examples that contribute to these four categories. Furthermore, most do not know who the people watching these motion pictures actually were. It turns out that despite this being an exciting and successful invention, much of the audiences in the beginning were lower working class people and immigrants.