Muybridge Patent Model

A pioneer in the development of the photography of motion, 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge worked to photograph humans or animals in motion. Muybridge's patent for the Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in Motion (No. 212, 865, Patented March 4, 1879) documented Muybridge's sliding-shutter mechanism and background panel used to photograph a horse in rapid motion "in order to determine the posture, position, and relation of their limbs in different proportions of their step or stride." The patent model is built in two different scales, showing the camera slides at one side and the track/grid background concept (with heavy thread trip cord) on the other. The horse would travel between them.
Object Name
Date made
Muybridge, Eadweard
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 12 in x 12 in x 12 in; 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm x 30.48 cm
Place Made
United States: California, Palo Alto
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Inventing In America
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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