Talking pictures : how they are made, how to appreciate them (c. 1937)

Record Details:

Something wrong or inaccurate about this page? Let us Know!

Thanks for helping us continually improve the quality of the Lantern search engine for all of our users! We have millions of scanned pages, so user reports are incredibly helpful for us to identify places where we can improve and update the metadata.

Please describe the issue below, and click "Submit" to send your comments to our team! If you'd prefer, you can also send us an email to with your comments.

We use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) during our scanning and processing workflow to make the content of each page searchable. You can view the automatically generated text below as well as copy and paste individual pieces of text to quote in your own work.

Text recognition is never 100% accurate. Many parts of the scanned page may not be reflected in the OCR text output, including: images, page layout, certain fonts or handwriting.

Talking Pictures once. The controversy brought about a wager of twenty-five thousand dollars. To settle the wager, Eadweard Muybridge, a San Francisco photographer, was employed. Muybridge's first efforts to get a series of action photographs failed. The plates of the time had a speed of only one twelfth of a second. In 1877 the experiments were resumed. The photo- graphic plate was now fast enough to record the move- ments of a speeding horse. But shutters and lenses and the photographer were too slow. Muybridge got many photographs, mostly of fast-moving noses and tails! One vague picture, however, showing a horse with all four feet off the ground, spurred Governor Stanford on in his experiments. He decided to try to get various sections of the horse's stride by using a row of cameras. The camera shutters were connected by strings which the horse was to break as he ran. But the strings broke at the wrong time and frightened the horses. Stanford controlled the Central Pacific Railway. Arthur Brown was chief engineer of the road. When Stanford wanted things he just asked his boys to deliver. Brown took Engineer John D. Isaacs from an important bridge job to help Stanford win his big wager. Isaacs developed a method whereby the steel tire of a trotting sulky closed electrical contacts which operated each shutter of each camera in turn. The final number of pictures to a set was twenty-four. Ramsaye states that Stanford's expenditure was "something like $40,000." * Despite the mechanical part played by Isaacs in 1 Ramsaye, Terry. Op. cit., p. 37. [14]