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Spanning Time by Chris Weston

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Introduction

Back in the nineteenth century, there was a hotly contested debate doing the rounds on the subject of whether all four feet of a horse at trot or gallop were off the ground at the same time. The problem was, the movement of horses’ legs was too fast for the eye to see.

One of the participants in the debate was the former governor of California, racehorse owner Leland Stanford (of Stanford University fame). In 1872 Stanford hired a British-born photographer, Eadweard Muybridge (Edward Muggeridge), to try and settle the debate once and for all. This Muybridge did with a single frame that showed one of Stanford’s horses, Occident, fully airborne while trotting.

Leland Stanford employed Muybridge to settle a debate about horses, which ...

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