Stereoscopic spark drum camera, French, 1903.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Devised by Lucien Bull (Etienne Jules Marey's (1830-1904) asistant), this camera took 54 pairs of pictures at up to 2000 frames per second and was the first to analyse the wing beats of insects. The insect was illuminated by a succesion of very bright electrical sparks, fired off by means of the rotary contacter at the side of the camera. The drum was driven at up to 40 revolutions a second.