Galloping horses, Zoopraxiscope disc no 42, 1893.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Derived from the chronophotographs made by the photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904), this disc was one of several made for the Zoopraxiscope projector which Muybridge designed in 1879. The Zoopraxiscope was devised to project on a screen a cycle of natural human and animal movements from a series of still photographs. Based on the principle of the Phenakistoscope, the Zoopraxiscope had a counter-rotating shutter which briefly flashed each image onto the screen as the disc rotated. Muybridge gave highly succesful lectures with this apparatus for many years. He was the first photographer to carry out the analysis of movement by sequence photography, an important stage in the invention of cinematography.