The Inventor and the Tycoon: The Murderer Eadweard Muybridge, the Entrepreneur Leland Stanford, and the Birth of Moving Pictures

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Nov 5, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
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A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book of the Year

Nearly 140 years ago, in frontier California, photographer Eadweard Muybridge captured time with his camera and played it back on a flickering screen, inventing the breakthrough technology of moving pictures. Yet the visionary inventor Muybridge was also a murderer who killed coolly and meticulously, and his trial became a national sensation. Despite Muybridge’s crime, the artist’s patron, railroad tycoon Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University, hired the photographer to answer the question of whether the four hooves of a running horse ever left the ground all at once—and together these two unlikely men launched the age of visual media. Written with style and passion by National Book Award-winner Edward Ball, this riveting true-crime tale of the partnership between the murderer who invented the movies and the robber baron who built the railroads puts on display the virtues and vices of the great American West.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - melydia - LibraryThing

More or less the story of the strange relationship between railroad magnate Leland Stanford and solitary photographer Eadweard Muybridge. I thought I'd like it - the time period and subject matter are ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lissabeth21 - LibraryThing

The strange and innumerable circumstances that bring two disparate people into each others' lives at just the right time are miraculous; and yet we can find evidence of these types of meetings ... Read full review

Contents

The Stanford Entertainment
5
The Yellow Jacket Murder
22
God of the Sun
34
Harnessing the Elephant
52
The Photographer
73
Flora Downs
92
Harry Larkyns
129
The Octopus
145
Verdicts
276
The Horse Lovers
291
Prestidigitator
324
Motion Study
342
Celluloid
362
Acknowledgments
393
Notes
395
The Grocer 2 oo Chapter 14 The Immigrant 2 21
404

Little Harry
155
Chapter 11 King Eadweard
170
Marital Rights
190
The Trial
243
The Speculator
260
Bibliography
415
Illustration Credits
427
Index
433
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Edward Ball is the author of several books of history and biography, including the bestselling National Book Award-winning Slaves in the Family. Born and raised in the South, he lives in Connecticut and teaches at Yale University.

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