Before purchasing the 650 acres that would become Stanford University, former California governor Leland Stanford made a bet on whether all four of a racehorse’s hooves come off of the ground simultaneously. For $1.1MM in today’s dollars, Stanford hired the top photographer on the West Coast, Eadweard Muybridge, to prove it.
On June 15 1878, Muybridge set up a line of cameras with tripwires, each of which would trigger a picture for a split second as the horse ran past. The results (above) clearly settled the debate. The horse ‘flew’ and Leland Stanford won his bet.
Muybridge’s early photography led to a connected chain of new innovations in optics, video, broadcasting, displays, etc. These innovations have provided the infrastructure for the information rich and globally interconnected world we live in today.
The smartphone is a symbol of our interconnected information-based age. Muybridge’s horse, and Leland Stanford’s bet, are emblematic of the human curiosity that leads to new technology. This pairing of curiosity, science, and risk has achieved great things so far. At SGVC, we believe the ride is just beginning as we enter a new cycle of innovation. Saddle up, and prepare for a fun ride.