Google Doodle Celebrates Eadweard J Muybridge’s 182nd Anniversary

The rather oddly spelled Eadweard J Muybridge might not be a name you're familiar with. Born Edward James Muggeridge, he changed his first and last name several times, and he was famous in the field of photography and early filmmaking.

Muybridge was born on this day in 1830, in Kingston upon Thames, but he spent much of his life in America.

After an early stint working in the book industry, he suffered a serious head injury in a stagecoach accident, and then began working in the field of photography, where he soon became famous.

He then became involved in taking a step towards the birth of the motion picture, when called upon by Leland Stanford - ex-Governor of California and a race horse owner - to settle a debate about whether a horse's hooves all left the ground at once, at any point during its gallop.

Click play on the animated Google doodle on the search page, and you'll see a bank of animations of his stop-motion photography which illustrated that the hooves do indeed all leave the ground at the same time. The horse is briefly airborne when all the hooves are tucked underneath it.

Coloured frames of the animation spell out the Google logo, or a rough approximation of it, on the search home page.

He may be (relatively) famous now, but Muybridge's life wasn't an easy one. Stanford didn't give him credit for his horse-based stop-motion work, and he was later convicted of murdering his wife's lover. He passed away in 1904.