No. 474
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 06, 2020

Unsupported Transit.

August 19, 2013
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Chapter 2
"The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan Mandijn This week's Link Dump is ready to take flight! Photo: Nancy Hendrickson, via State Historical Society of North Dakota An eerily prescient science-fiction story from a century ago. How Nathaniel Bentley became Dirty Dick.  And just keep your X-rated punchlines to yourself. "Be careful for what you wish for," Byzantine style. Until just
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Strange Company - 6/5/2020


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The most interesting manhole covers are the ones that tell us who made it and when it was put in place: the name of an ironworks company, the initials of a city department, a date. This cover, on Central Park West south of 86th Street, doesn’t offer much in the way of clues. The two […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/31/2020
Sardinian scholar Sigismondo Arquer was burned at the stake in Toledo, Spain, on this date in 1571. Born in the capital of Spanish-governed Sardinia, this gentleman had a hereditary imperial knighthood but also an interest in humanism and religious heterodoxy well-calculated to annoy in Counter-Reformation Spain. Arquer’s map of his native city of Cagliari, for […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 6/4/2020

Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 12/29/2019
Emil Lowenstein was a barber in Brooklyn, NY who had persuaded his neighbor, John Weston, a one-armed Civil War veteran, to withdraw his life savings and travel upstate with him. The body of John Weston was found in a ravine in Watervliet, NY, soon after Lowenstein returned to Brooklyn, flush with cash. Lowenstein denied being in Watervliet with Weston and professed innocence to the end.
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Murder by Gaslight - 6/6/2020
"The soap fakir" Saint Paul Daily Globe June 3, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oapy" Smith, the soap fakir, is in the city" Just short of two months after leaving Creede, Colorado, Soapy Smith ended up in Saint Paul Minnesota. The Saint Paul Daily Globe of Saint Paul, Minnesota announces that bunco artist Soapy Smith is in the city. "Soapy" Smith, the soap fakir, is in the city,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 6/4/2020
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
A Bride’s Toggery. | She Had a High Old Time.

Unsupported Transit.

Occident

In 1872 Eadweard Muybridge photographed champion trotter Occident in mid-trot, answering the age old question of “unsupported transit”— does a running horse ever, simultaneously, have all four hooves off the ground?[more]

Eadweard MuybridgeEadweard Muybridge - 1870.

Leland Stanford, former governor of California and president of the Southern Pacific Railroad had recently added horsemanship to his list of credentials and had become fascinated with all aspects of a horse’s gait. He hired photographer Eadweard Muybridge to capture an image of his fastest trotter, Occident, pulling a sulky at full speed. Muybridge did not think it was possible but Stanford persuaded him to try.

After a number of failed attempts and a few semi-successes, Muybridge finally got the photograph that Stanford wanted. He devised a spring-loaded shutter—a novelty in itself—and attached it to a thread stretched across the track. When the horse made contact with the thread, it would trigger the shutter and expose the plate for a fraction of a second, catching the horse in mid-stride.

The resulting photograph showing Occident with all four hooves in the air was reported in newspapers across America and according to legend, won a $10,000 bet for Leland Stanford. The original photograph has not survived but the image was immortalized by the Currier and Ives print above.

Eadweard Muybridge continued to experimenting with motion photography. His motion studies of animals and humans contributed directly to the development of motion pictures.

He also stood trial for murdering his wife’s lover, but that is a story for another time and place.


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