The Inventor and the Tycoon

The Inventor and the Tycoon

A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures

Book - 2013
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Random House, Inc.

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.

Baker & Taylor
The National Book Award-winning author of Slaves in the Family presents a narrative account of the partnership between stop-motion photography inventor Eadweard Muybridge and railroad tycoon and California Governor Leland Stanford, discussing Stanford's obsession with studying running horses and the sensational murder trial of Muybridge that helped launch the age of visual media.

Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780767929400
Branch Call Number: 777 BAL
Characteristics: 446 p. cm


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Aug 03, 2014

I didn't expect to be enthralled by a history of 2 19th century men, but Edward Ball's masterful storytelling kept me engaged. I learned about these two historical figures; I also learned about the strange justice system and state government of early California. Great read.

LaBeteNoir Jul 23, 2013

Good way to understand history through the connection of two men representing 2 new 19th century forces, expansion of railroads and birth of moving photography. Doesn't hurt that a little scandal is thrown in, one of men is a murderer.


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