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High Speed Motion Pictures With Stroboscopic Light

Major collection: Science & Technology
Named collection: Harold E. Edgerton Collection
Object type: film: 16mm
Maker: Edgerton, Harold Eugene
Place made: United States, Massachusetts, Cambridge, MIT, Electrical Engineering Dept.
Date made: 1936 circa
Materials: Kodak positive print

A silent black & white film that is a composite of research and documentary footage demonstrating the use of stroboscopic light to study machinery and the use of high-speed photography to capture movement too fast to be seen with the naked eye. Includes footage of smoke moving though fan blades, spring vibrations, gasoline engine springs, machinery oscillations, the bursting of a soap bubble, a canary in flight, multiple objects being dropped into milk, a cat falling, fighting roosters, a snake's tongue, breaking light bulbs and water leaving a spout. This is a more polished film with titles, which likely dates 1936-1939. The original film is a 16 mm Kodak positive print. Details: 2:59:51 Title "Taken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Electrical Engineering Dept.) Stroboscopic Light" against a night image of the Great Dome 2:59:56 Title "An electric fan observed with a Stroboscope." against a night image of the Great Dome of MIT. 2:59:59 Footage of an electrical fan. 3:00:07 Title "Smoke shows the passage of air through the blades." 3:00:12 Smoke passing through fan blades with stroboscopic light. 3:00:23 Title "A closer view." 3:00:25 A closer image of smoke passing through fan blades 3:00:41 Title "The vibrations of springs are usually so rapid that they appear as a blur." 3:00: 47 A spring mechanism is set into motion 3:00:53 Title "Stroboscopic light apparently slows down the motion." 3:00:56 The vibrations of springs under stroboscopic light 3:01:09 Title "A spring has many modes of vibration." 3:01:13 Film showing the changes in apparent vibration of a spring under different frequencies of stroboscopic light. 3:01:18 Title "The valve springs of a gasoline engine." 3:01:22 Film showing the movements of springs in a gasoline engine. 3:01:25 Title "The stroboscope shows surges." 3:01:27 Film showing the movement of gasoline engine springs under stroboscopic light 3:01:51 Title "The stroboscope is useful for studying electrical machinery." 3:01:56 Footage of heavy machinery observed using a stroboscopic light. 3:02:05 Title "Oscillations are evident when the motor is synchronized." 3:02:09 A man [probably Kenneth Germeshausen] adjusts machinery at a large control panel, and a stroboscope shows the change in oscillations on the machine. 3:02:24 Title "The flashes of light from the stroboscope are so quick that they "stop" all motion." 3:02:32 Title "This property permits photographs to be taken upon a moving film." 3:02:39 Title "A camera utilizing this principle has been constructed at M.I.T." 3:02:45 Unidentified man preparing and adjusting a high-speed camera. 3:02:54 Title "The film races by the lens at a speed of 75 feet per second." 3:03:00 A demonstration of how quickly the film moves through the high-speed camera. 3:03:06 Title "A commutator controls the instant of flashing so that the pictures are framed for projection." 3:03:13 Demonstration of a commutator hooked to the camera, with a man gesturing to how the mechanism would work. 3:03:20 Title "The high-speed camera is capable of slowing down the fast motions of many subjects besides those of engineering and scientific interest." 3:03:31 Title "A series of interesting subjects follow-" 3:03:35 Title "The bursting of a soap bubble by a small object." 3:03:40 The filming of a bursting soap bubble. 3:03:50 Title "The collapse of a soap bubble is too quick to be seen."


Related Objects

Slow motion film photography

Related People

thumbnail Edgerton, Harold Eugene
1903-1990; electrical engineer; professor