Guide to the Walter R. Miles Research concerning Eadweard Muybridge, 1928-1932

Processed by Special Collections staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Steven Mandeville-Gamble.
Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
Email: speccollref@stanford.edu
URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
© 2002
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Walter R. Miles Research concerning Eadweard Muybridge, 1928-1932

Collection number: M0736

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email: speccoll@sulmail.stanford.edu
  • URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
Processed by:
Special Collections staff
Encoded by:
Steven Mandeville-Gamble
© 2002 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Miles, Walter R. Research concerning Eadweard Muybridge,
Date (inclusive): 1928-1932
Collection number: M0736
Creator: Miles, Walter R.
Extent: 5 linear ft.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Abstract: Miles' correspondence about Muybridge, material about the Semi-Centenial Celebration and the invention of moving pictures, ephemera and published articles about Muybridge, and photographs and negatives including those used by Miles in his articles and publications about Muybridge.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

None.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the University of Akron, 1995.

Preferred Citation

Walter R. Miles Research concerning Eadweard Muybridge. M0736. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Biography

Walter Miles, a professor of experimental psychology at Stanford University, endeavored to memorialize Muybridge's work by establishing a permanent exhibit at the Stanford Museum and correspondingly hosting a 50th anniversary event.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Walter Miles Collection centers around the Semi-Centennial Celebration held during the year 1929 in honor of Eadweard Muybridge's work completed at Stanford University from 1877-1878. Muybridge was a pioneer in photographic technique, and his work with animals in motion at the Palo Alto Stock Farm, later part of the campus of Stanford University, led directly to the development of motion pictures, a monumental advancement in photographic history. Walter Miles, a professor of experimental psychology, endeavored to memorialize Muybridge's work by establishing a permanent exhibit at the Stanford Museum and correspondingly hosting a 50th anniversary event, or the Semi-Centennial Celebration. Miles set out to collect any material that related to Muybridge's time spent at Stanford, i.e. photographs, letters, notes, personal memoranda, etc. His correspondence, and the responses he received, represent the bulk of this collection. This correspondence is important because of the many discrepancies about the credit given to Muybridge for his work done in the development of the motion picture technique. The basis of the dispute arose from a fraudulently patented camera device (patented by Muybridge) which made consecutive instantaneous exposures on film. John D. Isaacs, a mechanical engineer working for the Southern Pacific Railroad, developed the mechanical devices to enable such consecutive exposures to be made; however, Muybridge was the one to patent the instrument. The correspondence from John D. Isaacs and his daughter, Lillian Isaacs Morris, center upon this dispute. Another problematic issue revealed in this collection is the publication of the book The Horse in Motion. Muybridge, who was instrumental in the technique of photographing animals in motion, in particular Leland Stanford's horses, was omitted from the title page of The Horse in Motion, authored by J. D. B. Stillman. Muybridge was deeply offended by this ommission and proceeded to file suit against Leland Stanford and the publisher of the book, James R. Osgood and Company. Correspondence regarding this lawsuit, between Stanford and Stillman, and the depositions of this lawsuit, appear in this collection. (An in depth treatment of Muybridge's involvement with Leland Stanford, his work completed at the Palo Alto Stock Farm, and the eventual legal battles between Muybridge and Stanford, can be found in the book Leland Stanford by George T. Clark [Stanford University Press, 1931], chapter entitled "Animal Locomotion and Muybridge.") Of Muybridge's personal history, Miles received an account of Muybridge's murder of Major Harry Larkyn from Johnston & Johnston Attorneys at Law. In one letter of correspondence, dated December 30th, 1927, H. L. Johnston and L. E. Johnston go into lengthy detail about the cause of the murder and the subsequent release of the 1st degree murder charges against Muybridge due to the brilliant oratory display by his lawyer, Pendegast. Regarding the actual Semi-Centennial event, the inclusion of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was considered to be crucial in the ceremony. This organization owed its existence to Muybridge for his work in motion pictures, and among the individuals present at the Semi-Centennial Celebration was Louis B. Mayer, motion-picture studio executive. Photographs of Louis B. Mayer attending the ceremony can be found within this collection. Related also to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is Miles' correspondence with such figures as Lester Cowan and Frank Woods. Besides correspondence, this collection contains many of the published articles and ephemera that Miles received concerning photographic technique and Muybridge's history. Among such ephemera is Muybridge's patent established June 27th, 1878 entitiled: "Improvement in the Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in Motion." Included also are Miles' notes, speeches to be given at the Semi-Centennial Celebration, and various newspaper articles and bulletins. Photographs and negatives represent a large part of this collection. Many of the photographs and negatives, such as the horse in motion, Muybridge, the Stanford-Muybridge motion picture studio at Palo Alto Stock Farm, and a series of portraits of various personages involved in the Stanford-Muybridge history, were used by Miles in his articles and publications. The portraits he used included such figures as Eadweard Muybridge, J. B. Stillman, and John D. Isaacs. Of distinct nature in this collection is one box of 18 nitrate negatives, one box of 32 glass positives, and one box of 9 photographic half-tone printing blocks. The nitrate negatives and glass negatives are fragile, and must be handled with care.

Access Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Cowan, Lester.
Isaacs, John D.
Mayer, Louis B. (Louis Burt), 1855-1957.
Muybridge, Eadweard, 1830-1904.
Stanford, Leland, 1824-1893.
Stillman, J.D.B. (Jacob Davis Babcock), 1819-1888.
Woods, Frank.
Motion pictures--History.
Photography.
Science--History.
Photoprints.


Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Correspondence

Box 1, Folder 1

Correspondence, Johnston & Johnston Attorneys at Law, re.Muybridge shooting of Major Harry LarkynDec. 1927

Box 1, Folder 2

Correspondence (1928-29) and Depositions (ca. 1882-83) re. Stanford v. Muybridge lawsuit1882 - 1929

Box 1, Folder 3

Historical letters, ca. 1882-1883, between Leland Stanford and John Stillman re. Stanford v. Muybridge lawsuit

Physical Description: (photocopies).
Box 1, Folder 4

Correspondence, 1892-1896

Scope and Content Note

(incoming Muybridge correspondence from various museum curators and scientists exhorting the value of Muybridge's work, The Science of Animal Locomotion).
Box 1, Folder 5

Correspondence, 1929-1930

Scope and Content Note

re. personal accounts of Muybridge's photographic technique; also clippings and notes re. development of motion pictures.
Box 1, Folder 6

Correspondence and addresses re. Muybridge Dedication at Kingston-Upon-Thames, 1931-1932

Box 1, Folder 7

Correspondence: John D. Isaacs, 1915-1916,

Scope and Content Note

Contains related biographical information. Includes correspondence by Isaacs' daughter, Lillian Isaacs Morris, to Walter Miles, defending her father, dated June 30, 1929.
Box 1, Folder 8

Correspondence with England (Will Day)1928-1929

Box 1, Folder 9

Correspondence re. semi-centennial celebration of Muybridge at Stanford. (incoming and outgoing) 1928-1929

Box 1, Folder 10

Correspondence re. semi-centennial celebration of Muybridge at Stanford. (incoming and outgoing) 1928-1929

Box 1, Folder 11

Correspondence re. semi-centennial celebration of Muybridge at Stanford. (incoming and outgoing) 1928-1929

Box 1, Folder 12

Correspondence re. semi-centennial celebration of Muybridge at Stanford. (incoming and outgoing) 1928-1929

Box 1, Folder 13

Correspondence re. semi-centennial celebration of Muybridge at Stanford. (incoming and outgoing) 1928-1929

Box 1, Folder 14

Correspondence re. semi-centennial celebration of Muybridge at Stanford. (incoming and outgoing) 1928-1929

Box 1, Folder 15

Correspondence re. semi-centennial celebration of Muybridge at Stanford. (incoming and outgoing) 1928-1929

Box 1, Folder 16

Correspondence, Lester Cowan, 1928

Scope and Content Note

(incoming and outgoing).
Box 1, Folder 17

Correspondence, Lester Cowan, 1929

Scope and Content Note

(incoming and outgoing).
Box 1, Folder 18

Correspondence, Francis X. Dercum, 1928-1929

Scope and Content Note

(incoming and outgoing).
Box 1, Folder 19

Correspondence, Caspar Dickson, 1925-1929

Scope and Content Note

(incoming and outgoing).
Box 1, Folder 20

Correspondence, Timothy Hopkins, 1928-1929

Scope and Content Note

(incoming and outgoing).
Box 1, Folder 21

Correspondence, Janet Leigh, 1929-1956.

Box 1, Folder 22

Correspondence, Robert E. Swain, 1928-1929.

Box 1, Folder 23

Correspondence, Charles R. Toothaker, 1928-1929

Scope and Content Note

(incoming and outgoing).
Box 1, Folder 24

Correspondence, Ray Lyman Wilbur and Herbert Hoover, 1928-1929

Scope and Content Note

(outgoing).
Box 1, Folder 25

Correspondence, Frank Woods, 1928-1929.

Box 1, Folder 26

Correspondence, miscellaneous, 1929-1939.

 

Series 2. Ephemera & research material for Semi-centennial celebration

Box 1, Folder 27

Notes re. semi-centennial organization.

Box 1, Folder 28

Semi-centennial celebration public announcements.

Box 1, Folder 29

University of Southern California course: "Introduction to the Photoplay," February 6th, 1929.

Box 2, Folder 1

Miles Articles and Addresses (drafts) for Semi-Centennial Celebration.

Box 2, Folder 2

Accompanying articles re. Muybridge and Semi-Centennial Celebration.

Box 2, Folder 3

Joseph D. Grant speech at Semi-Centennial Celebration.

Box 2, Folder 4

Miles: Bibliography cards and notes.

Box 2, Folder 5

"Early Photography," Goldschmidt & Co. Catalogue, ca. 1939.

Box 2, Folder 6

"Serial Numbers of the Plates in Animal Locomotion."

Box 2, Folder 7

"The Science of Animal Locomotion (Zoopraxography)" / by Eadweard Muybridge, ca. 1883

Box 2, Folder 7

"Animal Locomotion" / by Eadward Muybridge, ca. 1887

Scope and Content Note

(includes catalogue of plates); misc. articles by Muybridge.
Box 2, Folder 8

"United States Patent Office: Improvement in the Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in Motion," June 27, 1878.

Box 2, Folder 9

Negative Xerox's of articles re. Horse in Motion from various publications,ca. 1881-1912.

Box 2, Folder 10

Muybridge medal, 1830

Scope and Content Note

Includes associated documents.
Box 2, Folder 11

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Bulletins: Sept. 1928, Oct. 1928, Nov. 1928, Dec. 1929, Jan. 1929; Premier Publication, Nov. 1927.; "The Motion Picture," ca. 1929.1928 - 1929

Box 2, Folder 12

"Los Angeles Times Annual Preview [of Motion Pictures], April 23, 1929.

Box 2, Folder 13

Palo Alto Times, May 8, 1929

Box 2, Folder 13

Stanford Daily, May 8, 1929.

 

Series 3. Photographs & negatives

Box 2, Folder 14

Print (Photocopy ?), Muybridge copyright, horse in motion, ca. 1881.

Box 2, Folder 15

Stanford-Muybridge motion picture studio at Stanford; 2 maps of Stanford Farm.

Box 2, Folder 16

Muybridge Apparatus at Kingston Library; Muybridge memorial - Walter Keyte photographs (incl. correspondence, 7/9/1932).

Box 2, Folder 17

Muybridge shutters (before, during, after exposure)

Scope and Content Note

incl. 1 negative
Box 2, Folder 18

Muybridge motion picture apparatus.

Box 2, Folder 19

Front cover and frontispiece of "The Attitudes of Animals in Motion" / by Leland Stanford

Box 2, Folder 19

"The Action of the Horse" / by Muybridge and various photographs from book.

Box 2, Folder 20

Horse in Motion; Muybridge with pick-axe; Muybridge with model.

Box 2, Folder 21

Photograph of corr. from Muybridge to Mrs. W. W. Pendegast, May 1876.

Box 2, Folder 22

Semi-centennial celebration (with Louis B. Mayer) at Stanford, ca. 1929.

Box 2, Folder 23

Portraits: J. B. Stillman; Muybridge; John D. Isaacs; Leland Stanford (photograph of painting); unidentified negative; unidentified man in field.

Box 2, Folder 24

Two men posing in front of memorial sculpture (unidentified).

 

Series 4. Publications & miscellaneous

Box 3

"U.S. Camera 1937."

Box 3, Folder 1

Notebook (Walter Miles?); Miles' notes on Semi-Centennial Celebration.

Box 3, Folder 2

"The Stanford-Muybridge Motion Pictures of 1878-1879," by Walter R. Miles,

Physical Description: (3 copies).
Box 3, Folder 3

"The Bulletin: Architucture, Engineering, Surveying," September 1929.

Box 3, Folder 4

"Time," May 13, 1929.

Box 3, Folder 5

Magazine clipping: "Look,"(ca. 1952) - Motion Picture Pioneers.

Box 3, Folder 6

"Science," Friday, August 30, 1929

Physical Description: (3 copies).
Box 3, Folder 7

"The Will Day Historical Collection of Cinematograph and Moving Picture Equipment," 1930

Scope and Content Note

Includes caricature of Will Day).
Box 3, Folder 8

"For Your Confidential Information": A Letter to Roger W. Babson from Carl E. Milliken, May 7, 1929

Physical Description: (2 copies)

Scope and Content Note

Includes accompanying correspondence).
Box 3, Folder 9

"International Photographer," June 19, 1929

Physical Description: (2 copies).
Box 3, Folder 10

"The Stanford Illustrated Review," June 1929

Physical Description: (3 copies).
Box 3, Folder 11

"Distribution of Electricity," January 1932.

Box 3, Folder 12

Miscellaneous clippings and flyers.

 

Series 5. Nitrate Negatives

Box 4, Folder 1

18 Nitrate negatives (used in publication by Miles).

 

Series 6. Glass Positives

Box 5

Glass positives (Print box)

Physical Description: 32 slides and a few small fragments.
 

Series 7. Printing Blocks

Box 6

Photographic half-tone printing blocks

Physical Description: 9 printing blocks and 1 rubber stamp.
 

Series 8. Oversize ephemera

Box 7

"The Times Film Number," London Edition, March 19, 1929.