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The Inventor and the Tycoon by Edward Ball

The Inventor and the Tycoon (2013)

by Edward Ball

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The strange and innumerable circumstances that bring two disparate people into each others' lives at just the right time are miraculous; and yet we can find evidence of these types of meetings throughout history. This story brings together two such men during a time of technological explosion and great scientific discovery. Each man's story was interesting on its own and is worthy of being told to future generations. However, in the short time where they came together, magic happened. When novel ideas and ingenuity meet adequate funding... the world is changed. In the case of Stanford and Mybridge, it was changed irrevocably and set the human race on its path to the future we currently inhabit. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
This work is about the Gilded Age and the birth of moving pictures. It describes an unlikely pair, the inventor of movies, and wealthy investor Leland Stanford. One was a killer; one was a dilettante. The work is well researched but equally well written and makes an intriguing read. Stanford was the reluctant public figure whereas our photographer was the itinerant publicity hound. The author makes an interesting case about Edison's reliance on the dilettante's idea for motion pictures. Their meetings even suggested the idea of synchronizing film and sound although the invention and combination of the two inventions were perfected long after both of the men met. The heart of the book remains the intriguing case of a blatant murderer who was acquitted and continued his erstwhile reinventions and career.

  gmicksmith | Nov 27, 2016 |
This book was interesting, but so disorganized. I learned a lot - about Leland Stanford, early photography, and the birth of motion pictures - but it was difficult to follow this disjointed story. I truly wish the author had simply told the tale chronologically, instead of jumping around with the murder trial as his focal point.
  wagner.sarah35 | Sep 12, 2016 |
An interesting look at the not so reputable man who invented moving pictures and Leland Stanford who encouraged him to do so. The back story was tedious, but the actual invention portion was good. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
An interesting look at the not so reputable man who invented moving pictures and Leland Stanford who encouraged him to do so. The back story was tedious, but the actual invention portion was good. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
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Mr. Ball details the story of the two men's [celebrated photographer Eadweard Muybridge and businessman, politician and philanthropist Leland Stanford] long association with sympathy and flair, yet he can't quite make a wholly convincing case for the significance of Muybridge in the one arena in which some people claim he was central: the invention of moving pictures.
added by sgump | editWall Street Journal, Simon Winchester (Feb 7, 2012)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385525753, Hardcover)

From the National Book Award-winning author of Slaves in the Family, a riveting true life/true crime narrative of the partnership between the murderer who invented the movies and the robber baron who built the railroads.
One hundred and thirty years ago Eadweard Muybridge invented stop-motion photography, anticipating and making possible motion pictures. He was the first to capture time and play it back for an audience, giving birth to visual media and screen entertainments of all kinds. Yet the artist and inventor Muybridge was also a murderer who killed coolly and meticulously, and his trial is one of the early instances of a media sensation. His patron was railroad tycoon (and former California governor) Leland Stanford, whose particular obsession was whether four hooves of a running horse ever left the ground at once. Stanford hired Muybridge and his camera to answer that question. And between them, the murderer and the railroad mogul launched the age of visual media.
Set in California during its frontier decades, The Tycoon and the Inventor interweaves Muybridge's quest to unlock the secrets of motion through photography, an obsessive murder plot, and the peculiar partnership of an eccentric inventor and a driven entrepreneur. A tale from the great American West, this popular history unspools a story of passion, wealth, and sinister ingenuity.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:31 -0400)

The story of Eadweard Muybridge, inventor of stop-motion photography and moving pictures--who was also a murderer--and his relationship with Leland Stanford, the wealthy railroad baron and founder of Stanford University.

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