From the Collection

Harold E. (Doc) Edgerton
September - January 2017

Mr. Edgerton, who taught for 40 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was an avid inventor and amateur photographer. In 1931 he developed a repeatable short-duration electronic flash, or stroboscopic light, that revealed motion in segments never before seen by the human eye.

Following the path of Eadweard Muybridge a half-century earlier, he took action-stopping images of athletes, animals and machines. Many of these, including a 1964 color photograph of a bullet piercing a ripe banana, combine a scientific purpose with a surprising artistic beauty.

At first a novelty, electronic flash is now built into most cameras and is used regularly by both professional and amateur photographers. The strobe light has become an important tool in science and industry.