Mr. Ed LbNA # 21007 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Mar 21 2006|
|Location||Palo Alto, CA|
|Planted By||Anna and the kids|
|Last Found||Nov 15 2011|
Edward James Muggeridge was one of several English eccentrics who made an indelible mark on photography. As well as being the first photographer to capture serial pictures of animals in motion, he was tried for murder and invented a washing machine!
Mr. Ed was born in 1830 a few miles from Kingston, Surrey, now a part of Greater London. Muggeridge got so caught up in the local Saxon history and its attached legends that he changed his name to what he thought was its Anglo-Saxon form, Eadweard Muybridge.
Like many others of his time, Muybridge came to America to seek his fortune. There in the early 1860's he learnt photography making photos of hundreds of scenes for the railway companies. Calling himself at first 'Helios' and later using his own name, he became well known for his work, including some of the earliest pictures of the natural splendours of Yosemite.
However it was a commission from ex-Governor Leland Stanford in 1872 that led to his most lasting fame. Stanford is reputed to have made a bet with and business associates James R. Keene and Frederick MacCrellish, that when a racehorse was at full gallop there were times when all four legs were off the ground. The stake was reputedly high, perhaps $25,000. This was a huge fortune at the time, but there seems to be no firm evidence that this wager was ever made or paid.
The story goes, that to win the bet, Stanford persuaded Muybridge to make a photographic study of motion of horses. Given that the normal exposures with the wet plate process, then the fastest known materials, were several seconds, this was a daunting task. Muybridge told Leland it was beyond what photography could currently do, but Leland replied that if Muybridge put his mind to it, he would be able to do it. Eventually he was proved correct, but it was a long, expensive and difficult job, probably costing twice the stake to win the bet for Stanford!
Go to this Big University and locate the large plaque on a western campus drive commemorating the motion picture research done by Mr. Ed-- it is quite near a place where another Mr. Ed might live, had he been a student at this Big University.
To the right of this plaque is a break in the fence and a little dirt path. Follow this path and at the end of it you will note a perpendicular dirt path and LOTS of very smooth grass. A ways across this smooth grass, you can see a nice red house which could be "the other Mr. Ed's" dorm. At this intersection you will see just beyond and to your right 4 GIANT eucalyptus trees. At the right base crotch of the fourth tree over, hidden carefully under rocks and bark is your prize. PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB PATRONS ENJOYING THIS AREA!!!! You'll know why I ask this if you are in the right place!