Edgerton Harold Eugene Doc Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Astronomy Type: Essay Paper: #44055309 Related Topics: Normandy, Boxing, Photographic, Kodak
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Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton

Born on the 6th of April, 1903, in Nebraska State's Fremont city, Harold E. Edgerton was the eldest child of Mary and Frank Edgerton. Harold was raised in Nebraska's Aurora city; in his youth, he was fascinated with machines and motors, and loved dismantling broken items, deducing their workings, and repairing them. He graduated from the Nebraska-Lincoln University in 1925. In the year 1928, he got married to Esther Garret, with whom he had three children: a daughter, Mary Lou, and two sons, William and Robert. Edgerton was an electrical engineering professor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and is recognized by many as the scientist who transformed the little-known lab instrument, the stroboscope, into a device commonly used in all cameras. In 1927, Edgerton obtained his Master's degree from MIT, and in 1931, in his doctoral thesis, he studied synchronous motors by employing stroboscopes. He claims that his inspiration for applying stroboscopes to ordinary objects was Charles Stark Draper. Edgerton's first experiment was a jet of water gushing out from a tap. Edgerton was a strobe photography pioneer. He utilized the technique for capturing pictures of bursting balloons and bullets, impacting apples. The Rapatronic camera's invention is ascribed to Edgerton. In 1934, he received a Royal Photographic Society bronze medal, and in 1973, he received the National Medal of Science (Harold Edgerton; Docs life).

Harold's interest in photography came from Ralph Edgerton, his studio-photographer uncle, from whom he learnt how photographs are taken, developed, and printed. Edgerton did summer jobs (floor-sweeping, line-repairing, etc.) at the Nebraska Power and Light Company. He enjoyed his jobs, claiming that they were immensely challenging everyday tasks. Subsequent to


It was here that he first saw a stroboscope, while examining the huge electric motors employed in generating power (Docs life, 1903-1926).

Edgerton initiated a lifelong alliance with GjonMili, a photographer, who applied strobes (in particular, "multiflash" strobes) for creating striking photographs, of which a large number were featured in Life Magazine, in the year 1937. In 1947, he cofounded EG&G, with Herbert Grier and Kenneth Germeshausen. The company was a key AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) contractor, contributing significantly to recording and capturing pictures of national nuclear tests in 1950s-60s. Edgerton's efforts were pivotal in developing side-imaging sonars, utilized for scanning the bottom of the sea for wrecks. Edgerton joined forces with Jacques Cousteau, an undersea explorer; firstly, he provided underwater stroboscopes to Cousteau, and subsequently, employed sonar for discovering the Britannic. He was a part of the team that found the U.S.S. Monitor, a battleship, used in the U.S. Civil War. His ventures with Cousteau earned him the nickname, "Papa Flash," which is still widely used among photographers. Apart from perfecting commercial strobe lighting, he is equally known for his outstanding visual aesthetic: several remarkable Edgerton clicks of phenomena, too quick to be perceived by the naked eye, can be seen all over the world in art museums. His students at MIT remember him for his kindness enthusiasm to teach. Edgerton stated that his trick was teaching students in a manner that doesn't make them understand they're being taught before it is too late. One MIT dormitory for graduate students bears Edgerton's name. An article, Doc Edgerton: the man who made time stand still, published in the October 1987 issue of National Geographic Magazine features the prominent inventor-photographer's works (Harold Edgerton; Docs life).

Contributions to Photography

At a time when large radios and vacuum tubes dominated the scene, Edgerton came up with a means to stop and capture things in super-fast motion (a bullet picking its way through a fruit; the splash of a milk-drop; the boot of a footballer connecting with the ball). Edgerton was the trailblazer in harnessing electric power and freezing time to a moment. His iconic photographs wouldn't be easy…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works cited

"Doc life: Midwestern Boy: 1903-1926" visionary engineer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, n.d. web. 12 Nov. 15

Dowling, Stephen "Harold Edgerton invented the electronic flash -- which allowed him to capture things the human eye cannot see. Stephen Dowling looks at his legacy." British Broadcasting Corporation July 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2015

Gray, Paul E. "Harold E. Edgerton." Physics Today Apr. 1991: 126+. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

"Harold Edgerton" LUMIERE, n.d. web. 12 Nov. 15

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