Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Explosive Photographs

Harold Eugene "Doc" Edgerton was a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is credited with transforming the stroboscope from an obscure laboratory instrument into a common device.

In 1925 Edgerton received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  He earned an S.M. in electrical engineering from MIT in 1927. Edgerton used stroboscopes to study synchronous motors for his Sc.D. thesis in electrical engineering at MIT, awarded in 1931. He credited Charles Stark Draper with inspiring him to point stroboscopes at everyday objects: the first was a stream of water coming out of a faucet.

In 1937 Edgerton began a lifelong association with photographer Gjon Mili, who used stroboscopic equipment, particularly a "multiflash" strobe light, to produce strikingly beautiful photographs, many of which appeared in Life Magazine. This strobe light could flash up to 120 times a second. Edgerton was a pioneer in strobe photography, subsequently using the technique to capture images of balloons during their bursting, or a bullet during its impact with an apple.

His work was instrumental in the development of side-scan sonar technology, used to scan the sea floor for wrecks. Edgerton worked with the undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, by first providing him with underwater stroboscopes, and then by using sonar to discover the Britannic. Edgerton participated in the discovery of the American Civil War battleship USS Monitor.

Edgerton was a co-founder of the company EG&G, with Kenneth Germeshausen and Herbert Grier, in 1947. EG&G became a prime contractor for the Atomic Energy Commission and had a major role in photographing and recording nuclear tests for the United States through the fifties and sixties. For this role he developed the Rapatronic camera, which was supplied by EG&G.

The following images are all Edgerton pictures of experimental detonations of nuclear weapons.  The structure that can be seen in some of the images is extremely interesting. 


Have a sample of synchronicity:
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846
  • John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946
  • Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860
  • John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960
  • The names "Lincoln" and "Kennedy" each contain seven letters
  • Both were particularly concerned with civil rights
  • Both wives lost children while living in the White House
  • Both Presidents were shot on a Friday
  • Both Presidents were shot in the head
  • Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy
  • Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln
  • Both were assassinated by southerners
  • Both were succeeded by southerners
  • Both successors were named Johnson
  • Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808
  • Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908
  • John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839
  • Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939
  • Both assassins were known by all three of their names
  • Both names are comprised of fifteen letters
  • Lincoln was shot at the theater named Ford
  • Kennedy was shot in a car called "Lincoln," built by Ford
  • John Wilkes Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse
  • Lee Harvey Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater
  • Booth and Oswald were both assassinated before.......

I am not making this up.