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Coolidge, Dane (24 March 1873–08 August 1940), novelist, naturalist, and photographer, was born in Natick, Massachusetts, the son of Francis Coolidge, a corporal in the Civil War and, later, an orange grower in California, and Sophia Upham Whittemore. He moved with his family in 1877 to Los Angeles, where he roamed the fields and mountains around that still-small town and grew up a Republican and a Unitarian. Coolidge graduated from Stanford University in 1898, then studied biology at Harvard University from 1898 to 1899 before returning to the West....

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Draper, John William (05 May 1811–04 January 1882), scientist, educator, and historian, was born near Liverpool, England, the son of John Christopher Draper, an itinerant Wesleyan minister, and Sarah Ripley. Draper attended a Methodist grammar school and completed his premedical studies at University College, London, immersing himself in the philosophies of Benthamism and positivism, to which he would return later in life....

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Harold E. Edgerton Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103829).

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Edgerton, Harold Eugene (06 April 1903–04 January 1990), electrical engineer and photographer, was born in Fremont, Nebraska, the son of Frank E. Edgerton, a lawyer, and Mary Coe. Edgerton received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska in 1925 and a doctorate of science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1931. He married Esther May Garrett in 1928; they had three children. Most of Edgerton’s career centered on his invention, development, and application of the stroboscopic flash....

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Muybridge, Eadweard (09 April 1830–08 May 1904), photographer of animal locomotion and inventor of the first theatrical motion picture projector, was born Edward James Muggeridge in Kingston-on-Thames, England, the son of John Muggeridge, a corn chandler, and Susannah (maiden name uncertain). Little is recorded about Muybridge’s childhood and his education in Kingston, but there are numerous, partially conflicting accounts of his activities and accomplishments later in life. As a young man, he changed his name to what he thought represented its original Anglo-Saxon form. In the afterglow of the 1849 Gold Rush, Muybridge emigrated to California in 1852....