Edgerton, Harold

Edgerton, Harold, 1903–90, American inventor and educator, b. Fremont, Nebr. He was educated at the Univ. of Nebraska and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (D.Sc., 1931), and taught at the latter as professor of electrical engineering (1928–66), institute professor (1966–68), and institute professor emeritus (1968–90). He is best known for his development and perfection of the stroboscope, which not only has practical engineering applications but also produces breathtaking imagery. Edgerton joined with Jacques Cousteau in underwater exploration, producing the first underwater time-lapse photography (1968) and inventing sonar devices that analyzed the rock of the seabed (1960) and gave a seismic profile of the sea floor (1961). With J. R. Killian, Jr., he wrote Flash! Seeing the Unseen by Ultra High Speed Photography (1939) and Moments of Vision: The Stroboscopic Revolution in Photography (1979).

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