Three undated multiple-exposure ‘chronophotographes’ by French physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey (probably from the 1880s), showing differently attired men riding ‘safety’ bicycles and, in the middle image, a tricycle. Inspired by the multiple-camera ‘series photographs’ of British photographer Eadweard Muybridge, Marey developed a camera that allowed him to take multiple photographs in quick succession on the same negative, allowing him to study human motion, or humans in motion, in a level of detail that was impossible by eye alone. It’s not clear what these protocinematic images were for – they are reproduced on different webpages with no explanatory context –  but this lack of context makes images such as that of the naked man dismounting a moving bicycle all the more intriguing.

Marey bicycle

Marey bicycle c. 1885-90

Marey bicycle dismount