The guy who conducted this particular experiment was Eadweard Muybridge. “Eadweard” is pronounced like the modern-day “Edward”, by the way. Muybridge wanted to settle a bet that he had going with a friend. They wanted to know whether a galloping horse is ever airborne - with all four feet off the ground. (Fun fact: this experiment has been featured on the Netflix Original Series “White Rabbit Project” hosted by Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara.)
To settle the bet, Muybridge took twelve cameras and set up motion triggers. When the horses passed by these cameras, they tripped the wires and took pictures. And so, Muybridge created motion study by using the new technology of photography. Oh, did I mention that the experiment happened in 1877? He took those photos, and took it a step further. He created the zoopraxis, which was basically a looping GIF!