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Étienne-Jules Marey (1830-1904)

Étienne-Jules Marey established the first private laboratory for experimental physiology in Paris. He developed or improved many instruments for physiological research. Some of them, like the sphygmograph for measuring blood pressure, are the forerunners of the instruments used in medical practice today. He studied medicine in Paris and became a professor at the Paris Collège de France, and president of the French Academy of Sciences in 1895.

Marey is well known for his work on the movement of humans and animals. He was one of the first scientists to use the then recently invented medium of film for this work, developing techniques such as slow-motion capture to record a large variety of movements, from galloping horses and flying birds to smoke trails.

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Bibliography

N N. 'Obituary: E J Marey', The Lancet, 1 (1904), pp 1530-1533

H A Snellen, (ed.) E.J. Marey and Cardiology: Physiologist and Pioneer of Technology, 1830-1904. Selected Writings in Facsimile with Comments and Summaries, a Brief History of Life and Work, and a Bibliography (Rotterdam: Kooyker, 1980)

Glossary:

Physiology

The science of the functioning of living organisms and their component parts.