Edgerton, Harold Eugene, 1903-1990

Alternative names
Birth 1903-04-06
Death 1990-01-04

Biographical notes:

Harold "Doc" Eugene Edgerton, 1903-1990, BS 1926, University of Nebraska; SM 1927 and ScD 1931 in electrical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was professor of electrical engineering at MIT, 1928-1966; Institute Professor, 1966-1968; and Institute Professor emeritus, 1968-1990. Edgerton perfected the stroboscope and developed photographic techniques that allowed very rapid events to be observed and captured on film. He also developed techniques for underwater exploration, using sonar devices and flash photography, and participated in many oceanographic and archaeological expeditions. During World War II he designed a strobe lamp for nighttime aerial reconnaissance photography for the US Army Air Force and directed its use in Italy, England, and France. In 1947, with Kenneth J. Germeshausen and Herbert E. Grier, former students, he formed Edgerton, Germeshausen and Grier, Inc. (EG&G,Inc.), a company specializing in electronic technology. In 1953 he began a long association with French underwater explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau, accompanying him on numerous expeditions and designing various devices for underwater photography and exploration.

From the guide to the Harold E. Edgerton papers, 1889-1999, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections)

Harold Eugene Edgerton was an electrical engineer and a photographer whose work reflects his interest in "stopping motion" in order to study it. To this end he and his partners Kenneth Germeshausen and Herbert E. Grier invented a variety of strobe systems which allow for exposures so brief as to capture on film events which occur too quickly to be perceived by the unaided eye.

From the description of Harold Eugene Edgerton photographic prints. 1930s-1970, n.d. (bulk 1930s). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122385799


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Bullets
  • Sound-waves
  • Art and photography
  • Motion picture cameras
  • Underwater cameras
  • Photography, High-speed
  • Oceanography--Instruments
  • Atom bomb--Testing
  • Shock waves
  • Nature photography
  • Action photography
  • Birds
  • Underwater exploration
  • Dancing
  • Splashes
  • Stroboscopes
  • Electronic flash photography
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology--Faculty
  • Sidescan sonor
  • Aerial reconnaissance
  • Motion study
  • scientific instruments
  • Photography--Equipment and supplies
  • Photography--Scientific applications
  • Mosquitos
  • Electrical engineering--Research
  • Smoke
  • Strobe Alley
  • Inventions--20th century--United States
  • Photography in oceanography
  • Nuclear weapons--United States
  • Broken glass
  • Electrical engineers
  • Sports--1930-1970
  • Photography--Exhibitions
  • College teaching
  • Oceanography--Research
  • Revolvers
  • Night photography
  • Bats
  • Sonar
  • Photography--Research


not available for this record


  • United States (as recorded)