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Eugene Griffin (author) 
The execution of a condemned mule 
1881, 6 June (event) 1882 (publication) 
  
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LL/43135 
  
Annual Report of the Secretary of War for the Year 1882 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1882), Vol.II, Part 1, p.448
 
From: Eugene Griffin, First Lieutenant of Engineers, Willets Point, New York Harbor
To: Lieut. Col. H.L. Abbott, Corps of Engineers, Commanding Engineer School of Application
Date: June 27, 1882
 
On the 6th of June, 1881, an instantaneous view was taken, by your direction, of the execution of a condemned mule belonging to the Engineer Department. A small bag containing 6 ounces of dynamite and a fuse was fastened on the mule's forehead, the wires from the fuse connecting with a magneto-electric machine. The camera was placed at a distance of about 47 feet from the mule and properly focussed; the drop shutter was held up by a string, fastened to another fuse, which was placed in the same circuit with the first, so that both were fired simultaneously and the shutter allowed to drop. The result was a negative showing the mule in an upright position, but with his head blown off. This photograph has excited much interest and comment in the scientific world. A very narrow slit was used in the shutter, and as nearly as can be estimated the time of exposure was about 1/750 of a second. A 10 by 12 gelatino-bromide instantaneous Eastman dry plate was used, with a 4 D Dallmeyer lens, using the full opening. 
 
 
  

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Eugene Griffin (author)
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