A scientist and professor of electrical engineering at M.I.T., Harold Edgerton became interested in photography in 1931. He employed a stroboscope to generate extremely brief bursts of light in his photographic studies. These stop-action pictures made it possible to observe movements that were too fast for the human eye to see. In his milk drop images, Edgerton learned that the shape of the coronet was determined by three factors: the size of the drop, the height from which it fell, and the thickness of the film of milk on the surface from a previous drop. These studies are among Edgerton's most iconic images. The present photograph, printed by Edgerton at M.I.T., is a rare early chromogenic print with a glossy surface and saturated colors. – Buckled, small indentation mark in upper right near edge, small light crease near left edge, a few small nicks in edges, otherwise an early dye transfer print with rich, saturated colors and in good condition.
Lit.: Keith Davis. An American Century of Photography: From Dry-Plate to Digital: The Hallmark Photographic Collection, ill. plate 236 (Milk Drop Coronet, variant).