Eric Lucey Film Collection
The Eric Lucey film collection in The University of Edinburgh Archives Collection have been digitised and made openly available and licensed on the University’s Media Hopper Create service.
Eric Lucey, was a biologist at the University of Edinburgh during the 1950s and 60s during a rise of filming techniques being applied to biology and research. Films of living cells were becoming possible through the use of polarised light to see the movement of chromosomes with a cell. Additionally, as part of his work in the Genetics department he had what was then the most advanced high-speed camera, at a thousand frames a second. He used this to create some incredible films, including the first detailed slow-motion recordings of jumping insects and locusts.
View some of Lucey’s films below, or click through for the full collection available on Media Hopper Create.
6638-grade Jump of the Flea
Film showing Eric Lucey setting up his film laboratory to capture the jump of a flea in slow motion. Included after footage of this is the films at different speeds of the fleas jumping.
“It took three centuries for scientists to gather the first hard data about jumping fleas. In the 1960s, Eric Lucey, a biologist at the University of Edinburgh, filmed the insect with what was then the most advanced high-speed camera, at a thousand frames a second. Dr. Lucey showed the film to Henry Bennet-Clark, an expert on insects who was also at the University of Edinburgh at the time. Dr. Bennet-Clark realized that the fleas were generating a hundred times more power than their muscles could actually provide.”
6131 Time Lapse of Sky, Flowers, Princes Street and Lothian Road
Time lapse film of sky over a rural environment followed by one of flowers unfurling and closing (possibly cherry blossom). This is then followed by a few seconds of activity on the corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road in Edinburgh. Shot in negative. Created in 1950 as part of the work by the Research Film Unit of the Institute of Animal Genetics, University of Edinburgh by Eric Lucey.
6631-light3 Mimosa Pudica unfurling
Film of Mimosa Pudica unfurling from the Eric Lucey film archive.