Streaking—1885

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As we go to press with this issue the country is swept by a new fad—“streaking,” or running naked through public places. Rapid movement is of the essence in this phenomenon, perhaps to reduce the participants’ embarrassment as well as the threat of apprehension by the authorities. On the whole it is not, we think, an evil or unpleasant spectacle, sometimes even giving rise to distant images of golden boys and girls, forever panting, streaking after each other around Olympic racecourses, mulberry bushes, or antique urns. In Victorian America a streaker would have been indignantly arrested before he or she had streaked ten strides. Yet a Victorian forerunner, so to speak, of today’s fad is shown here—a sample of the photographic studies in human motion, anticipating the movies, made by Eadweard Muybridge about 1885. An article on Muvbridtre and his interesting obsession will appear in a forthcoming issue of A MERICAN H ERITAGE .