Bull, Lucien

Lucien Bull (1876-1972)

Lucien Bull was born in Dublin on the 8th of January 1876, son of Cornelius Bull and Gabrielle Joune, Lucien attended school in Dublin and in 1894 moved to France and in 1895 became an assistant in Paris to Étienne-Jules Marey, a pioneer in the world of cinematography. Marey was a physiologist, studying how the human body works and felt that if he could capture human movement on film, he would be able to expand scientific understanding in this field. Marey’s camera was the forerunner of the motion picture camera. Lucien Bull devised a high-speed version of this camera.

Marey’s work was not exclusively in the world of film. As a physiologist he was fascinated by every element of the way that the body functioned, including the heart. In fact as early as 1876 Marey used an electrometer to record the electrical activity of an exposed frog’s heart. This was to prove the forerunner of the electrocardiograph (ECG). Bull continued Marey’s work on the ECG, using the data obtained from pioneer research by Waller and Einthoven. Bull’s version, patented in 1908, was a much more viable design than the one that won Einthoven a Nobel Prize. However, many believed that it did not achieve the recognition that it deserved.

After Marey’s death in 1904, Bull became the Director of l’Institut Marey in Paris. In 1933, he was put in charge of research at the National Office of Research and Invention. Honours included the CBE (1920), and the Legion of Honour (1954). He was awarded gold medals by the National Office of Research and Invention (1933), the Palace of Discovery (1937), and the Society for the Encouragement of the National Industry (1947).

Lucien Bull died in Paris in August 1972.


previousPrevious - Bigger, Joseph
Next - Cairnes, John Elliottnext

Upload to this page

Upload to this page

Add your photos, text, videos, etc. to this page.

Map Search


Life & Society

Popular Sections