Digital cameras and high-speed photography go hand in hand today, with many models letting you easily adjust the frame rate to capture your own high-speed footage. But believe it or not, high-speed digital cameras are actually a relatively new technology. Up until recently this was another area of photography where film still reigned supreme.

In fact, the earliest known high speed photography happened as far back as 1878 to prove that all four of a horse's hooves were off the ground when it galloped. And back in 1940 a patent was filed for a rotating mirror camera that could capture a million frames per second, which would come in handy when documenting the first atomic explosions. This video takes a look at a high-speed camera called the Fastax developed by Bell Labs after Kodak couldn't produce one fast enough for the company's needs. It may have been crude by today's standards, but it still captured some mesmerizing footage. [YouTube via PetaPixel]