Rapid movements of intra-axonal organelles in acutely isolated single myelinated fibers from bullfrog sciatic nerve were visualized by dark-field microscopy. The movements were recorded by cinemicrography, and analyzed by computer-based methods. The movements are saltatory and bidirectional, but each particle moves mainly in a single direction. For more than 90% of the particles, the predominant movement direction is retrograde, i.e. toward the cell body. Quantitative measurements on a variety of parameters of the organelle movements are presented. Different particles in the same axon show a broad range of mean speeds. The average mean speed of movement in the retrograde direction at 28 degrees C was 1.08 micrometer/sec (S.D. - 0.41), equivalent to an axonal transport rate of 93 mm/day. Disperse distributions were also found for other parameters such as the instantaneous velocities of individual particles. Quantal velocities, periodic movement patterns, and specific 'channels' were not detected. When the data from a population of particles is treated statistically, the average mean speed, the distribution of velocities, and other statistical parameters are found to be similar in different axons studied at the same temperature. Direct microscopical observation of axonal organelle movement is a technique which provides information about axonal transport which is different from and complementary to that obtained from enzyme accumulation of radioactive tracer methods.