Antique and Vintage Stereoview Photographs
The idea for stereoview photographs (also known as stereoscopic photographs, stereographs, or, simply, views) was hatched long before their invention, and even well prior to the first photographs. In the early 17th century, three separate men, Giovanni Battista della Porta, Jacopo Chimenti da Empoli, and Francois d’Aguillion, made drawings, or allusions to, what would eventually become the stereoscope or stereo viewer.
What these men envisioned essentially became a reality when the stereoscope was finally introduced in the early 19th century. Stereoscopes use two nearly-identical images, each taken a few inches to the side of the other. When viewed through two lenses set 2.5 inches apart, approximately the space between the eyes, the result is the illusion of a three-dimensional picture. In fact, stereoscopes are seen as the precursors to 3D entertainment. Much of the three-dimensional technology of today is based on the simple principles that allow the stereoscope to function.
Sir David Brewster often gets the credit for inventing stereoscopes, but he first designed the box-shaped viewer. The first stereoscope was actually introduced in 1833 by Sir Charles Wheatstone in Great Britain. At that time, photographs did not exist, so drawings were used instead. By the 1850s, photography was possible so stereoscopes began featuring this new technology.
Because the stereoscope preceded the publication of photographs in newspapers and magazines, stereo viewers were seen as forms of entertainment. People would pass around the stereoscope and see all sorts of beautiful scenes that they otherwise might never have been introduced to.
In 1859 Oliver Wendell Holmes (yes, that Oliver Wendell Holmes) invented a handheld stereograph viewer which was later manufactured by Joseph L. Bates in Massachusetts. These antique stereographs are highly sought-after today.
Before stereoviews caught on in the United States, however, they were popular in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. Roger Fenton was an early stereoview photographer, as was Jules Duboscq, who made daguerreotype stereographs popular. At the same time tintype and albumen photographs were being used in stereoscopes.
In fact, the vintage photographs that were placed inside stereoscopes are even more collectible than the devices themselves. The list of themes for these pictures is limitless, a...
One of the most popular genres was railroad photos. Rail transportation was developing alongside photographic innovation, so many people that never rode the rails could at least see them through a stereoscope. One of the leading railroad and Western stereoview photographers was Carleton Watkins. Other views included mines, landscapes, automobiles, and, of course, nudes. In the United States, stereoviews allowed people living on the East Coast to see the West Coast, and vice versa.
By the latter half of the 19th century, many towns had their own resident stereoview photographer, which means there were plenty of local subjects available for people with stereoscopes to go with the images of far-off lands. Several companies emerged as publishers and distributors of stereoviews on every imaginable subject, the biggest and most successful in the United States being the Keystone View Company of Meadville, Pennsylvania.
The most prolific maker of views, however, was probably the London Stereoscope Company, founded in the early 1850s. It produced hundreds of thousands of views, as well as some portraits. Its peak was the 1850s, which was the height of the stereoscope craze in the United Kingdom. The company remained strong through the next few decades before fizzling in the 1920s. It has since reopened, with its new owners making an attempt to reintroduce the popularity of stereoscopes into today’s digital world.
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Walking on Mars: NASA, Microsoft Explore Red Planet with Wearable HoloLensSpace.com, January 23rd
Using pictures for navigation is something Mars planners are very used to, and on occasion the Curiosity or Opportunity rovers will take pictures that can be converted into 3D stereo views. That said, it's hard for humans to see how far away objects...Read more
Microsoft HoloLens to take NASA scientists to MarsTimes of India, January 22nd
rover operations required scientists to examine Mars imagery on a computer screen. But even 3D stereo views, lack a natural sense of depth that human vision employs to understand spatial relationships. The OnSight system uses holographic computing...Read more
Microsoft and NASA's JPL team up to create a hologram of MarsLong Beach Press Telegram, January 22nd
Never before, he said, has holographic computing been combined with spacecraft operations. Previously scientists examined Mars images on a computer screen and had to make inferences about what they were really seeing. Even with 3-D stereo views, ...Read more
NASA team up with Microsoft to help scientists in 'virtual exploration of Mars'New Kerala, January 22nd
But images, even 3-D stereo views, lack a natural sense of depth that human vision employs to understand spatial relationships. To view this holographic realm, members of the Curiosity mission team don a Microsoft HoloLens device, which surrounds them ...Read more
Microsoft Planning to Develop Hologram Tech for Use in Interplanetary ExplorationTech Times, January 22nd
Unfortunately, even with 3D stereo views, images don't offer the same depth that human vision offers that aids in understanding spatial relationships. OnSight will be using holographic technology overlaid with rover data and visual information. As...Read more
NASA and Microsoft work together on new technology to let Scientists work ...Clarksville Online, January 22nd
But images, even 3-D stereo views, lack a natural sense of depth that human vision employs to understand spatial relationships. The OnSight system uses holographic computing to overlay visual information and rover data into the user's field of view...Read more
Wolcott & Gregg Sewing Machine Storeurbanmilwaukee, January 14th
Bangs would come up with a very novel promotional idea. The method used in stereo views was to present two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer. When viewed, these two-dimensional images are then combined in the brain to...Read more
Enthusiasts buy, sell antique paper from books to postcards at eventColumbus Dispatch, January 5th
Galen Gonser of Grandview Heights paid $275 for several of Waldsmith's stereo-view cards — black-and-white photos that were taken in Columbus around the turn of the 20th century. Gonser, 76, takes his own 3-D photos and comes to the show every year to ...Read more