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1901 Stereoscope

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Photographs/Photography2 of 16Tintype Photographs1915 Photograph of Great-Great Grandfather, Great-Great Aunt, and Two Cousins
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Posted 4 years ago


(439 items)

For Christmas I received this stereoscope that was patented in the United States on June 11, 1901 and was manufactured by Underwood & Underwood of New York. This particular one was used in a Massachusetts schoolhouse. I also received three stereo cards, my favorite of which is the center one whereby a boy walks in on his older sister with her beau. The 3-D effect of the cards can be seen by viewing the cards through two prismatic lenses.

Aside from the patent date, the fact that the components are made of wood verifies that this stereoscope is an early model, since later ones are black. Viewers were initially invented in the 1830s by English scientist Charles Wheatstone and were popular from its presentation at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London through the 1930s. By 1861, Oliver Wendell Holmes had designed and purposely failed to patent a handheld, more efficient viewer than those that had been popular in the 1850s.


  1. Jono Jono, 4 years ago
    Very nice. I just received one for Christmas. Check it out...
  2. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
    Great Christmas gift-- welcome to photo collecting.

    The views are very readily available and reasonably priced-- recommend you pick a subject matter to focus your collection!

  3. NicoleJerelen NicoleJerelen, 4 years ago
    Thanks for the "love," Jono, and I'll gladly go check yours out!

    Thank you, Scott, I'll keep your suggestion in mind!
  4. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
    It is easy to get overwhelmed with views-- I have several thousand!

    Also, I'd steer clear of the lithographic views and second generation views such as those found in the "American Series".

    Good luck with the collection!

  5. tom61375, 4 years ago
    Merry New Year NicoleJerelen! =)
  6. NicoleJerelen NicoleJerelen, 4 years ago
    Happy New Year, Tom! :)

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