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Stull Daguerreotype Viewing Case, c.1855

In Cameras > Camera Accessories > Show & Tell and Photographs > Daguerreotypes > Show & Tell.
Vintage Camera Accessories10 of 29Eastman Kodak Dime Bank. Save your dimes for a Kodak camera! c.1915 - 16.Forrest’s Patent “Due-Ratio” wooden drop shutter, c1888.  (the beauty of early camera shutters #5)
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    Posted 4 years ago

    rniederman
    (307 items)

    Long before radio, television and social media (etc.), photography was an early form of entertainment. Stereo photography, in particular, was very exciting. Ironically, the concept of viewing images in 3D predates photography by a year or so. In 1838, Sir Charles Wheatstone described a concept to look at stereoscopic drawings using his own invention of a mirror (reflecting) stereoscope. However making drawings was difficult but photography, a new invention of the time, proved to be an ideal way to easily produce stereo image pairs. All that was needed was a camera that could shoot two dissimilar pictures of the same subject at slightly different angles.

    In 1841, Henry Fox Talbot and Henry Collen were creating stereoscopic daguerreotypes for Wheatstone’s stereoscope. Unfortunately, the device used mirrors, was rather large and not very easy to use. An improved optical viewer that visually merged image pairs and a “binocular camera” to produce stereoscopic pictures was invented by Sir David Brewster in 1849. The camera’s first use was to reproduce objects of art for his stereoscope. Brewster’s early stereoscopes were smaller solid-bodied, tapered wooden boxes.

    Small, portable viewers appeared in 1853 when John Mascher, a Philadelphia inventor, added a flap with a pair of magnifying lenses to an ordinary daguerreotype case. These early “Mascher” style viewing cases became quite popular for a brief period from 1853 to 1856.

    Shown here is an exceptional example of another style of daguerreotype viewing case invented and patented in 1855 by John Stull of Philadelphia. Unlike the other forms, it collapses rather than folds. Stull’s design also had an advantage of using a combination of hinges to keep the lenses parallel to the image and ‘focus’ by changing the lens-to-image distance. An early advertising broadside for Stull’s North American Gallery mentions having:

    “... beautiful Boxes, with a Stereoscope attached in the lid, a very ingenious and novel contrivance for showing likenesses, paper or glass views. The portraits of a whole family may be kept and shown through the same Stereoscope, which, when closed, resembles a lady’s workbox; a beautiful ornament for the centre table, and very entertaining.”

    Stull also sold a plain viewer, but it’s this magnificent green leather version with extraordinary gold imprinting of an American eagle surrounded by graceful floral graphics and patentee information on the front and back that makes it an important piece of Americana. This ornate viewer is very rare with only five examples known, and an important part of my collection.

    Comments

    1. fortapache fortapache, 4 years ago
      Another A+ item.
    2. kyratango kyratango, 4 years ago
      A beauty too!
    3. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
      GREAT early stereo and case!

      scott
    4. walksoftly walksoftly, 4 years ago
      Amazing!
    5. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
      very very beautiful!!!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      fortapache
      pw-collectorpw
      ho2cultchaho2
      kyratango
      Scott
    7. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      Ben
      Manikin
      David
      John

    8. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      Sean
      vetraio50
      Michael
    9. Alan2310 Alan2310, 4 years ago
      Great condition item, very rare to find like that, beautiful.

      Alan
    10. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      sugargirl
      racer4four
      blunderbuss2
      Hunter
    11. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      Alan2310
      Roycroftbooksfromme1
    12. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      trunkman
      bobby725
      SpiritBear
    13. verbatim verbatim, 4 years ago
      Lovely purchase. Beautiful case.
    14. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Absolutely incredible!!!
    15. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, Radegunder!
    16. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks, verbatim!
    17. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      liventruth
      jscott0363
    18. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      antiquerose
      ho2cultcha
    19. rniederman rniederman, 4 years ago
      Thanks!
      Nicefice
      LOUMANAL
    20. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      ravage60
      VintageArgentina
    21. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks, pops52!
    22. rniederman rniederman, 3 years ago
      Thanks!
      toolate2
      Oroyoroyisthatyourhorse
    23. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
      Thanks, Nursekent!
    24. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
      Thanks, Thomas!
    25. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
      Thanks!
      AnnaB
      dlpetersen
    26. rniederman rniederman, 1 year ago
      Thanks!
      Johnsmith
      antiquerose

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