Stereo Viewers

BURL AND WALNUT STANDING STEREOSCOPE

BURL AND WALNUT STANDING STEREOSCOPE

 Stereoscopes, also known as stereopticons or stereo viewers, were a popular form of entertainment in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A stereoscope is composed of two pictures each taken from a slightly different viewpoint that corresponds closely to the spacing of the eyes. The images are mounted next to each other and are viewed through a set of lenses via a special viewer. The pair of two-dimensional pictures merges into a single, three-dimensional photograph.

WOODEN TABLETOP STEREO CARD VIEWER

WOODEN TABLETOP STEREO CARD VIEWER

Sir Charles Wheatstone first invented and patented the stereoscope in 1838. Wheatstone experimented with stereoscopic drawings for several years prior to the invention of photography. The two principles were ultimately combined to form the stereoscope.

Oliver Wendell Holmes invented the more popular Holmes Stereo Viewer, the most common type of stereoscope in use from 1881 until 1939.

The View-Master, a descendent of the stereoscope, was first introduced at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Invented by William Gruber, it was intended as an alternative to the postcard, using three-dimensional Kodachrome images.

References: http://courses.ncssm.edu/gallery/collections/toys/html/exhibit01.htm

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