Table of Contents
Sir Charles Wheatstone, 1802 - 1875
A Brief Stereoscopic History
At one time the stereoscope and view
cards were found in every American home. From 1850 until World War I,
the stereoscope allowed our forefathers to visit every corner of America
and the world. It provides us with a three dimensional historical record
of those 70 years.
The first stereoscope viewer was created
in 1833 by
Charles Wheatstone a British inventor. Because photography was
unknown at the time, drawings were used. By 1850 crude stereoscopes and
glass views were available.
Daguerreotypes and flat mount paper
Stereographs soon followed.
Brewster invented a box shaped viewer that was popular at the time.
In 1859, Oliver
Wendell Holmes developed a compact, hand-held viewer and
Joseph L. Bates of Boston made improvements and manufactured them.
With advances in photography a new industry and form of entertainment
Stereo pictures are taken by means of a
camera with two lenses. This provides two separate pictures 2.5 inches
apart, about the distance between the eyes. Although the pictures appear
the same, they are not. When looked at in a viewer, which has prismatic
lenses, your eyes will blend the two views into one and the brain
perceives it in three dimensions the same as normal vision.
Rapid transportation, radio, movies and
other forms of entertainment created the demise of the stereoscope and
by 1920 only one company survived.