My Magic Cards

My Magic Cards

What kind of enter­tain­ment would you have as a Sovi­et kid grow­ing up in the 1980s? A cou­ple of dolls, clothes; metal­lic con­struc­tor sets, the vinyl record­ings of children’s sto­ries; some cas­settes with pop­u­lar Russ­ian songs, and a bunch of film­strips. These things were in almost everyone’s pos­ses­sion – at least, that’s how I remem­ber my friend’s toys. How­ev­er, I had some­thing very spe­cial – a set of stereo cards, along with a sim­ple stere­o­scope that looked like binoculars. 

Fine British Stereoscopes and their makers

Fine British Stereoscopes and their makers

Not long after the Brew­ster view­er first appeared and the inter­est in stere­oscopy grew the mar­ket for view­ers grew like­wise and many designs of stere­o­scopes appeared includ­ing some very fine British view­ers. Read about box slid­ing view­ers, book view­ers, view­ers with cab­i­nets and many more.

Nostalgia, Semiotics & Weird Stuff: A Guide to Collecting View-Master

Nostalgia, Semiotics & Weird Stuff: A Guide to Collecting View-Master

It’s prob­a­bly safe to assume that most peo­ple were intro­duced to 3D images via View-Mas­ter. Intro­duced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the hand­held 3D view­er was a very pop­u­lar for­mat that sold lit­er­al­ly bil­lions of prod­ucts from the 1940s right on through the 2000s. Here you’ll find a brief his­to­ry of View-Mas­ter, some images from my col­lec­tion and key con­tent cat­e­gories that may be of inter­est to those look­ing to start or grow their collections. 

The Brewster Stereoscope – its improvements and variations

The Brewster Stereoscope – its improvements and variations

The Brew­ster stere­o­scope was with­out doubt the sin­gu­lar most pop­u­lar design of stere­o­scope from 1851 until the 1930’s when new for­mats took over and dur­ing this time its basic design changed very lit­tle. Though, there soon was a broad vari­ety of improve­ments and elab­o­rate decorations.

Le Taxiphote — the most famous French stereo viewer

Le Taxiphote — the most famous French stereo viewer

The Veras­cope and the Tax­iphote are two halves of an unbe­liev­able stereo devel­op­ment effort that went on for 40 years essen­tial­ly with­out any changes. The Tax­iphote was export­ed to and patent­ed in many coun­tries. All this serves as an exam­ple of how attrac­tive stere­oscopy was at that time, and also con­firms the qual­i­ty of the Tax­iphotes as a tech­ni­cal device. We can only guess at the pres­tige of hav­ing a Tax­iphote at that time. 

A Plea for Analog Stereo Photography

A Plea for Analog Stereo Photography

I under­stand it’s 2021 and I’m talk­ing about shoot­ing on film. From an edu­ca­tion­al stand­point though, the lim­i­ta­tions it impos­es forces you to learn the basics of expo­sure, com­po­si­tion and how to be more inten­tion­al with your artis­tic choic­es. Spend­ing an hour or two mount­ing slides is def­i­nite­ly an exer­cise in humil­i­ty as you reflect on all the things you wish you did right. As you get famil­iar with it, there’s a rhythm that devel­ops with the tac­tile expe­ri­ence and it’s pret­ty relaxing.

True Crime in Old Stereographs

True Crime in Old Stereographs

What is meant by true crime? It’s a non­fic­tion genre hav­ing to do with actu­al crimes, usu­al­ly mur­der. It’s pop­u­lar now, but it was pop­u­lar in the 19th cen­tu­ry too‒just think of the pen­ny press and the Nation­al Police Gazette. As the joke says, “Crime may not pay, but it sells!”. I was curi­ous to see if it made its way into stereo cards, too. In what fol­lows, I’ve tried to pro­vide a thumb­nail sketch of each crime. Accounts from the time often vary, so I’ve tried to present a com­pos­ite set of the facts which I think are the most likely.

The Magic of Hyper Stereos

The Magic of Hyper Stereos

The view­ing expe­ri­ence of stereo pho­tos some­times is just as if you could step right into the scene. But the flat­ness of dis­tant land­scapes is an unde­ni­able draw­back for the stereo­scop­ic effect.
Read about the rea­sons and meth­ods to enhance the depth in such stereo pho­tos. Look at his­toric glass slides as well as at mod­ern drone stereo photos.

The Nevers Collection

The Nevers Collection

The sto­ry of 21 stereo glass neg­a­tives from the ear­ly stages of The Great War in Nev­ers, France.

Michael Burr’s Favourite Model

Michael Burr’s Favourite Model

Michael Burr was one of the most pro­lif­ic pho­tog­ra­phers of staged genre stere­oviews in the Vic­to­ri­an era. Like most pho­tog­ra­phers Burr had his favourite mod­els who make reg­u­lar appear­ances in his tableaux. One of them, and per­haps the most rel­e­vant to read­ers of this arti­cle, appeared as the wife of a stere­o­graph enthu­si­ast who, while her hus­band is occu­pied in scru­ti­n­is­ing the lat­est offer­ings from the trav­el­ling stereo sales­man, takes the oppor­tu­ni­ty to flirt with the top-hat­ted pur­vey­or of 3D delights.