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.
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.
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.
3D filmstrip viewers are a family of stereo viewers that gained prominence in the early 20th century. In fact, it was a small filmstrip viewer called Tru-Vue that re-introduced 3D viewing as a mid-century pastime, made it more affordable than earlier stereoscope sets, and paved the way in the hearts and minds of consumers for the popular 3D reel & card viewers that would come later. For this reason, Tru-Vue has often been called “the missing link” in stereoscopy. Explore some of the most interesting filmstrip stereo viewers here.
When considering restoration, I always ask myself one very simple question: What would this stereoscope look like today if it had never disappeared from its owner’s living room, but had been cherished and cared for continuously for over 100 years?
In this post, I will talk about collecting antique stereoscopes for glass stereoviews from the period 1850 to 1930. Some tips from my previous post can also be applied to stereoscopes, so I recommend to read this post first. However, collecting stereoscopes comes with some additional challenges that I will address now.
Multiview stereoscopes are table stereoscopes that are capable of showing multiple images in one viewing session. These viewers use a slide tray or chain in which the stereoviews are placed. By turning a crank or pushing down a lever, the images are displayed one by one.