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. 

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. 

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.

“Tissues” or “The Happiness of the Collector in Collecting”

“Tissues” or “The Happiness of the Collector in Collecting”

What to do in 2020, these dif­fi­cult times for pas­sion­ate col­lec­tors? Read about Thomas Asch’s newest acqui­si­tion, get some his­tor­i­cal back­ground infor­ma­tion and look at the dif­fer­ent kinds of stereo­scop­ic Tissues.

Negative Notions: Proper digitization of stereoscopic negatives for parallel viewing

Negative Notions: Proper digitization of stereoscopic negatives for parallel viewing

Stereo­scop­ic neg­a­tives are, by nature of their cre­ation, trick­i­er drag­ons to con­quer than are those made by tra­di­tion­al two-dimen­sion­al cam­eras. They are vicious chimeras, prod­ucts of dis­tinct pho­to­graph­ic and stere­o­graph­ic process­es, and dif­fi­cult to tame. Read here how to do it.

The Autochrome project

The Autochrome project

The Autochrome was one of the prin­ci­pal ways of pro­duc­ing colour pho­tog­ra­phy in the ear­ly 20th Cen­tu­ry. The Autochrome Project is a per­son­al endeav­our to pro­duce a work­able method of recre­at­ing the Lumiere Autochrome. 

An Abbreviated History of Stereo-Pair Illustrated books

An Abbreviated History of Stereo-Pair Illustrated books

Every now and then you can find stereo illus­trat­ed books that incor­po­rate a view­er, to view the print­ed stereo pairs, rather than anaglyphs. This basic con­cept and for­mat turns out to be quite old. Read more about it in David Starkman’s abbre­vi­at­ed his­to­ry of Stereo Illus­trat­ed books.