A Brief History and Summary of Stereoscopy in Medicine

A Brief History and Summary of Stereoscopy in Medicine

Though its pop­u­lar­i­ty increased and decreased through­out the decades, the con­cept of stere­oscopy was con­tin­u­ous­ly applied to a vari­ety of prac­tices includ­ing med­i­cine — even today.

The birth of Stereoscopy: Wheatstone on Binocular Vision 1838, original source

The birth of Stereoscopy: Wheatstone on Binocular Vision 1838, original source

Back in 1838 the con­cept of binoc­u­lar vision had not yet been explored or writ­ten about any­where. It was a sci­en­tist in his mid 30s who not only described the phe­nom­e­non lat­er called stere­op­sis but also con­struct­ed a device to view two flat images in 3D which he called a stere­o­scope. This is espe­cial­ly remark­able as pho­tog­ra­phy was not invent­ed until one year lat­er. Charles Wheat­stone’s obser­va­tions were based only on draw­ings. Most of these draw­ings are based on hor­i­zon­tal mir­ror­ing which is why we call them mir­ror stere­os today. Read Wheat­stone’s orig­i­nal source here.

A Declaration of Love

A Declaration of Love

Alfred Silvester’s 1857 series of stere­oviews enti­tled ‘Dec­la­ra­tion of Love’ begins with a scene depict­ing a young woman seat­ed at the piano. Jonathan Ross inter­prets the series and reveals a Valen­tine’s tale — not only for Victorians.

A Trip to the Underworld

A Trip to the Underworld

Ladies and Gen­tle­men, please fas­ten your seat­belts because we are going to embark on a trip to the Under­world! This is a series of “Mod­ern Dia­b­leries” inspired by the orig­i­nal French Tis­sue stereo cards.
While most of the time the orig­i­nal Dia­b­leries were intend­ed to be scary, my approach and inter­pre­ta­tion on such Dev­il­ments is most­ly cheer­ful and entertaining.

A Restorer’s Journey

A Restorer’s Journey

Some­times you will get a glimpse of the indi­vid­ual his­to­ry of your trea­sure and know where it was stored, wether it was looked after or long for­got­ten, if the own­er was well sit­u­at­ed or not, etc. For me, these sto­ries are invalu­able. As a pas­sion­ate restor­er, I espe­cial­ly appre­ci­ate view­ers that have remained untouched since their last use. I care­ful­ly remove the dust of decades to reveal the orig­i­nal beau­ty of a stere­o­scope. Being the first one to do so feels almost like get­ting in touch with those who bought it a cen­tu­ry ago. I want to take you to one of those journeys.

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. 

Bright loose images for the Monumental Art series

Bright loose images for the Monumental Art series

I am record­ing and doc­u­ment­ing in 3D wher­ev­er I go, such as Gal­leries and Muse­ums, and espe­cial­ly, when a Mon­u­men­tal Instal­la­tion by an Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist, or artists takes place.

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. 

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.