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HomeContentsThemes > Stereoscopes


Illustrations of stereoscopes
826.01   Stereoscopes: Book and magazine illustrations
Types of Stereoscopes
826.02   Stereoscopes: Becker
826.03   Stereoscopes: Brewster
826.04   Stereoscopes: Holmes-Bates
826.05   Stereoscopes: Lewis Patent
826.06   Stereoscopes: Mascher
826.07   Stereoscopes: Desktop
Books with stereo photographs
826.08   Charles Piazzi Smyth: Teneriffe - An Astronomer’s Experiment (1857)
826.09   Roger Fenton: The Conway in the Stereoscope (1860)
826.10   William Despard Hemphill: The Abbeys, Castles, and Scenery of Clonmel and the Surrounding Countryside (1860)
826.11   Edward Bierstadt: Gems of American Scenery, consisting of Stereocopic Views among the White Mountains (1878)
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated. 
Status: Collect > Document > Analyse > Improve
Illustrations of stereoscopes 
826.01   Viewers >  Stereoscopes: Book and magazine illustrations 
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Types of Stereoscopes 
826.02   Viewers >  Stereoscopes: Becker 
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826.03   Viewers >  Stereoscopes: Brewster 
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826.04   Viewers >  Stereoscopes: Holmes-Bates 
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826.05   Viewers >  Stereoscopes: Lewis Patent 
826.06   Viewers >  Stereoscopes: Mascher 
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Journal of the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, March, 1855, p.214-215.
Report on J. F. Mascher's Stereoscope.
The Committee on Science and the Arts, constituted by the Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania, for the promotion of the Mechanic Arts, to whom was referred for examination, "an Improvement in Stereoscopes," invented by Mr. J. F. Mascher, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Report :
That the instrument submitted by Mr. Mascher, consists of a light lid or flap fitted into a case similar to those commonly used for daguerreotype pictures, and containing two lenses of short focus, and fitted to the view of any stereoscopic pictures fitted permanently or temporarily into the case. The advantages presented by this very neat apparatus of Mr. Mascher are; 1st, That from its simplicity it can be made much more cheaply than almost any other form of stereoscope; 2d, That when in action it allows the light to fall upon the pictures at any required angle, and in any desirable quantity, there being no solid sides to interfere with the arrangement of the light. In these two respects it shares its advantages with a light and cheap form of instrument which has been for several years in use. But, 3d, Mr. Mascher's instrument is very compact, the bent frame folding down into the case, thus allowing a stereoscope daguerreotype to be kept with its proper lenses in the same case that is used for ordinary pictures; and the mobility of the lens frame by its rocking motion on its hinge, gives very greatly increased facility for the arrangement of the focal distance to suit any eyes, and for the other adjustment of the lenses for distinct vision.
In reference to the originality of the invention, it is sufficient to say that Mr. Mascher has obtained Letters Patent for his invention, and of course, the only proper course to attack him on this point would be by taking means to obtain the decision of a court of law upon the point.
As this matter is not within the scope of the examinations of the Committee of Science and the Arts in such cases, they content themselves with recommending to general use, the stereoscope patented by Mr. Mascher, as being a very neat, cheap, durable, convenient, and easily adjusted instrument, superior, for ordinary purposes, to those forms commonly in use.
By order of the Committee,
Wm. Hamilton, Actuary.
Philadelphia, February 8th, 1855.
Since the adoption of the above report, Mr. Mascher has invented and submitted to the inspection of the members of the Institute, a stereoscope arranged in a locket of the usual form and size. The arrangement is illustrated by the accompanying wood-cut, and besides the convenience of the size and mode of preserving the pictures, the lenses are made more powerful than those of other stereoscopes, and the pictures are thus more highly magnified. Ed.
American Journal of Science and Arts", Second Series, Volume XIX, May, 1855, p.447.
1. Mascher's Stereoscopes. The annexed figure is a perspective view of a very ingenious application of the stereoscope to daguerreotype medallions. A patent for this improvement has been recently granted to J. F. Mascher of Philadelphia. Attached lo the main central rim of a locket, there are two lids with daguerreotype pictures on them; these lids are hinged on each side of the rim. There are also two supplementary lids, each containing a lens, which are also hinged to the rim as shown, but are fitted to fold within the picture lids, and are arranged in such relation to the same, that upon being opened and properly adjusted, the lenses will stand opposite to the pictures, and convert the medallion into a stereoscope, by which a person looking through the glasses, will see but one picture, solid and life-like. The patentee has applied double convex lenses to these medallions the sides of which are of unequal convexity (as one to six) according to Brewster, so that the picture is rendered very clear. A medallion of this character can be used for a microscope and sun glass, and thus it can be carried around in the pocket, both as an ornamental and useful memento of affection.
More information may be obtained by letter addressed to J. F. Mascher, No. 408 North Second street, Philadelphia, Pa. Sci. Amer.
The Statutes at Large, Treaties and Proclamations of the United States of America (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1869), Vol.XV, December 1867-March 1869 , p.403.
CHAP. CCLXXXVL An Act for the Relief of Eliza Mascher, Widow of John F. Mascher. - July 27, 1868.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Eliza Mascher, administratrix of John F. Mascher, deceased, who obtained a patent No. 9611 for an improvement in daguerreotype cases, dated the eighth of March, eighteen hundred and fifty-three, with additional improvement, No. 134, annexed to said original patent, dated nineteenth of February, eighteen hundred and fifty-six, for fourteen years, which expired on the eighth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, be authorized to apply to the commissioner of patents for the extension of said patent for seven years, under the regulations now in force for the extension of patents, as if she had made application previous to its expiration, as required by law; and the commissioner of patents is directed to investigate and decide the application for extension on the same evidence and in the same manner as other applications for extension are decided : Provided, That the application for extension be made within thirty days after approval of this act, and the decision of the commissioner be rendered within ninety days from the filing of said application in the patent office : And provided further, That nothing herein shall be so construed as to hold responsible in damages any person who may have manufactured or used the daguerreotype cases with the improvement and addition aforesaid, or used cases containing the improvement and addition aforesaid, between the expiration of the patent and the approval of this act : And provided also, That the commissioner shall be satisfied before granting euch extension that it will enure entirely to the benefit of the said Eliza Mascher.
Approved, July 27, 1868 
826.07   Viewers >  Stereoscopes: Desktop 
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Books with stereo photographs 
826.08   Viewers >  Charles Piazzi Smyth: Teneriffe - An Astronomer’s Experiment (1857) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Charles Piazzi Smyth[1] became the Astronomer Royal for Scotland in 1845 and during a trip to South Africa he had the distinction of being the first calotypist in the country. In 1856 he made a voyage to Tenerife to assess its possibilities as an observatory.[2] The results of his observations were published in Teneriffe - An Astronomer's Experiment (1858) which included stereoviews.[3] A contemporary review of this volume was published in Notes and Queries on 31st October 1857:
Stereoscopic Book Illustrations. Mr. C. Piazzi Smith's forthcoming account of his Astronomical Expedition to the Peak of Teneriffe is to be illustrated by twenty, double vignette photo-stereographs. This is such an important step in the application of photography to book illustration that we must quote the publisher's remarks upon the subject.
"The publisher, anxious as the author to put all the actual facts of nature in the elevated regions that were visited as completely as possible before the public, has been earnestly at work for some time past, and has now succeeded in maturing plans for illustrating the letterpress with a series of photo-stereographs, which will be found to do neither more nor less than veritable reproductions of the scenes themselves.
"This method of book-illustration never having been attempted before, may excuse a word on this part of the subject. By its necessary faithfulness, a photograph of any sort must keep a salutary check on the pencil or longbow of the traveller; but it is not perfect; it may be tampered with, and may suffer from accidental faults of the material. These, which might sometimes produce a great alteration of meaning in important parts of a view, may, however, be eliminated, when, as here, we have two distinct pictures of each object
"Correctness is thus ensured; and then if we wish to enjoy the effects either of solidity or of distance, effects which are the cynosures of all the great painters, we have only to combine the two photographs stereoscopically, and those bewitching qualities are produced. Stereographs have not hitherto been bound up, as plates, in a volume; yet that will be found a most convenient way of keeping them, not incompatible with the use of the ordinary stereoscope, provided it is glazed at the base with clear in place of ground glass, and well adapted for a new form of the instrument, which the publisher anticipates being able to produce at a very moderate cost, under the name of the ' Book Stereoscope.'
"The plates, though packed up between the flat boards of a book, will appear on examination to have all the solidity, and all the appearance of distance, that the spectator could have acquired from viewing the scenes themselves."[4]
He traveled widely and wrote Three Cities in Russia (1862)[5] and during his visit he took some of the earliest street photographs. In 1865 he traveled to Egypt to measure the Great Pyramid[6] and he took the earliest known photographs inside the monument some of these were reproduced in his book Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid.[7] 
826.09   Viewers >  Roger Fenton: The Conway in the Stereoscope (1860) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Roger Fenton, well known for his photographs taken during the Crimean War,[8] also took a number of stereoviews of the River Conway in Wales that were published in The Conway in the Stereoscope (1860).[9]
The book was published by Lowell Reeve in London, a publishing firm that already had experience in tipping-in[10] stereo photographs as they had published Teneriffe - An Astronomer’s Experiment by Charles Piazzi Smyth in 1857.[11] 
826.10   Viewers >  William Despard Hemphill: The Abbeys, Castles, and Scenery of Clonmel and the Surrounding Countryside (1860) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Dr. William Despard Hemphill (1816-1902) was an early Irish photographer who took stereoscopic photographs and used them early on for book illustration. His, presumably privately printed, book The Abbeys, Castles, and Scenery of Clonmel and the Surrounding Countryside (1860) is a very early example of this. 
826.11   Viewers >  Edward Bierstadt: Gems of American Scenery, consisting of Stereocopic Views among the White Mountains (1878) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Edward Bierstadt (1824-1906) was an engraver and photographer of landscapes and portraits and the brother of the painter Albert Bierstadt. on 17 November 1875 Edward Bierstadt filed a US Patent for Improvement in stereoscopes which was granted on 21 March 1876. The patent was for a method of adding stereoviews into books with eyeglasses built in to allow for their viewing.[12] His book Gems of American Scenery, consisting of Stereocopic Views among the White Mountains, [1878][13] included stereoviews of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, an area that had been photographed by dentist, and amateur daguerreotypist, Samuel A. Bemis in the early 1840s. 

  1. Λ Hermann Alexander Brück & Mary T. Brück, 1988, The Peripatetic Astronomer: The Life of Charles Piazzi Smyth, (Bristol: Adam Hilger); Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf, 2007, Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007) 
  2. Λ Larry Schaaf, 1980, ‘Piazzi Smyth at Tenerife: Part 1: The Expedition and the Resulting Book‘, History of Photography, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 289-307; Larry Schaaf, 1981, ‘Piazzi Smyth at Tenerife: Part 2: Photography and the Disciples of Constable and Harding‘, History of Photography, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 27-50 
  3. Λ C. Piazzi Smyth, 1858, Teneriffe - An Astronomer's Experiment, (Lowell Reeve) 
  4. Λ Oct. 31, 1857, "Stereoscopic Book Illustrations", Notes and Queries, 2nd Series, no. 96, p. 356 
  5. Λ C. Piazzi Smyth, 1862, Three Cities in Russia, (London: Lovell, Reeve & Co.) [2 volumes] 
  6. Λ Larry Schaaf, 1979, ‘Charles Piazzi Smyth's 1865 Conquest of the Great Pyramid‘, History of Photography, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 331-354 
  7. Λ Charles Piazzi Smyth, 1864, The Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, (London: Alexander Strahan), [ Photographic frontispiece by Francis Bedford of 'The great Pyramid of Jizeh.' ] 
  8. Λ Roger Fenton is the best known of Crimean War photographers and there is a considerable amount written about him - Gordon Baldwin et al., 2004, All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852–1860, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art); Helmut & Alison Gernsheim, 1954, Roger Fenton: Photographer of the Crimean War, (London: Secker & Warburg); John Hannavy, 1975, Fenton of Crimble Hall, (Boston: David R. Godine); Valerie Lloyd, 1988, Roger Fenton: Photographer of the 1850s, (London: South Bank Board); Richard Pare, 1987, Roger Fenton, (New York: Aperture).
    For a rephotographic study - David R. Jones, 2012, In the Footsteps of Roger Fenton, Crimean War Photographer, ( self-published) 
  9. Λ Roger Fenton, 1860, The Conway in the Stereoscope, (London: Lowell Reeve) 
  10. Λ Tipped-in - ILAB: International League of Antiquarian Booksellers
    (Accessed: 7 November 2013)
    Attached to, but not integral to the binding of the book. We usually use this term to indicate something that has been added: a letter from the author, a newspaper or magazine review or obituary, etc. The nature of what is tipped-in will determine whether this addition will enhance or devalue the book.
  11. Λ C. Piazzi Smyth, 1858, Teneriffe - An Astronomer's Experiment, (Lowell Reeve) 
  12. Λ Edward Bierstadt, Improvement in stereoscopes (US Patent: US174893 A, filed: 17 Nov 1875, published: 21 Mar 1876) 
  13. Λ Edward Bierstadt, [1878], Gems of American Scenery, consisting of Stereocopic Views among the White Mountains. With descriptive text. Illustrations by the Artotype Process, (New York: Harroun & Bierstadt)


HomeContents > Further research

General reading 
Brown, Theordore, 1903, Stereoscopic Phenomena of Light & Sight, (London: Gutenberg Press) [Reprinted by Reel 3-D Enterprises, Inc.] [Δ
Darrah, William Culp, 1964, Stereo Views: A History of Stereographs in America and Their Collection, (Gettysburg, PA: Times and News Publishing Co.) [Δ
Darrah, William Culp, 1977, The World of Stereographs, (Gettysburg, Pa.: William C. Darrah) [Δ
Drouin. F., 1894, The Sterescope and Stereoscopic Photography, (London: Percy Lund & Co.) [Reprinted by Reel 3-D Enterprises, Inc.] [Δ
Earle, Edward W. (ed.), 1979, Points of View: The Stereograph in America - Cultural History, (Rochester, NY: The Visual Studies Workshop Press in collaboration with the Gallery Association of New York Stat) [Δ
Ginns, Page & Ginns, Bryan, 2013, ‘The Art of the Stereo Daguerreotype in England & France‘, in Bryan Ginns & Page Ginns, 2013, Antique Photographica: The Collector's Vision (Schiffer), pp. 121-130 [Δ
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1859, June, ‘The Stereoscope and the Stereograph‘, Atlantic Monthly, vol. 3, pp. 738-48 [Δ
Jenkins, Harold F., 1957, Two Points of View: The History of the Parlor Stereoscope, (Elmira, NY: World in Color Productions) [Δ
Jones, John, 1976, Wonders of Stereoscope, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf) [Δ
Kessler, Mike, 2013, ‘Unique Stereoscopes‘, in Bryan Ginns & Page Ginns, 2013, Antique Photographica: The Collector's Vision (Schiffer), pp. 144-163 [Δ
Mabie, Roy W., 1942, The Stereoscope and Stereograph, (New York: Privately printed) [Δ
Pecci, Stanislao, 1920, Stereofotografia, Manuale pratico per il cinema e la fotografia tridimensionale, (Gengotti Editore) [Reprinted 2012 with a pair of red/cyan anaglyph glasses and a 3D color postcard] [Δ
Pellerin, D., 1995, La Photographie Stéréoscopique Sous Le Second Empire, (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale De France) [Δ
Schimmelman, Janice, 2013, Brewster, Duboscq & the Early Printed Stereoview, 1851-1853, (Blurb - Self-published) [Δ
Smith, Lyndsay, 1989, ‘The Elusive Depth of Field: Stereoscopy and the Pre-Raphaelites‘, in Marcia Pointon (ed.), 1989, Pre-Raphaelites Re-Viewed, (Manchester: Manchester University Press), pp. 84-99 [Δ
Treadwell, T.K. & Darrah, William C., 1994, Stereographers of the World. Vol. 1: Foreign; vol. 2: United States, (National Stereoscopic Association) [Δ
Waldsmith, John S, 2002, Stereo Views: An Illustrated History and Price Guide, (Iola, WI: Gazelle) [Δ
Wing, Paul, 1996, Stereoscopes, the First One Hundred Years, (Nashua, NH: Transition Publishing) [Δ
Zotti, Arlo Alberto Minici, 2003, Il Fascino Discreto della Stereoscopia: Venezia e altre suggestive immagini in 3D - Subtle Charm of Stereoscopy: Venice and other impressive views, (Padova: Grafiche Turato) [Introduction by Italo Zannier] [Δ
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
Edward Anthony 
Marder, William & Marder, Estelle, 1982, Anthony: the Man, the Company, the Cameras, (Pine Ridge Publishing Co) [Δ
E. & H.T. Anthony & Co. 
Marder, William & Marder, Estelle, 1982, Anthony: the Man, the Company, the Cameras, (Pine Ridge Publishing Co) [Δ
David Brewster 
Brewster, David, 1856, The Stereoscope: Its History, Theory, and Construction, (London: John Murray) [Δ
Brewster, Sir David, 1870, The Stereoscope: Its History, Theory and Construction, (London: John Camden Hotton) [Δ
Brewster, Sir David, 1971, The Stereoscope: Its History, Theory and Construction. Facsimile edition, (Hastings-on-Hudson, NY: Morgan & Morgan) [Reprint] [Δ
Antoine Claudet 
Claudet, Antoine François Jean, 1853, Du stereoscope et de ses applications a` la photographie, par A. Claudet ... et derniers perfectionnements apportes au Dauerreotype, par F. Colas., (Paris) [Δ
Joseph Ellis Jr. 
Ellis Jr., Joseph, 1856, Progress of Photography — Collodion, the Stereoscope: A Lecture by Joseph Ellis, (London: Bell & Daldy) [Δ
Roger Fenton 
Fenton, Roger, 1860, The Conway in the Stereoscope: illustrated by Roger Fenton, with Notes, Descriptive and Historical by James Bridge Davidson, (London: Lovell Reeve) [Δ
Oliver Wendell Holmes 
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1861, July, ‘Sun-Painting and Sun-Sculpture; With a Stereoscopic Trip Across the Atlantic‘, Atlantic Monthly, pp. 13-29 [Δ
Charles Wheatstone 
Bowers, Brian, 2001, Sir Charles Wheatstone FRS: 1802-1875, (IET) isbn-10: 0852961030 isbn-13: 978-0852961032 [Issue 29 of History of technology series, Volume 29 of IEE Monographs] [Δ
Wheatstone, Charles, 1838, 1 January, ‘Contributions to the Physiology of Vision. Part the First. On some remarkable, and hitherto unobserved, Phenomena of Binocular Vision‘, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., vol. 128, pp. 37-394 [Online at:] [Δ
Wheatstone, Charles, 1852, 15 January (read), ‘The Bakerian Lecture - Contributions to the Physiology of Vision. Part the Second. On some remarkable, and hitherto unobserved, Phenomena of Binocular Vision (continued)‘, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, vol. 142, pp. 1-17 [Online at:] [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

David Brewster  (1781-1868) • Oliver Wendell Holmes  (1809-1894) • Charles Wheatstone  (1802-1875)
HomeStorage and displayViewers > Stereoscopes 
A wider gazeRelated topics 
Stereoviews, stereographs and stereocards 

HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Stereoscopes

Please submit suggestions for Online Exhibitions that will enhance this theme.
Alan -

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Improved (December 7, 2006)

HomeVisual indexes > Stereoscopes

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailB.W. Kilburn: 11538 Seeking knowledge through the Saturn 
ThumbnailD: Appleton: Stereoscopes and Views 
ThumbnailEdward Bierstadt: Gems of American Scenery, consisting of Stereocopic Views among the White Mountains (1878) 
ThumbnailJohnson (Cazenovia, NY): Photographic studio interior 
ThumbnailRoger Fenton: The Conway in the Stereoscope 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailUnidentified photographer: McAllister & Brother shop at 728 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia 
ThumbnailStereoviews: Stereoscopes: Becker style 
ThumbnailStereoviews: Stereoscopes: Book and magazine illustrations 
ThumbnailStereoviews: Stereoscopes: Brewster style 
ThumbnailStereoviews: Stereoscopes: Desktop 
ThumbnailStereoviews: Stereoscopes: Holmes-Bates Style 
ThumbnailStereoviews: Stereoscopes: Lewis Patent 
ThumbnailStereoviews: Stereoscopes: Mascher 
   Still thinking about these... 
ThumbnailAutobiography of S. Hunter Smith 
ThumbnailH.C. White Manfacturing Plant for Stereoscopes and StereoViews - North Bennington, Vermont, USA 
ThumbnailStereographic tintype: A personal portrait 
Refreshed: 22 August 2014, 15:54
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