Monday, 23 July 2012

Vintage Pictures

Roundup on the Sherman Ranch


A cowboy in Genesee, Kansas, USA, with lasso at the ready maintains a vigil on the herd on the open range, in 1902. His fellow cowpunchers are seen on the horizon.

This image, culled from The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, is a stereographic card that can be seen through a stereoscopic viewer, an optical device for viewing similar images or photographs. The picture is attributed to Keystone View Company, of Meadville, Pennsylvania, which produced and distributed educational and comic and sentimental stereoviews, and stereoscopes from 1892 through 1963.

According to an article at the Collectors Weekly website, “Stereoscopes use two nearly-identical images, each taken a few inches to the side of the other. When viewed through two lenses set 2.5 inches apart, approximately the space between the eyes, the result is the illusion of a three-dimensional picture. In fact, stereoscopes are seen as the precursors to 3D entertainment.”

Sir Charles Wheatstone of Great Britain is credited with inventing the first stereoscope in 1833.


Todd Mason has generously included this post in Tuesday's Overlooked Films/Television over at his blog Sweet Freedom. Don't forget to read the many fascinating entries over there.

8 comments:

  1. We had an old stereoscope when I was a kid. only had a few slide things for it but it was kinda cool.

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  2. Charles, I don't think I have ever seen a stereoscope though it does seem oddly familiar.

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  3. The "modern" version that I grew up with was the ViewMaster, and we had a small collection of the picture discs.

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  4. Ron, I used to be fascinated by the Viewmaster and my collection included small discs of animal pictures. Thanks for mentioning it. It took me right back to my childhood.

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  5. I still see them in antique shops but the slides that come with them are more fun than the devices. The view master is the newer one--I had one t00-but the older ones were pretty.

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    1. Patti, the mention of Viewmaster by Ron brought back fond memories. I wouldn't be surprised if small towns and cities in India still sell it. I remember, it used to be popular here.

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  6. Definitely had one as a kid and use to look at old black and white snaps of Pompeii with it -

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    1. Hi Sergio, I don't recall seeing pictures of Pompeii through my Viewmaster though I definitely remember looking at colour pictures of the Savannah, of wild animals up close. The discs had a 3D effect.

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