My post on Why 3D Doesn’t Work has proved to be both popular and contentious, so I thought I’d follow it up by making it clear that 3D is not the sole domain of multi-million dollar movies. 3D imagery is in fact a 19th Century technology.

Stereoscopic photography emerged around the late 1830s, soon after the development of photography itself. But the stereograph boom really occurred in the 1850s after its success at the 1851 Great Exhibition.

There is something endlessly fascinating about early stereoscopic views and they work in a far more delicate and beguiling way than the latest wave of 3D cinema. I urge you to seek out a stereoscopic viewer, whether in a museum or even seeking out your own online, or even make your own.

For more details about stereography  take a listen to this episode of Jeff Curto’s brilliant History of Photography podcast or visit these comprehensive links to stereoscopic photographs.

I leave you with a few interesting views:

Co. of Japan-in-America.

Co. of Wikipedia.

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