Dating stereoviews

Stereoviews were quite popular throughout the Victorian Age, particularly from the 1860s through the 1880s.

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They had the same width (so they would fit in the viewers), but were “cabinet” or “imperial” sized, such as this nice Charles Bierstadt card.

Many images on the larger cards (which required a larger camera) were also released on standard mounts.

View All Stereographs consist of two nearly identical photographs or photomechanical prints, paired to produce the illusion of a single three-dimensional image, usually when viewed through a stereoscope.

The Prints & Photographs Division's holdings include images produced from the 1850s to the 1940s, with the bulk of the collection dating between 18.

Stereoscopic photography came into use around 1855.

Photographs were taken in double and then inserted into a special viewing device that would create a three-dimensional image.The Golden Age of Stereoviews 1860s and 70s Most views were aimed at tourists and the curious, and at collectors, who were often both.Cards could be bought at the sites (Niagara Falls for an obvious example, but at a cave entrance, or a train stop with a view of a tree) or at emporiums, which were like book stores that carried stereographs (as they were called back then) gathered from all these different kinds of sites. The bottom card is a later kind of issue, but from the same set of earlier negatives.Stereoviews are quite easy to recognize, as they consist of two identical images side-by-side.In the event that one of the images has been cropped off, they can usually be recognized by their shape, which is square at the bottom and rounded at the top.A few starting examples: Many from the 60s and 70s have yellow or orange mounts, like these examples from one of the biggest (or the biggest) producer at the time, E. The cards by Bennett in Wisconsin are among the very best ever made, technically.

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