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David Brewster lense stereoscope

Stereoviews: the beginning

The history of stereography started with the English scientist Sir Charles Wheatstone who created the first device to see pictures in three dimensions and gave it the name: Stereoscope.

Stereoscopic picture became especially popular after Queen Victoria gave them her approval at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.

One of the most popular pastimes of the Victorians was the virtual travel conducted through stereoscope. Pictures from all over the world made their way to France in order to be distributed all around the globe.

During the 1850-ies the most able photographers, like Roger Fenton, Francis Frith, Claude-Marie Ferrier, Charles Soulier, Alexandre Bertrand and many others applied themselves to the art of creating photos in relief.

Towards the end of the 1860-ies the craze for stereography subsided and in spite of some attempts to revive the fashion by the likes of Jean-Francois Lachenal and Claude-Louis Favre the public, no longer seeing it as a novelty would turn to new ways of amusement.

It is only towards the end of the century that a new generation of photographic publishers from across the Atlantic would take the European markets by storm and produce another and even larger wave of stereoscopic travel images.

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