Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum


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Animated Stereoscope (Courtesy Gino)Stereoscopes

Hand Held Stereoscope
Hand Held Stereoscope
Hand Held Stereoscope
Hand Held Stereoscope
Hand Held Stereoscope, wood with veneer. Courtesy Design of the Time.

Also see Holmes Stereoscope Replica Kit.

Beckers ViewerBecker Viewer, open

Alexander Beckers Tabletop cabinet stereo viewer models, 1860.
(Above) Designed and manufactured by Alexander Beckers of New York, this is the basic early style with one pair of viewing lenses, constructed of gorgeous dark rosewood, that holds 36 stereo view cards or slides on a continuous belt.
(Below)  Beautiful hardwood 1860's cabinet stereo card viewer.  It has a set of viewing lenses on both sides, so is therefore a "sweetheart" viewer (two people can use the machine simultaneously), it can store up to fifty stereo cards, and is quite similar in style to the early design of Alexander Beckers.
Sweetheart Stereoviewer, c. 1860
Courtesy, David Silver, President, International Photographic Historical Organization.

Smith, Beck & Beck stereo viewerSmith, Beck & Beck stereo viewer, closed
Smith, Beck & Beck stereo viewer for cards or slides, c. 1860's.
Look at the gorgeous wood construction, brass lens board, and the amazing way the viewer flips over and stores in the box that doubles as its tabletop stand.  This stunning piece has some of the best lenses ever put on a stereo viewer. Typical for this model, the top door on the viewer has warped with time.  In this model, a little mirror hides on this top door.
Courtesy, David Silver, President, International Photographic Historical Organization.


    Anthony CDV portrait of Oliver Wendell Holmes, stereoviewer inventor.
    All metal "Perfecscope" stereo card viewer, c. 1905.
    Made of polished tin or some sort of chromed sheet metal, including the curved surfaces of the hood.  The only parts that are not metal are the wooden handle, which pivots and then locks in the proper viewing position, and, of course, the excellent glass viewing lenses.  An unusual variation on the wooden Holmes-Bates style stereo viewer. To the right is an Anthony CDV portrait of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), physician and professor of anatomy and physiology at Harvard, writer, stereoviewer inventor, and the father of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, the Supreme Court Justice.
    Courtesy, David Silver, President, International Photographic Historical Organization.

    US Patent 232649
    United States Patents for Stereoscopes: Adobe Acrobat PDF format [Click to see each original 19th century patent as a PDF file.]
    US Patent #00016962, US Patent #00023342, US Patent #00023543, US Patent #00040798, US Patent #00052744, US Patent #00055044, US Patent #00099135, US Patent #00099136, US Patent #00115269, US Patent #00132981, US Patent #00138930, US Patent #00148468, US Patent #00151745, US Patent #00154614, US Patent #00156311, US Patent #00163000, US Patent #00177527, US Patent #00183579, US Patent #00232649, US Patent #RE000890, US Patent #RE006557.

    (These and hundreds more historic stereoscope U.S. patents are available on an indexed CD.)

    Patent Office from View Album
    View Book Image Courtesy History's Imprints.

    Mahagony StereoscopeMahagony Stereoscope, top
    "This magnificent 19th century stereoscope is a genuine work of art, as evidenced by a similar one being on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  A beautiful piece of antique functional furniture.  Solid mahogany with burl base. Can be viewed from both sides, although eye pieces do not seem to be precisely focused.  The knobs on both sides rotate a carousel within that hold 36 stereo photo cards.  When the lids are opened (see photo, right), mirrors are exposed on the insides.  As is typical, the lids are slightly warped and do not lay perfectly parallel when shut.  Height is about 18 inches, width (with eye pieces) is about 14 inches."
    Courtesy anonymous donor.

    This Rosewood Antique Table-Top Stereo Viewer, is of French or English origin. In addition to the normal lenses for viewing stereo cards, it
    features a large magnifying glass for viewing cabinet cards.  The base measures 16 1/2" x 9", and when fully upright is about 15 1/2" tall. The front can be raised a further few inches to achieve a comfortable viewing angle.  When collapsed, it is about 3 1/2" tall.  The holder in the back accepts standard-size stereo view cards and has a smoked/frosted glass backing, which allows for backlighting (for the viewing of tissue views).  The holder  slides back and forth to adjust focus.  The large magnifying glass is about 5" in diameter, and slides up and down on the two metal rods.  There is an inch or so of space in the base of the viewer.  Other examples of stereo-graphoscopes can be seen here.

    Courtesy Andy Serpa, Victorian Rose.

    Keystone 1,200 stereoview travel set with telebinocular viewers
    Keystone 1,200 stereoview travel set with telebinocular viewers
    Keystone 1,200 stereoview travel set with telebinocular viewers
    Keystone Telebinocular Viewers.
    The Keystone System of Travel.  Tour of the world.
    1,200 stereo cards in book shaped boxes with 2 telebinocular stereo viewers with clip on incandescent illuminator and stand. Original bill of sale and a dated 1936.  Accompanying book showing the stereoview titles, 185 pages.  Approximately 70 lbs.
    Courtesy Joyce McGettrick,Collectible Flea Mart, Antiques.

    Keystone Commercial Stereo Viewer
    Keystone Commercial Stereo Viewer
    Keystone Model 46A Occupational Stereo Viewer with built-in lamp.  Provides exceptional clarity, much better than regular non-commercial viewers. A knob switches from one card holder to the other.  The arm quickly adjust to different heights. The unit is large, well made and heavy.  Original wooden carry case.
    Courtesy Axel Bieringer.

    Also see Visual Survey Telebinocular for the Keystone 46B and 46C viewer models – the best stereoviewers ever made because of their wonderful achromatic lenses. Both the 46B and 46C viewer models have a single stereoview holder which moves for focusing. Dr. George Themelis notes that in the above illustrated 46A model with two stereoview holders, one holder is focused at infinity (far point) and the other is focused at the near point. The 46A model's holders are fixed and do not move for focusing. This is a considerable disadvantage if someone wants to use the 46A model for standard stereo viewing and not for eye testing.

    Zeiss Stereoscope
    Zeiss Mirror Stereoscope N2. Used for photo-interpretation of large format (two 9" x 9") aerial photos. It features a large angular field, with excellent Zeiss Optics. With birch box.  For use, the side mirrors are extended with detachable legs (not shown).  Combination of binocular lenses, prisms, and front surfaced mirrors.  The binocular magnifier flips back for unmagnified stereo viewing.

    Micro-Stereoscope Micro-Stereoscope Micro-Stereoscope
    Magnified High Power Stereoviewer (Double Microscope), a precision optical instrument for viewing a pair of the aerial negatives or transparencies.  Body build by Baush & Lomb, probably based on a pair of their Dynoptic "Dynazoom" model zoom microscopes with "photoport" that accepts a vertical tube likely used for attaching a TV camera.  Eyepieces and objectives made by Wild Co. of Switzerland.   The viewer has two each Wild 15x eyepieces, Pl. Fluotar 3x (0.10), Pl. Fluotar 6x (0.20), Fluotar 10x (0.45) , Baush & Lomb 1.3x Wide-Angle lenses.  Each independently moveable mechanical stage has a removable two glass table/holder (large size of 6.5" x 6.5").  A pair of optional eyepiece lens/prism accessories apparently allows each image being viewed to be independently optically rotated.


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