Seeing the World Through the Stereoscope

slide for a stereoscope

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Seeing the World Through the Stereoscope


The Stereoscope ( is an object that allows a person to view a picture in a three dimensional perspective. It does this by placing two nearly identical pictures side by side, about two inches apart from each other. Then as you look through the lens of the stereoscope each eye sees only one of the pictures and this makes it seem as though it is 3D. It was invented by Dr. Charles Wheatstone in England in the year 1838. However the stereoscope we acquired at the History Harvest was a Holmes stereo viewer which is the more modern version created by Oliver Holmes around the year 1881.

In 1851 Queen Victoria had mentioned her interest in the stereoscope at the Crystal Palace Exhibition ( This soon brought much popularity to the object, especially in America. Once it had became more popular in America companies started to manufacture them and soon much of the middle class in the United States enjoyed the luxury of the stereoscope. In the early 1900’s it also became a tool used in education and was used in public schools.

The specific stereoscope that we received at the history harvest is believed to be brought from Germany even though their family has lived in Arnaudville ( for many years now. She had acquired it from her late husband's side of the family who were German. They had owned the stereoscope for as long as they could remember. It was passed down for a generation or two so we are not really sure how old it is or when it was bought.



“Seeing the World Through the Stereoscope,” History Harvest of Louisiana French-Speaking Heritage, accessed August 22, 2017,


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