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Channels

Channels are a way of storing two or more simultaneous streams of information. Human perception often depends on fusing input from multiple streams. Sight, for example, fuses two views of the world for depth perception. Hearing uses our two ears to help localize sound. Our brains combine signals from three types of color receptors to reconstruct the continuous spectrum of light.

There are other applications where it is convenient or necessary to store information in multiple channels. Recording each musical instrument or singer in a separate channel allows mixing the sound as a post-process. In engineering or scientific applications, data acquired from multiple sensors can be stored in channels to preserve simultaneity.

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1861
1589
1848
1839
1838
Brewster Stereoscope
Photography
Holmes Stereoscope
Camera Obscura
Wheatstone Stereoscope
1930s
1920s
1927
1920
1990s
2016
1999
1977
1957
1953
1950s
1954
1960s
c1959
1956
1940s
1935
1855
1856
1838
1898
1900s
1895
c2010
c1913
c1910
1903
c1905
1882
1870s
1871
1860s
1841
1851
c1853
1854
Tissue View
Chromoplast Halftone Color
Metropolitan Syndicate
Tinted Halftone Lithography
Amblyoscope
Postcard
Cail-O-Scope
Halftone Lithography
Hyperstereo
Ghost View
Polyscopic
Collotype
Calotype
Gelatin Silver
Curved Mount
Cyanotype
Bi-Color
Tintype
Wet Collodian
Laser Print
Inkjet
Surprise
Hand-Tinted
Ambrotype
Photographic Pairs (Experimental)
Daguerreotype
Eye Training
Computer Generated
Lithography
Engraving
Hand Drawn Pairs
Stéréoscope Unis-France
Whiting's Magic Photo Album
Photoscope
Estereoscopo-Simplex
Ster-i-Lan
Nabisco Premium
Tri-Scope
Loreo
HNA Stereoskop
3DIQ
Fleetwood
Wonderscope
Vistascreen
Keystone Biopter
Raumbild-Verlag
Keystone Junior
Camerascope
Le Stéréorama
Whiting's Sculptoscope
Rotograph
1946
2005
2003
1970
1984
1970s
c1960
1960s
1950s
1956
1957
1955
1954
1953
1950s
1952
1950
1947
c1949
1931
1935
1938
1940s
1945
c1929
1852
1870s
1890s
1907
1900
c1905
c1910
1918
Full Format Celluloid
Cabinet Format Glass
Radex
Binocular-Scope
Trichrome
Aerial Glass
Autochrome
Medium Format Glass
Kromogram
Educa
Albumen on Glass
Small Format Glass
Airequipt
Pixie-View
35 mm Slide Pair
Stereo Realist
View-Master Super Sounds
Pana Vista
Talking View-Master 2
Talking View-Master
Stereomat
Plastikolor- KLAD
Meoskop II
Hanimex Vista-View
Stereorama
Stori-View
Colorelief
Le Bengali
Ctepeockon
Radex
Shape
Penthouse
Ctepeockon
Taylor- Merchant
Colde
Romo Junior
Duplex Super 120
Row Rathenow
Isolan Stereomat
Romo
Lestrade
Simda
Tru-Vue
Roto-Vuer
Stori-View
Bruguiére № 1
Bruguiére № 10
Photo-Scope Sight Seer
Haneel Tri-Vision
Filmcolor
Dufaycolor
View Master
Colorscope
Modelscope
Half-Frame Stereo
Gedescope
1969
1996
2000s
1997
1970s
c1953
1950s
1940s
c1930
c1935
Mignon
Stereoscope Celdé
Pan-Pet
3discover
Orbitor 3D
Tyco Talking View-Master
Stereopocket
Stereofilms
Lionel Linux
Aussie Super Views
Novelview
Pendoplast
1935
c1982
1970
1966
1960s
1934
1925
1900
Lumière Over-Under
StereoVision
Optovision
Kodak-Disney 3D
SpaceVision
Stereo-70
8 mm Anaglyph
Lumière Anaglyph
Stereoscopik
Bünzli l'Animateur
1871
Photographic Printing
Cyanotype
Cyanotype is a type of photographic printing, i.e., a photographic process used to transfer the negative image from the camera onto a positive print on sensitized paper (photo paper) or glass. The chemicals coating the paper react to UV light to form Prussian Blue. Cyanotypes could be contact printed from any type transparent negative. Engineering blueprints are created using this same process. Other photochemical printing processes used for stereoviews included salt print, albumen, platino and gelatine silver.
Cyanotype was invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. Herschel, like Talbot, was a "gentleman scientist." He was financially independent, working on his own and able to give considerable time to his pursuits, unlike some others who were constrained by the need to make a living (Mike Ware, "John Herschel's Cyanotype: Invention or Discovery? ", Alternative Photography ).
1870s
Photographic Processes
Gelatin Dry Plate
The drawback of wet collodion was that the exposed plate had to be prepared and developed within fifteen minutes, requiring the use of a portable darkroom in the field:

The inconvenience…of dragging along over mountain and valley, or of stowing away on steamer or on the cars, a complete miniature operating gallery, has suggested the idea of superseding all this trouble by the discovery of a dry process. (Towler, John.The Silver Sunbeam, Joseph H. Ladd, New York: 1864, in CoOL: Conservation OnLine

Dry collodion processes were developed but required long exposures. A significantly faster process was invented by Richard Leach Maddox in 1871: gelatin dry plate, in which particles of silver halide were suspended in a gelatin coating instead of collodion. This allowed plates to be prepared beforehand and developed back in the studio.
1860s
Photographic Processes
Tintype
Tintype was also a wet collodion process. The negative was captured on a black lacquered iron plate instead of glass. The image appeared positive due to the black background, as with the ambrotype. Tintype was inexpensive and became the most common photographic process in the 1860s. Tintypes were often taken with "multiplying" cameras having two to fifteen or more lenses. The copies were not quite duplicates due to the offsets between the lenses. This allowed horizontally separated images to be cut out and placed in a cardstock envelope to form a basic stereoview.
1854
Photographic Processes
Ambrotype
Ambrotype, a variant of wet collodion, was invented by James Ambrose Cutting around 1854. An underexposed negative on a glass plate was produced in the camera using the wet collodion process. Instead of printing a positive on paper, the negative was displayed against a black background. The black background showed through clear areas of the negative and light reflected by opaque areas appeared brighter.
c1853
Photographic Processes
Wet Collodion
By 1860, wet collodion processes began to replace daguerreotype, calotype and albumen. In a wet collodion process a glass plate is coated with a cellulose nitrate solution, then dipped in silver iodide prior to exposing it in the camera. The required exposure was much shorter than that required for albumen negatives. Positives were contact printed from the negative onto paper coated with albumen and silver nitrate.
1852
Photographic Processes
Albumen on Glass (Hyalotype)
Glass plates provided the best of both worlds: a sharp negative that could be duplicated easily. The process used silver halide crystals suspended in a solution of albumen extracted from egg whites.
The Langenheim brothers of Philadelphia were the first to use the albumen process (which they called hyalotype) to create glass magic lantern slides. They showed it at the Great Exposition in London in 1851—another example of the power of expositions to bring inventors together. Duboscq saw the Langenheim's slides and realized the process would provide a high quality, inexpensive alternative to daguerreotypes and calotypes. The new process was used for stereoviews through the 1850s and 1860s.
1851
Photographic Processes
Daguerreotype and Calotype
As Dubosq found, producing stereo daguerreotypes was not a scalable commercial proposition. Daguerreotypes on coated metal plates were extremely detailed and sharp but there was no automatic way to make copies. Calotype, Talbot's process, produced easily duplicated paper negatives but the resulting paper positives were relatively fuzzy because of the grain of the paper.
1851
Photographic Processes
As new photographic processes emerged, they were quickly applied to stereography. In addition to daguerreotype and calotype, virtually every major process invented was used to capture and print stereo photographs.
1851
The Importance of Content
Stereoscopomania!
As Bill Gates (among others) once said, technology is important but "Content is King"—a fact demonstrated for everything from cinema to the phonograph to stereoscopy to the internet. In addition to the new stereoscope, Duboscq began generating and selling content, both stereo daguerreotypes and wood engravings of simple geometries. The engravings could be mass produced, but there was no easy way to duplicate daguerreotypes. Instead, Duboscq had lithographs created from stereo daquerreotypes. Lithographs could be printed in quantity. He included sets of both for free with each stereoscope he sold.
Brewster and Duboscq brought the stereoscope with stereo daguerreotypes to the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. Brewster demonstrated it to Queen Victoria in the Crystal Palace and her response was enthusiastic. Although this account has been called into question—Brewster being the only source—the subsequent craze for stereoscopy referred to as “stereoscopomaina” was real and lasted through the 1860s.
1848
The Importance of Usability
The Brewster Stereoscope
Sir David Brewster's own trials with Wheatstone's stereoscope in the 1840s convinced him that it was too difficult to use for the public. In 1849 Brewster, an accomplished British scientist and famous for inventing the kaleidoscope, introduced a handheld lenticular stereoscope that used prisms to view the images, which could now be placed side-by-side on a single card, an important factor in ease of use.
Brewster, who had a tendency towards vitriol (Wheatstone called him a “disputatious antagonist”), later began a campaign against Wheatstone's priority, claiming that 1) Wheatstone's conclusion was obvious and 2) others had invented stereoscopes years before him. Twitter not being available, the argument was conducted in the letters columns of the London Times and other publications. Brewster's claims have long since been debunked.
Unlike Wheatstone, however, Brewster made a concerted effort to commercialize stereoscopy. After failing to interest manufacturers in Great Britain, he took his stereoscope to France. The Paris optician Jules Duboscq saw its potential and began producing Brewster stereoscopes for sale.
1841
The Importance of Usability
Experiments with Photography
Wheatstone understood photography's implications for stereoscopy and in 1840 asked Talbot to create a stereo pair with his Calotype (Talbotype) process. Talbot took the two photographs too far apart and in 1841 Wheatstone commissioned Henry Collins to try again. He also commissioned several experimental stereo daguerreotype pairs. But Wheatstone's reflecting stereoscope required two separate photographs to be loaded into a cumbersome table-top device—clearly not usable as a commercial product.
1839
The Science of Chemistry
Photography
The invention of photography followed developments in the science of chemistry. The light sensitivity of silver halides was discovered in 1725 by Johann Heinrich Schulze. In 1816, Nicéphore Niépce captured an image using silver chloride, but with no way to fix it, the image faded quickly. He experimented with other light-sensitive substances and by 1827 had captured the first primitive photograph using a bitumen-coated plate and a camera obscura, although his process required multi-day exposures. Louis Daguerre worked with Niépce until Niépce's death, then continued his research through the 1830s. In 1839 Daguerre announced a successful process based on sensitized silver-plated copper sheets, which he named daguerreotype.
Meanwhile, starting in 1834, Talbot achieved some unpublicized successes with silver chloride sensitized paper, but was preoccupied for several years with other interests. He was stunned when Daguerre revealed his results and rushed to publish his own process. In 1841, after additional refinement, Talbot introduced the calotype (sometimes called the talbotype).
1589
Capturing Reality in a Box
The Camera Obscura
The desire to capture reality has motivated many inventions: cinema, the phonograph, color photography and stereo sound, for example. At the time the stereoscope was invented there was already a device that could reproduce much of the complexity of reality in an image: the camera obscura. A camera obscura admits light from a brightly illuminated scene into a darkened room or box by way of a pinhole or lens. The result is a projection of the scene against the opposite wall. The phenomenon had been known for centuries when Leonardo da Vinci proposed its use by artists as a guide for drawing or painting. But the image lasted only as long as the box remained pointed at the scene. There was no way of capturing it other than tracing it by hand.
Henry Fox Talbot, whose interests ranged from chemistry to art history, had tried using a camera obscura (as well as a camera lucida later in 1833) to sketch landscapes, but without success. He later recalled thinking:

…How charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durably, and remain fixed upon the paper. And why should it not be possible, I asked myself. (Talbot, Henry Fox, The Pencil of Nature, 1844, p.4.)

Talbot began working on photography almost immediately. Other inventors, it turned out, were already at work.
1838
When Commerce is More Demanding Than Science
Hand-Drawn Views
The first stereoviews were Wheatstone's unshaded line drawings of basic geometries like cubes and stairs. It was difficult to draw complex shaded scenes from slightly different perspectives with the necessary precision. From a scientific point of view, line drawings also eliminated most depth cues. These were fine for Wheatstone's scientific purposes, but broadening the appeal of stereoscopy would require more realistic images.
1838
The Science of Perception
Reflecting Stereoscope
Although it's obvious that each of our eyes see different perspectives (retinal disparity) the connection between that and the perception of depth was not self-evident. Sir Charles Wheatstone approached the question as a scientist: he constructed experiments that isolated one variable, retinal disparity, from other depth cues like accommodation, shading, and motion parallax. For this he used a device of his own invention, the reflecting stereoscope, which presented drawings from slightly different viewpoints to each eye independently. The result was dramatic: the drawings jumped out in relief from the flat cards that held them. Wheatstone published his investigations and demonstrated his invention in 1838.
ENABLING TECHNOLOGY
STEREO CARDS
SLIDES
FILMSTRIPS
3D MOVIES

Stereoview

We clasp an object with our eyes, as with our arms, or with our hands, or with our thumb and finger, and then we know it to be something more than a surface.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Stereoscope and the Stereograph

The fact that our eyes see slightly different views of the world has long been noted: Euclid wrote about it in AD 280; Leonardo da Vinci described it in his notebooks. But the connection between that disparity and the perception of depth wasn't recognized until the early 19th century. Depth perception was ascribed to other visual cues. It was not until 1832 (announced publicly in 1838) that Sir Charles Wheatstone, with his invention of the stereoscope, demonstrated experimentally that it was the slightly different perspective seen by each eye that gave the sensation of depth.

Wheatstone was a scientist who invented a medium and device in service of his research. He wasn't trying to create something useful or entertaining. (For a similar example, see Étienne-Jules Marey, an inventor of cinema, who made his contributions in order to understand human and animal locomotion.) Others, including David Brewster, Louis-Jules Duboscq and Oliver Wendel Holmes, refined the stereoscope and made it practical for everyday use. By the mid-Victorian era, stereoscopes were a fixture in middle class parlors.

Non-Photographic

Although Wheatstone drew his original stereo pairs by hand, photography soon came to dominate the creation of 3D views. Non-photographic stereoviews still had a place, however, particularly for scientific or mathematical diagrams and for comics and cartoons. Eventually, computers made it possible to generate complex, highly realistic non-photographic 3D views.

  • Engraving

    1850s

    Engraving

    1850s

    Engraving

    1850s

    Engraving

    1850s

    Engraving

    1850s
  • Lithography

    c. 1853
    Lithograph copy of an early stereo daguerreotype by Jules Duboscq

    Lithography

    c. 1853
    Lithograph copy of an early stereo daguerreotype by Jules Duboscq

    Lithography

    c. 1853
    Lithograph copy of an early stereo daguerreotype by Jules Duboscq

    Lithography

    c. 1853
    Lithograph copy of an early stereo daguerreotype by Jules Duboscq

    Lithography

    c. 1853
    Lithograph copy of an early stereo daguerreotype by Jules Duboscq
  • Letterpress

    early 1900s
    From a 2-card demonstration set (3D vs. 2D)

    Letterpress

    early 1900s
    From a 2-card demonstration set (3D vs. 2D)

    Letterpress

    early 1900s
    From a 2-card demonstration set (3D vs. 2D)

    Letterpress

    early 1900s
    From a 2-card demonstration set (3D vs. 2D)

    Letterpress

    early 1900s
    From a 2-card demonstration set (3D vs. 2D)
  • Chromolithography

    early 1900s–1950s
    Eye training

    Chromolithography

    early 1900s–1950s
    Eye training

    Chromolithography

    early 1900s–1950s
    Eye training

    Chromolithography

    early 1900s–1950s
    Eye training

    Chromolithography

    early 1900s–1950s
    Eye training
  • Chromolithography

    1950s
    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    Chromolithography

    1950s
    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    Chromolithography

    1950s
    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    Chromolithography

    1950s
    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    Chromolithography

    1950s
    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope
  • Computer Generated

    1960s–present

    Computer Generated

    1960s–present

    Computer Generated

    1960s–present

    Computer Generated

    1960s–present

    Computer Generated

    1960s–present
  • Engraving

    1991
    Postage Stamps

    Engraving

    1991
    Postage Stamps

    Engraving

    1991
    Postage Stamps

    Engraving

    1991
    Postage Stamps

    Engraving

    1991
    Postage Stamps

Black & White Photography

Drawing stereo pairs by hand is difficult (though not impossible) for all but the simplest geometries. What was needed was a way to capture images from real life. Opportunely, the introduction of photography in 1839 followed Wheatstone's announcement by only one year. Wheatstone understood the potential immediately and arranged in the early 1840s to have a few stereo pairs made for experimental use with the talbotype and daguerreotype processes. These were separate images, as required by Wheatstone's reflecting stereoscope, which was a cumbersome tabletop instrument intended for scientific use.

In 1849, Sir David Brewster introduced a handheld lenticular (lens-based) stereoscope that allowed stereo images to be mounted side by side on a card, a convenient format that became the standard. After Brewster visited Louis-Jules Duboscq, an optician and instrument maker in Paris in 1850, Duboscq made improvements to the Brewster viewer and began producing stereo daguerreotypes.

In 1851, Duboscq had a booth in the Crystal Palace at the Great Exposition in London. There, Brewster showed Queen Victoria a Duboscq stereoscope. Her appreciative reaction set in motion a craze for stereoviews that spawned a new industry (according to Brewster, at least—it turns out he was the only witness and there is no corroborating evidence). Nevertheless, stereoscopy did take off in the 1850s as entertainment for the home and since then virtually every photographic process invented has been used to make stereoviews, up to and including digital photography.

  • Daguerreotype

    1851–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate

    Daguerreotype

    1851–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate

    Daguerreotype

    1851–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate

    Daguerreotype

    1851–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate

    Daguerreotype

    1851–c. 1860
    Image on silver-plated copper plate
  • Calotype (Talbotype)

    1851–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Calotype (Talbotype)

    1851–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Calotype (Talbotype)

    1851–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Calotype (Talbotype)

    1851–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Calotype (Talbotype)

    1851–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative
  • Ambrotype

    1854–1860
    A wet-plate collodion negative displayed against a black background

    Ambrotype

    1854–1860
    A wet-plate collodion negative displayed against a black background

    Ambrotype

    1854–1860
    A wet-plate collodion negative displayed against a black background

    Ambrotype

    1854–1860
    A wet-plate collodion negative displayed against a black background

    Ambrotype

    1854–1860
    A wet-plate collodion negative displayed against a black background
  • Tintype

    1860s–1880s
    Similar to ambrotype, but using a blackened iron sheet instead of a glass base

    Tintype

    1860s–1880s
    Similar to ambrotype, but using a blackened iron sheet instead of a glass base

    Tintype

    1860s–1880s
    Similar to ambrotype, but using a blackened iron sheet instead of a glass base

    Tintype

    1860s–1880s
    Similar to ambrotype, but using a blackened iron sheet instead of a glass base

    Tintype

    1860s–1880s
    Similar to ambrotype, but using a blackened iron sheet instead of a glass base
  • Wet Plate Collodian

    1850s–1880s
    The most common photographic process in the 2nd half of the 19th century

    Wet Plate Collodian

    1850s–1880s
    The most common photographic process in the 2nd half of the 19th century

    Wet Plate Collodian

    1850s–1880s
    The most common photographic process in the 2nd half of the 19th century

    Wet Plate Collodian

    1850s–1880s
    The most common photographic process in the 2nd half of the 19th century

    Wet Plate Collodian

    1850s–1880s
    The most common photographic process in the 2nd half of the 19th century
  • Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

    Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

    Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

    Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

    Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

Color Photography

The storage of visual color information requires three variables at every point on the image rather than a single measurement of light intensity. The number of channels is multiplying, which is most obvious in the Kromogram below, which uses six images of the same scene to store direction, depth and color.

  • Tinted

    1854–1875
    An albumen print of a B&W photograph colored by hand with watercolor

    Tinted

    1854–1875
    An albumen print of a B&W photograph colored by hand with watercolor

    Tinted

    1854–1875
    An albumen print of a B&W photograph colored by hand with watercolor

    Tinted

    1854–1875
    An albumen print of a B&W photograph colored by hand with watercolor

    Tinted

    1854–1875
    An albumen print of a B&W photograph colored by hand with watercolor
  • Hand-Painted

    1860s–c. 1900
    Albumen print on translucent paper, watercolor on back

    Hand-Painted

    1860s–c. 1900
    Albumen print on translucent paper, watercolor on back

    Hand-Painted

    1860s–c. 1900
    Albumen print on translucent paper, watercolor on back

    Hand-Painted

    1860s–c. 1900
    Albumen print on translucent paper, watercolor on back

    Hand-Painted

    1860s–c. 1900
    Albumen print on translucent paper, watercolor on back
  • Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Color separations for viewing with a Kromscop

    Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Color separations for viewing with a Kromscop

    Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Color separations for viewing with a Kromscop

    Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Color separations for viewing with a Kromscop

    Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Color separations for viewing with a Kromscop
  • Lumiere Trichrome

    1900–c. 1909
    3-color subtractive process using 3 gel layers glued together

    Lumiere Trichrome

    1900–c. 1909
    3-color subtractive process using 3 gel layers glued together

    Lumiere Trichrome

    1900–c. 1909
    3-color subtractive process using 3 gel layers glued together

    Lumiere Trichrome

    1900–c. 1909
    3-color subtractive process using 3 gel layers glued together

    Lumiere Trichrome

    1900–c. 1909
    3-color subtractive process using 3 gel layers glued together
  • Autochrome

    1907–1955
    3-color additive process using dyed grains of potato starch

    Autochrome

    1907–1955
    3-color additive process using dyed grains of potato starch

    Autochrome

    1907–1955
    3-color additive process using dyed grains of potato starch

    Autochrome

    1907–1955
    3-color additive process using dyed grains of potato starch

    Autochrome

    1907–1955
    3-color additive process using dyed grains of potato starch
  • Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.

    Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.

    Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.

    Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.

    Filmcolor

    1931–1953
    The Lumiere autochrome process on celluloid sheets.
  • Dufay Color

    1935–1950's
    Additive color using an extremely fine mosaic of color filters

    Dufay Color

    1935–1950's
    Additive color using an extremely fine mosaic of color filters

    Dufay Color

    1935–1950's
    Additive color using an extremely fine mosaic of color filters

    Dufay Color

    1935–1950's
    Additive color using an extremely fine mosaic of color filters

    Dufay Color

    1935–1950's
    Additive color using an extremely fine mosaic of color filters
  • Ansco Color (?)

    Modelscope
    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm film in plastic mount

    Ansco Color (?)

    Modelscope
    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm film in plastic mount

    Ansco Color (?)

    Modelscope
    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm film in plastic mount

    Ansco Color (?)

    Modelscope
    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm film in plastic mount

    Ansco Color (?)

    Modelscope
    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm film in plastic mount
  • Kodachrome

    View-Master
    1938–present
    View-Master reels used Kodachrome film except for a few years around 1980

    Kodachrome

    View-Master
    1938–present
    View-Master reels used Kodachrome film except for a few years around 1980

    Kodachrome

    View-Master
    1938–present
    View-Master reels used Kodachrome film except for a few years around 1980

    Kodachrome

    View-Master
    1938–present
    View-Master reels used Kodachrome film except for a few years around 1980

    Kodachrome

    View-Master
    1938–present
    View-Master reels used Kodachrome film except for a few years around 1980

Photographic Printing

With some photographic processes, including daguerreotype, ambrotype, tintype, and reversal film, the image captured in the camera is viewed directly. Often, however, taking a photograph produces a negative in the camera, which requires additional work to turn into a viewable positive image or print. Photographic printing (as opposed to photomechanical printing) exposes silver-halide coated paper to light passed through the negative. The dark areas in the negative block light, resulting in bright areas in the positive print. Multiple prints can be produced from a single negative.

The last example below is slightly different: a print from a digital photograph. There is no negative. However, it is still a photographic print in that it uses silver-halide based photo paper (Kodak Professional Digital Paper) exposed using a digital laser printer. The resulting print must be developed similarly to a non-digital print.

  • Salt Print

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Salt Print

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Salt Print

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Salt Print

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative

    Salt Print

    1840–c. 1860
    Salt print from paper negative
  • Albumen

    c. 1855–c. 1895
    Common process for printing from wet plate collodion negatives to paper positives

    Albumen

    c. 1855–c. 1895
    Common process for printing from wet plate collodion negatives to paper positives

    Albumen

    c. 1855–c. 1895
    Common process for printing from wet plate collodion negatives to paper positives

    Albumen

    c. 1855–c. 1895
    Common process for printing from wet plate collodion negatives to paper positives

    Albumen

    c. 1855–c. 1895
    Common process for printing from wet plate collodion negatives to paper positives
  • Cyanotype

    1873–1890
    Also the process used to make blue prints

    Cyanotype

    1873–1890
    Also the process used to make blue prints

    Cyanotype

    1873–1890
    Also the process used to make blue prints

    Cyanotype

    1873–1890
    Also the process used to make blue prints

    Cyanotype

    1873–1890
    Also the process used to make blue prints
  • Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

    Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

    Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

    Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print

    Gelatin Silver

    1870s–1960s
    Gelatin silver negative and print
  • Velox Paper

    1894–late 1960s
    Sample for Kodak's Stereo-Brownie

    Velox Paper

    1894–late 1960s
    Sample for Kodak's Stereo-Brownie

    Velox Paper

    1894–late 1960s
    Sample for Kodak's Stereo-Brownie

    Velox Paper

    1894–late 1960s
    Sample for Kodak's Stereo-Brownie

    Velox Paper

    1894–late 1960s
    Sample for Kodak's Stereo-Brownie
  • Laser

    1990s–present
    Digital photo laser printed on Kodak Professional Digital Paper

    Laser

    1990s–present
    Digital photo laser printed on Kodak Professional Digital Paper

    Laser

    1990s–present
    Digital photo laser printed on Kodak Professional Digital Paper

    Laser

    1990s–present
    Digital photo laser printed on Kodak Professional Digital Paper

    Laser

    1990s–present
    Digital photo laser printed on Kodak Professional Digital Paper

Photomechanical Printing

Unlike photographic printing, photomechanical involves no photochemical reactions. Instead, the image is copied by applying ink to paper (or some other base).

  • Collotype

    1856–1910

    Collotype

    1856–1910

    Collotype

    1856–1910

    Collotype

    1856–1910

    Collotype

    1856–1910
  • Heliotype

    early 1900s

    Heliotype

    early 1900s

    Heliotype

    early 1900s

    Heliotype

    early 1900s

    Heliotype

    early 1900s
  • Halftone Lithography

    1900s–present
    Print from Stereo-Realist negative

    Halftone Lithography

    1900s–present
    Print from Stereo-Realist negative

    Halftone Lithography

    1900s–present
    Print from Stereo-Realist negative

    Halftone Lithography

    1900s–present
    Print from Stereo-Realist negative

    Halftone Lithography

    1900s–present
    Print from Stereo-Realist negative
  • Chromoplast

    1910–1938
    High-quality halftone color lithography

    Chromoplast

    1910–1938
    High-quality halftone color lithography

    Chromoplast

    1910–1938
    High-quality halftone color lithography

    Chromoplast

    1910–1938
    High-quality halftone color lithography

    Chromoplast

    1910–1938
    High-quality halftone color lithography
  • Inkjet

    1990s–present
    Digital photograph, inkjet print

    Inkjet

    1990s–present
    Digital photograph, inkjet print

    Inkjet

    1990s–present
    Digital photograph, inkjet print

    Inkjet

    1990s–present
    Digital photograph, inkjet print

    Inkjet

    1990s–present
    Digital photograph, inkjet print

Standard Format

The standard 3.5 x 7 inch format for stereoviews was adopted early—stereo daguerreotypes of this size were produced from the early 1850s. There were a number of variations within this framework.

  • Holmes

    1850s–1940s

    Holmes

    1850s–1940s

    Holmes

    1850s–1940s

    Holmes

    1850s–1940s

    Holmes

    1850s–1940s
  • Curved Mount

    1882–1940

    Curved Mount

    1882–1940

    Curved Mount

    1882–1940

    Curved Mount

    1882–1940

    Curved Mount

    1882–1940
  • Cabinet

    1873–1890

    Cabinet

    1873–1890

    Cabinet

    1873–1890

    Cabinet

    1873–1890

    Cabinet

    1873–1890
  • Double-Sided

    1870s–1930s

    Double-Sided

    1870s–1930s

    Double-Sided

    1870s–1930s

    Double-Sided

    1870s–1930s

    Double-Sided

    1870s–1930s

Glass

Transparent stereoviews were first made possible by the Langenheim brothers in 1848 with their technique for printing photographic positives on glass. Their halotype process was used almost immediately for both magic lantern slides and stereoviews. In the case of stereoviews, one advantage was that holding a transparent image up to a bright light source offered greater dynamic range than possible with a printed card.

  • Mignon Stéréo

    c. 1910
    65 × 30 mm

    Mignon Stéréo

    c. 1910
    65 × 30 mm

    Mignon Stéréo

    c. 1910
    65 × 30 mm

    Mignon Stéréo

    c. 1910
    65 × 30 mm

    Mignon Stéréo

    c. 1910
    65 × 30 mm
  • Small Format

    1890s–1940s
    45 × 107 mm

    Small Format

    1890s–1940s
    45 × 107 mm

    Small Format

    1890s–1940s
    45 × 107 mm

    Small Format

    1890s–1940s
    45 × 107 mm

    Small Format

    1890s–1940s
    45 × 107 mm
  • Medium Format

    1905–1920s
    60 × 130 mm

    Medium Format

    1905–1920s
    60 × 130 mm

    Medium Format

    1905–1920s
    60 × 130 mm

    Medium Format

    1905–1920s
    60 × 130 mm

    Medium Format

    1905–1920s
    60 × 130 mm
  • Full Format

    1854–1870s
    3½ × 7" (89 × 178 mm)

    Full Format

    1854–1870s
    3½ × 7" (89 × 178 mm)

    Full Format

    1854–1870s
    3½ × 7" (89 × 178 mm)

    Full Format

    1854–1870s
    3½ × 7" (89 × 178 mm)

    Full Format

    1854–1870s
    3½ × 7" (89 × 178 mm)
  • Cabinet

    1870s

    Cabinet

    1870s

    Cabinet

    1870s

    Cabinet

    1870s

    Cabinet

    1870s
  • Educa

    late 1890s–1920s
    12 pairs on a 130 × 180 mm plate

    Educa

    late 1890s–1920s
    12 pairs on a 130 × 180 mm plate

    Educa

    late 1890s–1920s
    12 pairs on a 130 × 180 mm plate

    Educa

    late 1890s–1920s
    12 pairs on a 130 × 180 mm plate

    Educa

    late 1890s–1920s
    12 pairs on a 130 × 180 mm plate
  • Magic Lantern Slides

    1858–1940s
    3¼ × 4" (80 × 100 mm)

    Magic Lantern Slides

    1858–1940s
    3¼ × 4" (80 × 100 mm)

    Magic Lantern Slides

    1858–1940s
    3¼ × 4" (80 × 100 mm)

    Magic Lantern Slides

    1858–1940s
    3¼ × 4" (80 × 100 mm)

    Magic Lantern Slides

    1858–1940s
    3¼ × 4" (80 × 100 mm)

Celluloid

Celluoid stereoviews are usually considered stereo slides, but these are a bit different: the mounted full-size view is made to be viewed in a standard stereoviewer and the stereo dental x-ray is an unmounted piece of celluloid.

  • Full Format

    1870s
    Simili Verre translates as "Imitation Glass"

    Full Format

    1870s
    Simili Verre translates as "Imitation Glass"

    Full Format

    1870s
    Simili Verre translates as "Imitation Glass"

    Full Format

    1870s
    Simili Verre translates as "Imitation Glass"

    Full Format

    1870s
    Simili Verre translates as "Imitation Glass"
  • Medium Format

    1910s–1920's
    Unmounted celluloid

    Medium Format

    1910s–1920's
    Unmounted celluloid

    Medium Format

    1910s–1920's
    Unmounted celluloid

    Medium Format

    1910s–1920's
    Unmounted celluloid

    Medium Format

    1910s–1920's
    Unmounted celluloid
  • Ritter Intra-Oral

    c. 1930s–1950s

    Ritter Intra-Oral

    c. 1930s–1950s

    Ritter Intra-Oral

    c. 1930s–1950s

    Ritter Intra-Oral

    c. 1930s–1950s

    Ritter Intra-Oral

    c. 1930s–1950s

Special Effects

Stereroviews provided plenty of opportunities for special effects. Sir David Brewster came up with the idea of creating ghosts in photographs by a kind of double exposure. Techniques of back lighting familiar from peep boxes could also be applied to stereoviews. The parameters of binocular vision could be tweaked by changing the distance between the "eyes"—widely separated viewpoints create a hyper-stereo effect that can make a cityscape look like a model.

  • Ghost View

    1856–c. 1900
    Transparent figure produced by having the actor leave the scene during exposure

    Ghost View

    1856–c. 1900
    Transparent figure produced by having the actor leave the scene during exposure

    Ghost View

    1856–c. 1900
    Transparent figure produced by having the actor leave the scene during exposure

    Ghost View

    1856–c. 1900
    Transparent figure produced by having the actor leave the scene during exposure

    Ghost View

    1856–c. 1900
    Transparent figure produced by having the actor leave the scene during exposure
  • Surprise Tissue

    late 1850s–c. 1900
    Hidden elements are painted on reverse side of translucent paper image

    Surprise Tissue

    late 1850s–c. 1900
    Hidden elements are painted on reverse side of translucent paper image

    Surprise Tissue

    late 1850s–c. 1900
    Hidden elements are painted on reverse side of translucent paper image

    Surprise Tissue

    late 1850s–c. 1900
    Hidden elements are painted on reverse side of translucent paper image

    Surprise Tissue

    late 1850s–c. 1900
    Hidden elements are painted on reverse side of translucent paper image
  • Motion View

    c. 1860–1861
    Alternately viewed left and right images show the subject in different positions

    Motion View

    c. 1860–1861
    Alternately viewed left and right images show the subject in different positions

    Motion View

    c. 1860–1861
    Alternately viewed left and right images show the subject in different positions

    Motion View

    c. 1860–1861
    Alternately viewed left and right images show the subject in different positions

    Motion View

    c. 1860–1861
    Alternately viewed left and right images show the subject in different positions
  • Hyperstereo

    1850s–present
    A stereo pair taken with a greater separation between lenses than normal

    Hyperstereo

    1850s–present
    A stereo pair taken with a greater separation between lenses than normal

    Hyperstereo

    1850s–present
    A stereo pair taken with a greater separation between lenses than normal

    Hyperstereo

    1850s–present
    A stereo pair taken with a greater separation between lenses than normal

    Hyperstereo

    1850s–present
    A stereo pair taken with a greater separation between lenses than normal
  • Bi-Color

    c. 1860s–1880s
    Simulates an iridescent metalic sheen by applying color to only one of the images

    Bi-Color

    c. 1860s–1880s
    Simulates an iridescent metalic sheen by applying color to only one of the images

    Bi-Color

    c. 1860s–1880s
    Simulates an iridescent metalic sheen by applying color to only one of the images

    Bi-Color

    c. 1860s–1880s
    Simulates an iridescent metalic sheen by applying color to only one of the images

    Bi-Color

    c. 1860s–1880s
    Simulates an iridescent metalic sheen by applying color to only one of the images
  • Polyscopic Stereograph


    Polyscopic Stereograph


    Polyscopic Stereograph


    Polyscopic Stereograph


    Polyscopic Stereograph


Opthalmic

The Keystone Company began selling stereoviews and viewers for the diagnosis and treatment of problems with stereovision in 1932. Keystone went out of business in 1972, but polarized stereo images are still manufactured and sold for that purpose.

  • Monoview

    1890s–1970s
    Non-stereo view with identical images used to illustrate by contrast the effect of stereo

    Monoview

    1890s–1970s
    Non-stereo view with identical images used to illustrate by contrast the effect of stereo

    Monoview

    1890s–1970s
    Non-stereo view with identical images used to illustrate by contrast the effect of stereo

    Monoview

    1890s–1970s
    Non-stereo view with identical images used to illustrate by contrast the effect of stereo

    Monoview

    1890s–1970s
    Non-stereo view with identical images used to illustrate by contrast the effect of stereo
  • Keystone Optical Scale

    1930s–1950s

    Keystone Optical Scale

    1930s–1950s

    Keystone Optical Scale

    1930s–1950s

    Keystone Optical Scale

    1930s–1950s

    Keystone Optical Scale

    1930s–1950s
  • Keystone Base Out

    1940s–1950s

    Keystone Base Out

    1940s–1950s

    Keystone Base Out

    1940s–1950s

    Keystone Base Out

    1940s–1950s

    Keystone Base Out

    1940s–1950s
  • Dvorine Animated Fusion

    c. 1933–1950s
    Used to diagnose and treat strabismus in children

    Dvorine Animated Fusion

    c. 1933–1950s
    Used to diagnose and treat strabismus in children

    Dvorine Animated Fusion

    c. 1933–1950s
    Used to diagnose and treat strabismus in children

    Dvorine Animated Fusion

    c. 1933–1950s
    Used to diagnose and treat strabismus in children

    Dvorine Animated Fusion

    c. 1933–1950s
    Used to diagnose and treat strabismus in children
  • Biopter

    1940s(?)–present

    Biopter

    1940s(?)–present

    Biopter

    1940s(?)–present

    Biopter

    1940s(?)–present

    Biopter

    1940s(?)–present
  • Worth-Black Amblyoscope

    1895–present

    Worth-Black Amblyoscope

    1895–present

    Worth-Black Amblyoscope

    1895–present

    Worth-Black Amblyoscope

    1895–present

    Worth-Black Amblyoscope

    1895–present

Aerial

  • Photomechanical Print

    1912–present

    Photomechanical Print

    1912–present

    Photomechanical Print

    1912–present

    Photomechanical Print

    1912–present

    Photomechanical Print

    1912–present
  • Glass

    1910–present

    Glass

    1910–present

    Glass

    1910–present

    Glass

    1910–present

    Glass

    1910–present

Additional Formats

In addition to the range of standard sizes for stereoviews, various manufacturers had their own formats.

  • Le Stéréorama

    c. 1920s
    Views came in rolls

    Le Stéréorama

    c. 1920s
    Views came in rolls

    Le Stéréorama

    c. 1920s
    Views came in rolls

    Le Stéréorama

    c. 1920s
    Views came in rolls

    Le Stéréorama

    c. 1920s
    Views came in rolls
  • Le Merveilleux

    1900s–1910s
    Postcard

    Le Merveilleux

    1900s–1910s
    Postcard

    Le Merveilleux

    1900s–1910s
    Postcard

    Le Merveilleux

    1900s–1910s
    Postcard

    Le Merveilleux

    1900s–1910s
    Postcard
  • Rotograph

    1900s
    Bromide print

    Rotograph

    1900s
    Bromide print

    Rotograph

    1900s
    Bromide print

    Rotograph

    1900s
    Bromide print

    Rotograph

    1900s
    Bromide print
  • Metropolitan Syndicate Press

    c. 1903–1910
    Lithography on cardstock

    Metropolitan Syndicate Press

    c. 1903–1910
    Lithography on cardstock

    Metropolitan Syndicate Press

    c. 1903–1910
    Lithography on cardstock

    Metropolitan Syndicate Press

    c. 1903–1910
    Lithography on cardstock

    Metropolitan Syndicate Press

    c. 1903–1910
    Lithography on cardstock
  • Stéréoscope Unis-France

    c. 1910s–1920s
    Folding viewer for medium format (6 × 13 cm) stereo cards and slides

    Stéréoscope Unis-France

    c. 1910s–1920s
    Folding viewer for medium format (6 × 13 cm) stereo cards and slides

    Stéréoscope Unis-France

    c. 1910s–1920s
    Folding viewer for medium format (6 × 13 cm) stereo cards and slides

    Stéréoscope Unis-France

    c. 1910s–1920s
    Folding viewer for medium format (6 × 13 cm) stereo cards and slides

    Stéréoscope Unis-France

    c. 1910s–1920s
    Folding viewer for medium format (6 × 13 cm) stereo cards and slides
  • Whiting's Magic Photo Album Educator

    c. 1913–1920s
    With a card for Whiting's Sculptoscope, an arcade viewer from the same company

    Whiting's Magic Photo Album Educator

    c. 1913–1920s
    With a card for Whiting's Sculptoscope, an arcade viewer from the same company

    Whiting's Magic Photo Album Educator

    c. 1913–1920s
    With a card for Whiting's Sculptoscope, an arcade viewer from the same company

    Whiting's Magic Photo Album Educator

    c. 1913–1920s
    With a card for Whiting's Sculptoscope, an arcade viewer from the same company

    Whiting's Magic Photo Album Educator

    c. 1913–1920s
    With a card for Whiting's Sculptoscope, an arcade viewer from the same company
  • Camerascope

    1927
    Views given away with packs of Army Club cigarettes

    Camerascope

    1927
    Views given away with packs of Army Club cigarettes

    Camerascope

    1927
    Views given away with packs of Army Club cigarettes

    Camerascope

    1927
    Views given away with packs of Army Club cigarettes

    Camerascope

    1927
    Views given away with packs of Army Club cigarettes
  • Keystone Junior

    1930s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Keystone Junior

    1930s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Keystone Junior

    1930s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Keystone Junior

    1930s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Keystone Junior

    1930s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm
  • Stereo-Tach

    1930s
    Photo paper

    Stereo-Tach

    1930s
    Photo paper

    Stereo-Tach

    1930s
    Photo paper

    Stereo-Tach

    1930s
    Photo paper

    Stereo-Tach

    1930s
    Photo paper
  • Zeiss Areotopo

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper

    Zeiss Areotopo

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper

    Zeiss Areotopo

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper

    Zeiss Areotopo

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper

    Zeiss Areotopo

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper
  • Estereoscopo Simplex

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Estereoscopo Simplex

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Estereoscopo Simplex

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Estereoscopo Simplex

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Estereoscopo Simplex

    1930s–1940s
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm
  • Raumbild-Verlag

    1935–1967
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Raumbild-Verlag

    1935–1967
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Raumbild-Verlag

    1935–1967
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Raumbild-Verlag

    1935–1967
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm

    Raumbild-Verlag

    1935–1967
    Photo paper, 60 × 130 mm
  • Duo-Vex

    1934
    Photographs inserted in cardboard mount

    Duo-Vex

    1934
    Photographs inserted in cardboard mount

    Duo-Vex

    1934
    Photographs inserted in cardboard mount

    Duo-Vex

    1934
    Photographs inserted in cardboard mount

    Duo-Vex

    1934
    Photographs inserted in cardboard mount
  • Ster-I-Lan

    1950s
    Chromolithography

    Ster-I-Lan

    1950s
    Chromolithography

    Ster-I-Lan

    1950s
    Chromolithography

    Ster-I-Lan

    1950s
    Chromolithography

    Ster-I-Lan

    1950s
    Chromolithography
  • Ster-I-Lan Card

    1950s
    Photo paper

    Ster-I-Lan Card

    1950s
    Photo paper

    Ster-I-Lan Card

    1950s
    Photo paper

    Ster-I-Lan Card

    1950s
    Photo paper

    Ster-I-Lan Card

    1950s
    Photo paper
  • Cine Infantil en Relieve JIN

    1954
    Chromolithography on scroll

    Cine Infantil en Relieve JIN

    1954
    Chromolithography on scroll

    Cine Infantil en Relieve JIN

    1954
    Chromolithography on scroll

    Cine Infantil en Relieve JIN

    1954
    Chromolithography on scroll

    Cine Infantil en Relieve JIN

    1954
    Chromolithography on scroll
  • Rokuwa Minori

    1955–1956

    Rokuwa Minori

    1955–1956

    Rokuwa Minori

    1955–1956

    Rokuwa Minori

    1955–1956

    Rokuwa Minori

    1955–1956
  • Vistascreen

    1956–1961
    Photo paper

    Vistascreen

    1956–1961
    Photo paper

    Vistascreen

    1956–1961
    Photo paper

    Vistascreen

    1956–1961
    Photo paper

    Vistascreen

    1956–1961
    Photo paper
  • Nabisco Televiewer

    1957
    Chromolithography

    Nabisco Televiewer

    1957
    Chromolithography

    Nabisco Televiewer

    1957
    Chromolithography

    Nabisco Televiewer

    1957
    Chromolithography

    Nabisco Televiewer

    1957
    Chromolithography
  • Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    1950s
    Chromolithography

    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    1950s
    Chromolithography

    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    1950s
    Chromolithography

    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    1950s
    Chromolithography

    Craftsmen's Guild Tri-Scope

    1950s
    Chromolithography
  • Wonderscope

    late-1950s
    Chromolithography

    Wonderscope

    late-1950s
    Chromolithography

    Wonderscope

    late-1950s
    Chromolithography

    Wonderscope

    late-1950s
    Chromolithography

    Wonderscope

    late-1950s
    Chromolithography
  • Fleetwood

    1977
    Chromolithography

    Fleetwood

    1977
    Chromolithography

    Fleetwood

    1977
    Chromolithography

    Fleetwood

    1977
    Chromolithography

    Fleetwood

    1977
    Chromolithography
  • Loreo

    1990s–present
    Photo paper, 4 × 6"

    Loreo

    1990s–present
    Photo paper, 4 × 6"

    Loreo

    1990s–present
    Photo paper, 4 × 6"

    Loreo

    1990s–present
    Photo paper, 4 × 6"

    Loreo

    1990s–present
    Photo paper, 4 × 6"
  • 3DIQ

    1999–2000s
    Halftone, left view on one side of card, right on the other

    3DIQ

    1999–2000s
    Halftone, left view on one side of card, right on the other

    3DIQ

    1999–2000s
    Halftone, left view on one side of card, right on the other

    3DIQ

    1999–2000s
    Halftone, left view on one side of card, right on the other

    3DIQ

    1999–2000s
    Halftone, left view on one side of card, right on the other
  • HNA Stereoskop

    2016

    HNA Stereoskop

    2016

    HNA Stereoskop

    2016

    HNA Stereoskop

    2016

    HNA Stereoskop

    2016

Arcade

Stereoviews were a popular form of peepshow in arcades from the late 1800s into the 1930s, alongside mutoscopes, muscle testers, player pianos and similar devices. The machines typically held a number of cards attached to a drum or belt, which, for a penny, allowed the viewer to cycle through 20 or so views. Each machine held several sets of views, so the viewer had to keep inserting pennies to see them all. The views shown here have notches that allowed them to be attached to the mechanism.

Stereoviewers, mutoscopes and other kinds of peep shows had reputation for racy content in the form of women in various degrees of undress. Most of these would be considered mild today, but at the time, exhibitors were sometimes prosecuted. Other forms of content included humor, celebrities and travel.

  • Cail-O-Scope

    1904–c. 1910

    Cail-O-Scope

    1904–c. 1910

    Cail-O-Scope

    1904–c. 1910

    Cail-O-Scope

    1904–c. 1910

    Cail-O-Scope

    1904–c. 1910
  • Whiting Sculptoscope

    c. 1913–early 1940s
    Standard view cut down to fit viewer

    Whiting Sculptoscope

    c. 1913–early 1940s
    Standard view cut down to fit viewer

    Whiting Sculptoscope

    c. 1913–early 1940s
    Standard view cut down to fit viewer

    Whiting Sculptoscope

    c. 1913–early 1940s
    Standard view cut down to fit viewer

    Whiting Sculptoscope

    c. 1913–early 1940s
    Standard view cut down to fit viewer
  • Whiting Sculptoscope

    1920s–1930s

    Whiting Sculptoscope

    1920s–1930s

    Whiting Sculptoscope

    1920s–1930s

    Whiting Sculptoscope

    1920s–1930s

    Whiting Sculptoscope

    1920s–1930s
  • Photoscope

    1920s–1930s

    Photoscope

    1920s–1930s

    Photoscope

    1920s–1930s

    Photoscope

    1920s–1930s

    Photoscope

    1920s–1930s

Stereo Slide

NOW IT'S THIRD DIMENSION FOR YOUR EVERLASTING PLEASURE
—Label on Tri-Vision in-store demonstration viewer

A slide, in this context, is a transparency on celluloid usually mounted in a frame, typically cardboard, plastic or metal. The celluloid images are usually 35 mm or 16 mm, but other sizes, particularly panoramic stereo, also exist. The images themselves are color or B&W photographs.

  • Stereo Gedescope

    c. 1918
    Cardboard viewer, 35 mm views in cardboard mount

    Stereo Gedescope

    c. 1918
    Cardboard viewer, 35 mm views in cardboard mount

    Stereo Gedescope

    c. 1918
    Cardboard viewer, 35 mm views in cardboard mount

    Stereo Gedescope

    c. 1918
    Cardboard viewer, 35 mm views in cardboard mount

    Stereo Gedescope

    c. 1918
    Cardboard viewer, 35 mm views in cardboard mount
  • Beamsplitter

    1920s–present
    Left and right views on a single slide, taken with attachment to a standard camera

    Beamsplitter

    1920s–present
    Left and right views on a single slide, taken with attachment to a standard camera

    Beamsplitter

    1920s–present
    Left and right views on a single slide, taken with attachment to a standard camera

    Beamsplitter

    1920s–present
    Left and right views on a single slide, taken with attachment to a standard camera

    Beamsplitter

    1920s–present
    Left and right views on a single slide, taken with attachment to a standard camera
  • Modelscope

    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm, color (faded), plastic mount

    Modelscope

    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm, color (faded), plastic mount

    Modelscope

    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm, color (faded), plastic mount

    Modelscope

    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm, color (faded), plastic mount

    Modelscope

    c. 1945–c. 1950
    Nudes, 35 mm, color (faded), plastic mount
  • Haneel Tri-Vision

    1946–1949
    Bakelite viewer with matching camera

    Haneel Tri-Vision

    1946–1949
    Bakelite viewer with matching camera

    Haneel Tri-Vision

    1946–1949
    Bakelite viewer with matching camera

    Haneel Tri-Vision

    1946–1949
    Bakelite viewer with matching camera

    Haneel Tri-Vision

    1946–1949
    Bakelite viewer with matching camera
  • 35 mm Slide Pair

    c. 1946–1990's
    Left and right images mounted as two separate 35 mm slides

    35 mm Slide Pair

    c. 1946–1990's
    Left and right images mounted as two separate 35 mm slides

    35 mm Slide Pair

    c. 1946–1990's
    Left and right images mounted as two separate 35 mm slides

    35 mm Slide Pair

    c. 1946–1990's
    Left and right images mounted as two separate 35 mm slides

    35 mm Slide Pair

    c. 1946–1990's
    Left and right images mounted as two separate 35 mm slides
  • Bruguiére № 1

    late 1940s–1950s
    Unmounted 35 mm stereo pairs on a single celluloid sheet

    Bruguiére № 1

    late 1940s–1950s
    Unmounted 35 mm stereo pairs on a single celluloid sheet

    Bruguiére № 1

    late 1940s–1950s
    Unmounted 35 mm stereo pairs on a single celluloid sheet

    Bruguiére № 1

    late 1940s–1950s
    Unmounted 35 mm stereo pairs on a single celluloid sheet

    Bruguiére № 1

    late 1940s–1950s
    Unmounted 35 mm stereo pairs on a single celluloid sheet
  • Stereo Realist

    1947–1971
    The standard format for amateur stereo photography in the 1950s and 60s

    Stereo Realist

    1947–1971
    The standard format for amateur stereo photography in the 1950s and 60s

    Stereo Realist

    1947–1971
    The standard format for amateur stereo photography in the 1950s and 60s

    Stereo Realist

    1947–1971
    The standard format for amateur stereo photography in the 1950s and 60s

    Stereo Realist

    1947–1971
    The standard format for amateur stereo photography in the 1950s and 60s
  • Radex

    1950–1960's
    16 mm views in cardboard mount

    Radex

    1950–1960's
    16 mm views in cardboard mount

    Radex

    1950–1960's
    16 mm views in cardboard mount

    Radex

    1950–1960's
    16 mm views in cardboard mount

    Radex

    1950–1960's
    16 mm views in cardboard mount
  • Stori-View

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    From the How to Play Baseball set

    Stori-View

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    From the How to Play Baseball set

    Stori-View

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    From the How to Play Baseball set

    Stori-View

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    From the How to Play Baseball set

    Stori-View

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    From the How to Play Baseball set
  • Stori View (Narrow)

    c. 1952–c. 1962

    Stori View (Narrow)

    c. 1952–c. 1962

    Stori View (Narrow)

    c. 1952–c. 1962

    Stori View (Narrow)

    c. 1952–c. 1962

    Stori View (Narrow)

    c. 1952–c. 1962
  • Pixie-Views

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    Stori-view with two 16 mm slide pairs

    Pixie-Views

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    Stori-view with two 16 mm slide pairs

    Pixie-Views

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    Stori-view with two 16 mm slide pairs

    Pixie-Views

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    Stori-view with two 16 mm slide pairs

    Pixie-Views

    c. 1952–c. 1962
    Stori-view with two 16 mm slide pairs
  • Belca

    1950s
    A generic viewer (no markings) with a Belca slide

    Belca

    1950s
    A generic viewer (no markings) with a Belca slide

    Belca

    1950s
    A generic viewer (no markings) with a Belca slide

    Belca

    1950s
    A generic viewer (no markings) with a Belca slide

    Belca

    1950s
    A generic viewer (no markings) with a Belca slide
  • Radex Binocular-Scope

    1950s
    For separate 2x2 in. slides in metal mount

    Radex Binocular-Scope

    1950s
    For separate 2x2 in. slides in metal mount

    Radex Binocular-Scope

    1950s
    For separate 2x2 in. slides in metal mount

    Radex Binocular-Scope

    1950s
    For separate 2x2 in. slides in metal mount

    Radex Binocular-Scope

    1950s
    For separate 2x2 in. slides in metal mount
  • Le Bengali

    1950s
    French viewer with cards that hold two stereoviews

    Le Bengali

    1950s
    French viewer with cards that hold two stereoviews

    Le Bengali

    1950s
    French viewer with cards that hold two stereoviews

    Le Bengali

    1950s
    French viewer with cards that hold two stereoviews

    Le Bengali

    1950s
    French viewer with cards that hold two stereoviews
  • Belcaskop

    1950s

    Belcaskop

    1950s

    Belcaskop

    1950s

    Belcaskop

    1950s

    Belcaskop

    1950s
  • Colourscope

    1950s

    Colourscope

    1950s

    Colourscope

    1950s

    Colourscope

    1950s

    Colourscope

    1950s
  • Simda

    c. 1955
    Taken with Simda Panoramica camera

    Simda

    c. 1955
    Taken with Simda Panoramica camera

    Simda

    c. 1955
    Taken with Simda Panoramica camera

    Simda

    c. 1955
    Taken with Simda Panoramica camera

    Simda

    c. 1955
    Taken with Simda Panoramica camera
  • Maliscop

    1955–late-1950s

    Maliscop

    1955–late-1950s

    Maliscop

    1955–late-1950s

    Maliscop

    1955–late-1950s

    Maliscop

    1955–late-1950s
  • Colde

    c. 1955
    Realist format

    Colde

    c. 1955
    Realist format

    Colde

    c. 1955
    Realist format

    Colde

    c. 1955
    Realist format

    Colde

    c. 1955
    Realist format
  • Duplex Super 120

    c. 1956
    For Italian Super Duplex 120 stereo camera

    Duplex Super 120

    c. 1956
    For Italian Super Duplex 120 stereo camera

    Duplex Super 120

    c. 1956
    For Italian Super Duplex 120 stereo camera

    Duplex Super 120

    c. 1956
    For Italian Super Duplex 120 stereo camera

    Duplex Super 120

    c. 1956
    For Italian Super Duplex 120 stereo camera
  • Row Rathenow

    1957
    East German Realist format

    Row Rathenow

    1957
    East German Realist format

    Row Rathenow

    1957
    East German Realist format

    Row Rathenow

    1957
    East German Realist format

    Row Rathenow

    1957
    East German Realist format
  • Taylor-Merchant

    1950s-1960s
    Folding cardboard viewer with Plastaslide-mounted slides

    Taylor-Merchant

    1950s-1960s
    Folding cardboard viewer with Plastaslide-mounted slides

    Taylor-Merchant

    1950s-1960s
    Folding cardboard viewer with Plastaslide-mounted slides

    Taylor-Merchant

    1950s-1960s
    Folding cardboard viewer with Plastaslide-mounted slides

    Taylor-Merchant

    1950s-1960s
    Folding cardboard viewer with Plastaslide-mounted slides
  • Hanimex Vista-View

    c. 1960
    Australian panoramic slides

    Hanimex Vista-View

    c. 1960
    Australian panoramic slides

    Hanimex Vista-View

    c. 1960
    Australian panoramic slides

    Hanimex Vista-View

    c. 1960
    Australian panoramic slides

    Hanimex Vista-View

    c. 1960
    Australian panoramic slides
  • Folding Viewer

    c. 1960's
    Nudes in Japanese cardboard folding viewer

    Folding Viewer

    c. 1960's
    Nudes in Japanese cardboard folding viewer

    Folding Viewer

    c. 1960's
    Nudes in Japanese cardboard folding viewer

    Folding Viewer

    c. 1960's
    Nudes in Japanese cardboard folding viewer

    Folding Viewer

    c. 1960's
    Nudes in Japanese cardboard folding viewer
  • Mikrolux

    1960s
    East German viewer

    Mikrolux

    1960s
    East German viewer

    Mikrolux

    1960s
    East German viewer

    Mikrolux

    1960s
    East German viewer

    Mikrolux

    1960s
    East German viewer
  • Ctepeockon-3

    1960s
    Soviet clone of the German Belcaskop

    Ctepeockon-3

    1960s
    Soviet clone of the German Belcaskop

    Ctepeockon-3

    1960s
    Soviet clone of the German Belcaskop

    Ctepeockon-3

    1960s
    Soviet clone of the German Belcaskop

    Ctepeockon-3

    1960s
    Soviet clone of the German Belcaskop
  • Shape

    c. 1970

    Shape

    c. 1970

    Shape

    c. 1970

    Shape

    c. 1970

    Shape

    c. 1970
  • Penthouse

    1970s
    Erotic photographs in the style of Penthouse magazine

    Penthouse

    1970s
    Erotic photographs in the style of Penthouse magazine

    Penthouse

    1970s
    Erotic photographs in the style of Penthouse magazine

    Penthouse

    1970s
    Erotic photographs in the style of Penthouse magazine

    Penthouse

    1970s
    Erotic photographs in the style of Penthouse magazine
  • Pana Vista

    2003–c. 2007
    Panoramic format invented by cinematographer Henry Chung

    Pana Vista

    2003–c. 2007
    Panoramic format invented by cinematographer Henry Chung

    Pana Vista

    2003–c. 2007
    Panoramic format invented by cinematographer Henry Chung

    Pana Vista

    2003–c. 2007
    Panoramic format invented by cinematographer Henry Chung

    Pana Vista

    2003–c. 2007
    Panoramic format invented by cinematographer Henry Chung

Magazine-Fed

  • Tri-Vision Store Viewer

    Late 1940s
    Store demo viewer

    Tri-Vision Store Viewer

    Late 1940s
    Store demo viewer

    Tri-Vision Store Viewer

    Late 1940s
    Store demo viewer

    Tri-Vision Store Viewer

    Late 1940s
    Store demo viewer

    Tri-Vision Store Viewer

    Late 1940s
    Store demo viewer
  • Arrow-View

    1950s
    10-slide magazine

    Arrow-View

    1950s
    10-slide magazine

    Arrow-View

    1950s
    10-slide magazine

    Arrow-View

    1950s
    10-slide magazine

    Arrow-View

    1950s
    10-slide magazine
  • Roto-Vuer

    1953–1950s
    60-slide interchangeable drum

    Roto-Vuer

    1953–1950s
    60-slide interchangeable drum

    Roto-Vuer

    1953–1950s
    60-slide interchangeable drum

    Roto-Vuer

    1953–1950s
    60-slide interchangeable drum

    Roto-Vuer

    1953–1950s
    60-slide interchangeable drum
  • Airequipt Stereo Theater

    c. 1955–1960
    Use a 24-slide magazine

    Airequipt Stereo Theater

    c. 1955–1960
    Use a 24-slide magazine

    Airequipt Stereo Theater

    c. 1955–1960
    Use a 24-slide magazine

    Airequipt Stereo Theater

    c. 1955–1960
    Use a 24-slide magazine

    Airequipt Stereo Theater

    c. 1955–1960
    Use a 24-slide magazine

Stereo Cards

Cards containing eight or more stereo pairs were a convenient way to view multiple images. They typically told a story or collected pictures of a tourist destination.

  • Colorscope

    1940s
    Pictures on continuous film strips mounted in card

    Colorscope

    1940s
    Pictures on continuous film strips mounted in card

    Colorscope

    1940s
    Pictures on continuous film strips mounted in card

    Colorscope

    1940s
    Pictures on continuous film strips mounted in card

    Colorscope

    1940s
    Pictures on continuous film strips mounted in card
  • Colorelief

    1950s–1960s
    French viewer and card

    Colorelief

    1950s–1960s
    French viewer and card

    Colorelief

    1950s–1960s
    French viewer and card

    Colorelief

    1950s–1960s
    French viewer and card

    Colorelief

    1950s–1960s
    French viewer and card
  • Soviet Stereoscope

    1950s

    Soviet Stereoscope

    1950s

    Soviet Stereoscope

    1950s

    Soviet Stereoscope

    1950s

    Soviet Stereoscope

    1950s
  • Tru-Vue

    1952–1960s
    Sawyers switched Tru-Vue to cards after buying company

    Tru-Vue

    1952–1960s
    Sawyers switched Tru-Vue to cards after buying company

    Tru-Vue

    1952–1960s
    Sawyers switched Tru-Vue to cards after buying company

    Tru-Vue

    1952–1960s
    Sawyers switched Tru-Vue to cards after buying company

    Tru-Vue

    1952–1960s
    Sawyers switched Tru-Vue to cards after buying company
  • RoMo

    mid-1950s–late 1960s
    Cards hold 12 stereo pairs

    RoMo

    mid-1950s–late 1960s
    Cards hold 12 stereo pairs

    RoMo

    mid-1950s–late 1960s
    Cards hold 12 stereo pairs

    RoMo

    mid-1950s–late 1960s
    Cards hold 12 stereo pairs

    RoMo

    mid-1950s–late 1960s
    Cards hold 12 stereo pairs
  • RoMo Junior

    mid-1950s
    A RoMo viewer for children

    RoMo Junior

    mid-1950s
    A RoMo viewer for children

    RoMo Junior

    mid-1950s
    A RoMo viewer for children

    RoMo Junior

    mid-1950s
    A RoMo viewer for children

    RoMo Junior

    mid-1950s
    A RoMo viewer for children
  • Lestrade

    1954–late 1970s
    Bakelite viewer

    Lestrade

    1954–late 1970s
    Bakelite viewer

    Lestrade

    1954–late 1970s
    Bakelite viewer

    Lestrade

    1954–late 1970s
    Bakelite viewer

    Lestrade

    1954–late 1970s
    Bakelite viewer
  • Isolan Stereomat

    mid-1950s
    Middle lens shows the title of each pair

    Isolan Stereomat

    mid-1950s
    Middle lens shows the title of each pair

    Isolan Stereomat

    mid-1950s
    Middle lens shows the title of each pair

    Isolan Stereomat

    mid-1950s
    Middle lens shows the title of each pair

    Isolan Stereomat

    mid-1950s
    Middle lens shows the title of each pair
  • Bruguiere Model 10

    c. 1958–1963
    Souvenir card for Lourdes, France, shown with Stereoclic Model 10

    Bruguiere Model 10

    c. 1958–1963
    Souvenir card for Lourdes, France, shown with Stereoclic Model 10

    Bruguiere Model 10

    c. 1958–1963
    Souvenir card for Lourdes, France, shown with Stereoclic Model 10

    Bruguiere Model 10

    c. 1958–1963
    Souvenir card for Lourdes, France, shown with Stereoclic Model 10

    Bruguiere Model 10

    c. 1958–1963
    Souvenir card for Lourdes, France, shown with Stereoclic Model 10
  • Ctepeockon

    1950s–1960s
    A Soviet knock-off of Bruguiere Model 10

    Ctepeockon

    1950s–1960s
    A Soviet knock-off of Bruguiere Model 10

    Ctepeockon

    1950s–1960s
    A Soviet knock-off of Bruguiere Model 10

    Ctepeockon

    1950s–1960s
    A Soviet knock-off of Bruguiere Model 10

    Ctepeockon

    1950s–1960s
    A Soviet knock-off of Bruguiere Model 10
  • Stereoclic Super

    1965–late-1960s

    Stereoclic Super

    1965–late-1960s

    Stereoclic Super

    1965–late-1960s

    Stereoclic Super

    1965–late-1960s

    Stereoclic Super

    1965–late-1960s
  • Stereomat

    c. 1962
    Inexpensive viewer made in the DDR.

    Stereomat

    c. 1962
    Inexpensive viewer made in the DDR.

    Stereomat

    c. 1962
    Inexpensive viewer made in the DDR.

    Stereomat

    c. 1962
    Inexpensive viewer made in the DDR.

    Stereomat

    c. 1962
    Inexpensive viewer made in the DDR.
  • Stereomat

    late 1970s–1980s
    East German viewer and card

    Stereomat

    late 1970s–1980s
    East German viewer and card

    Stereomat

    late 1970s–1980s
    East German viewer and card

    Stereomat

    late 1970s–1980s
    East German viewer and card

    Stereomat

    late 1970s–1980s
    East German viewer and card
  • 3D Demerama

    1980s

    3D Demerama

    1980s

    3D Demerama

    1980s

    3D Demerama

    1980s

    3D Demerama

    1980s

View-Master

The View-Master disc is a cultural icon. In one form or another, View-Masters have been continuously marketed since the format was invented in 1938 by William Gruber and Harold Graves of Portland, Oregon. They've offered almost every type of subject imaginable, from children's entertainment to erotica, as well as travel, education, military, marketing, movie tie-ins and cartoons.

The View-Master concept was copied all over the world. Clones of varying quality were produced in Italy, Spain, Russia, Eastern Europe, Australia and China. Some were direct copies of View-Master viewers; others had distinctive designs, but the reels were all interchangeable with official View-Master discs.

  • View-Master

    1938–present
    United States

    View-Master

    1938–present
    United States

    View-Master

    1938–present
    United States

    View-Master

    1938–present
    United States

    View-Master

    1938–present
    United States
  • Photo-Scope Sight Seer

    1947
    Australia

    Photo-Scope Sight Seer

    1947
    Australia

    Photo-Scope Sight Seer

    1947
    Australia

    Photo-Scope Sight Seer

    1947
    Australia

    Photo-Scope Sight Seer

    1947
    Australia
  • Stereo-Rama

    1950s–1960s
    Italy

    Stereo-Rama

    1950s–1960s
    Italy

    Stereo-Rama

    1950s–1960s
    Italy

    Stereo-Rama

    1950s–1960s
    Italy

    Stereo-Rama

    1950s–1960s
    Italy
  • Plastikolor-KLAD

    late 1950s–early 1960s
    Czechoslovakia, aluminum reel

    Plastikolor-KLAD

    late 1950s–early 1960s
    Czechoslovakia, aluminum reel

    Plastikolor-KLAD

    late 1950s–early 1960s
    Czechoslovakia, aluminum reel

    Plastikolor-KLAD

    late 1950s–early 1960s
    Czechoslovakia, aluminum reel

    Plastikolor-KLAD

    late 1950s–early 1960s
    Czechoslovakia, aluminum reel
  • Meopta Meoskop

    1960s
    Czechoslovakia

    Meopta Meoskop

    1960s
    Czechoslovakia

    Meopta Meoskop

    1960s
    Czechoslovakia

    Meopta Meoskop

    1960s
    Czechoslovakia

    Meopta Meoskop

    1960s
    Czechoslovakia
  • Stereobox

    late-1980s–early 1990s
    GDR (East Germany)

    Stereobox

    late-1980s–early 1990s
    GDR (East Germany)

    Stereobox

    late-1980s–early 1990s
    GDR (East Germany)

    Stereobox

    late-1980s–early 1990s
    GDR (East Germany)

    Stereobox

    late-1980s–early 1990s
    GDR (East Germany)

Talking View-Master

Many visual media have inspired attempts to add audio, with varying degrees of success. The addition of sound to cinema is the most familiar and successful example. Records or cassettes accompanying filmstrips—with a ping to tell the operator to advance the strip—were familiar to anyone who sent to school in the 1960s. In 1970,GAF, which owned View-Master at that point, introduced the "Talking View-Master" using small record discs to store the audio. The audio quality left a lot to be desired.

The final version, Tyco's "Talking View-Master 3D," was a View-Master in name only: the stereo pairs were held on a filmstrip in a cassette (see below under "Stereo Filmstrip"). The audio was stored on a solid state chip in the cassette.

  • Talking View-Master

    1970–1981
    Plastic record coaxial with reel

    Talking View-Master

    1970–1981
    Plastic record coaxial with reel

    Talking View-Master

    1970–1981
    Plastic record coaxial with reel

    Talking View-Master

    1970–1981
    Plastic record coaxial with reel

    Talking View-Master

    1970–1981
    Plastic record coaxial with reel
  • Talking View-Master

    1984
    Plastic record separated from reel

    Talking View-Master

    1984
    Plastic record separated from reel

    Talking View-Master

    1984
    Plastic record separated from reel

    Talking View-Master

    1984
    Plastic record separated from reel

    Talking View-Master

    1984
    Plastic record separated from reel
  • View-Master Super Sounds

    2005–present
    Sound on a ROM chip

    View-Master Super Sounds

    2005–present
    Sound on a ROM chip

    View-Master Super Sounds

    2005–present
    Sound on a ROM chip

    View-Master Super Sounds

    2005–present
    Sound on a ROM chip

    View-Master Super Sounds

    2005–present
    Sound on a ROM chip

Stereo Filmstrip

Stereo filmstrips interleave stereo pairs on a single unmounted strip of film. Non-stereo filmstrips had been around since the early 1900s for projection by magic lanterns. Novelview, in the 1930s, was the first to apply the concept to stereo images.

  • Tru-Vue

    1932–late 1960s
    First stereo filmstrips

    Tru-Vue

    1932–late 1960s
    First stereo filmstrips

    Tru-Vue

    1932–late 1960s
    First stereo filmstrips

    Tru-Vue

    1932–late 1960s
    First stereo filmstrips

    Tru-Vue

    1932–late 1960s
    First stereo filmstrips
  • Novelview

    mid-1930s

    Novelview

    mid-1930s

    Novelview

    mid-1930s

    Novelview

    mid-1930s

    Novelview

    mid-1930s
  • Aussie Super Views

    1950s
    An Australian version of the Tru-Vue format

    Aussie Super Views

    1950s
    An Australian version of the Tru-Vue format

    Aussie Super Views

    1950s
    An Australian version of the Tru-Vue format

    Aussie Super Views

    1950s
    An Australian version of the Tru-Vue format

    Aussie Super Views

    1950s
    An Australian version of the Tru-Vue format
  • Stereoscope Celdé

    1940s(?)
    Stereo pairs on roll of 110 mm wide film

    Stereoscope Celdé

    1940s(?)
    Stereo pairs on roll of 110 mm wide film

    Stereoscope Celdé

    1940s(?)
    Stereo pairs on roll of 110 mm wide film

    Stereoscope Celdé

    1940s(?)
    Stereo pairs on roll of 110 mm wide film

    Stereoscope Celdé

    1940s(?)
    Stereo pairs on roll of 110 mm wide film
  • Stereofilms

    1950s
    2 rows of 10 stereo pairs on 35 mm film

    Stereofilms

    1950s
    2 rows of 10 stereo pairs on 35 mm film

    Stereofilms

    1950s
    2 rows of 10 stereo pairs on 35 mm film

    Stereofilms

    1950s
    2 rows of 10 stereo pairs on 35 mm film

    Stereofilms

    1950s
    2 rows of 10 stereo pairs on 35 mm film
  • Lionel Linex

    c. 1953–1956
    Stereo pairs on unperforated color 16 mm film

    Lionel Linex

    c. 1953–1956
    Stereo pairs on unperforated color 16 mm film

    Lionel Linex

    c. 1953–1956
    Stereo pairs on unperforated color 16 mm film

    Lionel Linex

    c. 1953–1956
    Stereo pairs on unperforated color 16 mm film

    Lionel Linex

    c. 1953–1956
    Stereo pairs on unperforated color 16 mm film
  • Pan-Pet

    1969–1970
    35 mm cassette holding 20 panoramic stereo pairs

    Pan-Pet

    1969–1970
    35 mm cassette holding 20 panoramic stereo pairs

    Pan-Pet

    1969–1970
    35 mm cassette holding 20 panoramic stereo pairs

    Pan-Pet

    1969–1970
    35 mm cassette holding 20 panoramic stereo pairs

    Pan-Pet

    1969–1970
    35 mm cassette holding 20 panoramic stereo pairs
  • Stereopocket

    1976–late 1970s
    Italian viewer with filmstrip cassette

    Stereopocket

    1976–late 1970s
    Italian viewer with filmstrip cassette

    Stereopocket

    1976–late 1970s
    Italian viewer with filmstrip cassette

    Stereopocket

    1976–late 1970s
    Italian viewer with filmstrip cassette

    Stereopocket

    1976–late 1970s
    Italian viewer with filmstrip cassette
  • 3Discover

    1996–c. 1998
    Panoramic views on cassette advanced by motor

    3Discover

    1996–c. 1998
    Panoramic views on cassette advanced by motor

    3Discover

    1996–c. 1998
    Panoramic views on cassette advanced by motor

    3Discover

    1996–c. 1998
    Panoramic views on cassette advanced by motor

    3Discover

    1996–c. 1998
    Panoramic views on cassette advanced by motor
  • Tyco Talking View-Master

    1997–1998
    Cartridge containing loop of film with sounds on microchip

    Tyco Talking View-Master

    1997–1998
    Cartridge containing loop of film with sounds on microchip

    Tyco Talking View-Master

    1997–1998
    Cartridge containing loop of film with sounds on microchip

    Tyco Talking View-Master

    1997–1998
    Cartridge containing loop of film with sounds on microchip

    Tyco Talking View-Master

    1997–1998
    Cartridge containing loop of film with sounds on microchip
  • Orbitor 3D

    2000s
    Cartridge containing filmstrip loop with 12 stereo pairs

    Orbitor 3D

    2000s
    Cartridge containing filmstrip loop with 12 stereo pairs

    Orbitor 3D

    2000s
    Cartridge containing filmstrip loop with 12 stereo pairs

    Orbitor 3D

    2000s
    Cartridge containing filmstrip loop with 12 stereo pairs

    Orbitor 3D

    2000s
    Cartridge containing filmstrip loop with 12 stereo pairs
  • Pendoplast

    1930s

    Pendoplast

    1930s

    Pendoplast

    1930s

    Pendoplast

    1930s

    Pendoplast

    1930s

Anaglyph

Stereoviews store two channels of visual information side-by-side, the directions from which light arrives stored in two independent 2-dimensional spaces. Anaglyphs store two images that share the same two-dimensional space. The two images are separated by differences in color instead of location. Different color filters placed in front of each eye the extract the appropriate images. The principle advantage is that the medium doesn't have to be placed inside a viewer. Anaglyph images can be printed in books, magazines or comic books. A viewer can fairly easily be included along with the image in the form of cardboard glasses. Anaglyphs can also be projected.

  • Anaglyph Cards

    1891–present
    Left and right images printed on a single card

    Anaglyph Cards

    1891–present
    Left and right images printed on a single card

    Anaglyph Cards

    1891–present
    Left and right images printed on a single card

    Anaglyph Cards

    1891–present
    Left and right images printed on a single card

    Anaglyph Cards

    1891–present
    Left and right images printed on a single card
  • Anaglyph Slide

    mid-1910s
    Left and right images in a magic lantern slide

    Anaglyph Slide

    mid-1910s
    Left and right images in a magic lantern slide

    Anaglyph Slide

    mid-1910s
    Left and right images in a magic lantern slide

    Anaglyph Slide

    mid-1910s
    Left and right images in a magic lantern slide

    Anaglyph Slide

    mid-1910s
    Left and right images in a magic lantern slide
  • Anaglyph Diagrams

    c. 1910's–present
    Left and right images drawn in perspective

    Anaglyph Diagrams

    c. 1910's–present
    Left and right images drawn in perspective

    Anaglyph Diagrams

    c. 1910's–present
    Left and right images drawn in perspective

    Anaglyph Diagrams

    c. 1910's–present
    Left and right images drawn in perspective

    Anaglyph Diagrams

    c. 1910's–present
    Left and right images drawn in perspective
  • Phantogram

    1926–present
    Distorted so image appears to rise up out of card when viewed from specific point

    Phantogram

    1926–present
    Distorted so image appears to rise up out of card when viewed from specific point

    Phantogram

    1926–present
    Distorted so image appears to rise up out of card when viewed from specific point

    Phantogram

    1926–present
    Distorted so image appears to rise up out of card when viewed from specific point

    Phantogram

    1926–present
    Distorted so image appears to rise up out of card when viewed from specific point
  • 3D Comic Book

    1953–1954

    3D Comic Book

    1953–1954

    3D Comic Book

    1953–1954

    3D Comic Book

    1953–1954

    3D Comic Book

    1953–1954
  • Color

    1955–present
    First printed color anaglyph

    Color

    1955–present
    First printed color anaglyph

    Color

    1955–present
    First printed color anaglyph

    Color

    1955–present
    First printed color anaglyph

    Color

    1955–present
    First printed color anaglyph
  • Anaglyph Stamps

    1956
    First anaglyph stamps

    Anaglyph Stamps

    1956
    First anaglyph stamps

    Anaglyph Stamps

    1956
    First anaglyph stamps

    Anaglyph Stamps

    1956
    First anaglyph stamps

    Anaglyph Stamps

    1956
    First anaglyph stamps
  • Photoshop Displacement Map

    c. 2000–present
    Created in Adobe Photoshop and After Effects

    Photoshop Displacement Map

    c. 2000–present
    Created in Adobe Photoshop and After Effects

    Photoshop Displacement Map

    c. 2000–present
    Created in Adobe Photoshop and After Effects

    Photoshop Displacement Map

    c. 2000–present
    Created in Adobe Photoshop and After Effects

    Photoshop Displacement Map

    c. 2000–present
    Created in Adobe Photoshop and After Effects

Polarization

Polarization is another way to print two images in the same space. Instead of the red/green colored glasses used for anaglyphs, the images are viewed through glasses with the left and right lenses polarized 90 degrees apart. Two transparent images with polarizations matching the glasses are printed on top of each other. Viewed through the glasses, each eye sees only the correspondingly polarized image. Although they have in the past been used for aerial photographs and geometry visualization, they are now most often used by ophthalmologists to test stereo vision.

  • Ortho Fuser Eye Training

    1940s

    Ortho Fuser Eye Training

    1940s

    Ortho Fuser Eye Training

    1940s

    Ortho Fuser Eye Training

    1940s

    Ortho Fuser Eye Training

    1940s
  • Vectograph

    1940s

    Vectograph

    1940s

    Vectograph

    1940s

    Vectograph

    1940s

    Vectograph

    1940s

3D Movie

3D movies store images in a left and right channel. The two channels can be superimposed on the film and differentiated by color (anaglyphic) or by polarization. They can also be separately—either side-by-side, over/under (one above the other) or as two separate strips of synchronized film—and superimposed on the screen after projection through color or polarizing filters. 3D movies have had three cycles of commercial popularity, beginning in the 1950's with movies like Bwana Devil, then again in the 1980's with movies like "Jaws 3D". Avatar set off the third cycle in 2009, which is still underway.

  • Bünzli l'Animateur

    1900
    A sequence of stereoviews on a paper band viewed through a special viewer

    Bünzli l'Animateur

    1900
    A sequence of stereoviews on a paper band viewed through a special viewer

    Bünzli l'Animateur

    1900
    A sequence of stereoviews on a paper band viewed through a special viewer

    Bünzli l'Animateur

    1900
    A sequence of stereoviews on a paper band viewed through a special viewer

    Bünzli l'Animateur

    1900
    A sequence of stereoviews on a paper band viewed through a special viewer
  • Anaglyph

    1922–2000s
    Single-strip 8 mm anaglyph print

    Anaglyph

    1922–2000s
    Single-strip 8 mm anaglyph print

    Anaglyph

    1922–2000s
    Single-strip 8 mm anaglyph print

    Anaglyph

    1922–2000s
    Single-strip 8 mm anaglyph print

    Anaglyph

    1922–2000s
    Single-strip 8 mm anaglyph print
  • Lumière Anaglyph Test

    1934
    Two strips of film printed in different colors, then superimposed to form anaglyph

    Lumière Anaglyph Test

    1934
    Two strips of film printed in different colors, then superimposed to form anaglyph

    Lumière Anaglyph Test

    1934
    Two strips of film printed in different colors, then superimposed to form anaglyph

    Lumière Anaglyph Test

    1934
    Two strips of film printed in different colors, then superimposed to form anaglyph

    Lumière Anaglyph Test

    1934
    Two strips of film printed in different colors, then superimposed to form anaglyph
  • Lumière

    1935
    Single-strip over/under, horizontal pull

    Lumière

    1935
    Single-strip over/under, horizontal pull

    Lumière

    1935
    Single-strip over/under, horizontal pull

    Lumière

    1935
    Single-strip over/under, horizontal pull

    Lumière

    1935
    Single-strip over/under, horizontal pull
  • SpaceVision

    1966–1991
    Single-strip over/under

    SpaceVision

    1966–1991
    Single-strip over/under

    SpaceVision

    1966–1991
    Single-strip over/under

    SpaceVision

    1966–1991
    Single-strip over/under

    SpaceVision

    1966–1991
    Single-strip over/under
  • StereoVision

    1968–1975
    Single-strip side-by-side, anamorphic

    StereoVision

    1968–1975
    Single-strip side-by-side, anamorphic

    StereoVision

    1968–1975
    Single-strip side-by-side, anamorphic

    StereoVision

    1968–1975
    Single-strip side-by-side, anamorphic

    StereoVision

    1968–1975
    Single-strip side-by-side, anamorphic

Color

Color photography depends on storing multiple channels of light intensity. When combined, each channel stimulates one of the three types of receptors in the eye and we experience color. This is most obvious in early color technologies based on color separations and additive color, i.e., taking three photographs through red, green and blue filters, then superimposing the three images when projected through red, green and blue filters. But subtractive color photographs also contain three channels of information, i.e., three transparent images in appropriately colored dyes overlaid in a "stack".

  • Ducos du Hauron Melanochromoscope

    c. 1869–1900
    Additive

    Ducos du Hauron Melanochromoscope

    c. 1869–1900
    Additive

    Ducos du Hauron Melanochromoscope

    c. 1869–1900
    Additive

    Ducos du Hauron Melanochromoscope

    c. 1869–1900
    Additive

    Ducos du Hauron Melanochromoscope

    c. 1869–1900
    Additive
  • Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Additive images to be viewed with an Ives Junior Kromoscop

    Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Additive images to be viewed with an Ives Junior Kromoscop

    Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Additive images to be viewed with an Ives Junior Kromoscop

    Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Additive images to be viewed with an Ives Junior Kromoscop

    Ives Junior Kromoscop Kromogram

    1895–1907
    Additive images to be viewed with an Ives Junior Kromoscop
  • Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    3 images projected through color filters

    Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    3 images projected through color filters

    Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    3 images projected through color filters

    Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    3 images projected through color filters

    Miethe

    c. 1910–1920
    3 images projected through color filters
  • Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Additive

    Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Additive

    Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Additive

    Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Additive

    Wetthauer

    c. 1916
    Additive
  • Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images at a time projected through color filters

    Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images at a time projected through color filters

    Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images at a time projected through color filters

    Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images at a time projected through color filters

    Chronochrome Gaumont

    1918
    3 images at a time projected through color filters
  • Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames projected simultaneously through four color filters

    Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames projected simultaneously through four color filters

    Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames projected simultaneously through four color filters

    Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames projected simultaneously through four color filters

    Rouxcolor

    1947–c. 1949
    Four 16 mm frames projected simultaneously through four color filters

Multi-Channel Sound

At the simplest, physical media store sound along two dimensions. Time is mapped to distance, whether distance along a groove spiraling into the center of a record or along the length of a magnetic tape. Amplitude is stored as a perpendicular offset in a record groove, the magnetization of particles on the surface of audiotape or as numerical samples along the spiral path on an optical disc. But our two ears also allow us to sense the direction a sound comes from, not just its amplitude, just as our two eyes allow us to sense depth. Storing direction requires at least two channels, one for each ear. A stereo record offsets the groove in two orthogonal directions, one for each channel. Stereo audiotape stores two tracks side-by-side.

In reality, audio perception is even more complicated: we can locate sounds from left to right, but also from front to back and below to above. Developments like quadraphonic stereo and Dolby 5.1 channel surround sound added additional channels for speakers both in front of and behind the listener.

Record

  • Cook Binaural Record

    1952–1957
    Left and right on separate tracks played with double tone arm

    Cook Binaural Record

    1952–1957
    Left and right on separate tracks played with double tone arm

    Cook Binaural Record

    1952–1957
    Left and right on separate tracks played with double tone arm

    Cook Binaural Record

    1952–1957
    Left and right on separate tracks played with double tone arm

    Cook Binaural Record

    1952–1957
    Left and right on separate tracks played with double tone arm
  • Westrex 45/45

    1958–present
    Left and right at 45 deg. angle on either side of groove

    Westrex 45/45

    1958–present
    Left and right at 45 deg. angle on either side of groove

    Westrex 45/45

    1958–present
    Left and right at 45 deg. angle on either side of groove

    Westrex 45/45

    1958–present
    Left and right at 45 deg. angle on either side of groove

    Westrex 45/45

    1958–present
    Left and right at 45 deg. angle on either side of groove
  • Stereo 4 (EV-4)

    1970–c. 1973
    4 channels encoded into 2-channel stereo groove

    Stereo 4 (EV-4)

    1970–c. 1973
    4 channels encoded into 2-channel stereo groove

    Stereo 4 (EV-4)

    1970–c. 1973
    4 channels encoded into 2-channel stereo groove

    Stereo 4 (EV-4)

    1970–c. 1973
    4 channels encoded into 2-channel stereo groove

    Stereo 4 (EV-4)

    1970–c. 1973
    4 channels encoded into 2-channel stereo groove

Tape

  • Stereo Tape

    1949–late 1950s
    Left and right in parallel tracks on tape

    Stereo Tape

    1949–late 1950s
    Left and right in parallel tracks on tape

    Stereo Tape

    1949–late 1950s
    Left and right in parallel tracks on tape

    Stereo Tape

    1949–late 1950s
    Left and right in parallel tracks on tape

    Stereo Tape

    1949–late 1950s
    Left and right in parallel tracks on tape
  • Muntz Stereo-Pak 4-Track

    1962–1970
    Adaptation of Fidelipac cartridge for use in car tape players

    Muntz Stereo-Pak 4-Track

    1962–1970
    Adaptation of Fidelipac cartridge for use in car tape players

    Muntz Stereo-Pak 4-Track

    1962–1970
    Adaptation of Fidelipac cartridge for use in car tape players

    Muntz Stereo-Pak 4-Track

    1962–1970
    Adaptation of Fidelipac cartridge for use in car tape players

    Muntz Stereo-Pak 4-Track

    1962–1970
    Adaptation of Fidelipac cartridge for use in car tape players
  • 24-Track Studio Master

    1967–2000's
    Master recording with up to 24 independent tracks

    24-Track Studio Master

    1967–2000's
    Master recording with up to 24 independent tracks

    24-Track Studio Master

    1967–2000's
    Master recording with up to 24 independent tracks

    24-Track Studio Master

    1967–2000's
    Master recording with up to 24 independent tracks

    24-Track Studio Master

    1967–2000's
    Master recording with up to 24 independent tracks
  • Quadraphonic

    1969–late 1970s
    Left/right, front/back on 4 discrete tracks

    Quadraphonic

    1969–late 1970s
    Left/right, front/back on 4 discrete tracks

    Quadraphonic

    1969–late 1970s
    Left/right, front/back on 4 discrete tracks

    Quadraphonic

    1969–late 1970s
    Left/right, front/back on 4 discrete tracks

    Quadraphonic

    1969–late 1970s
    Left/right, front/back on 4 discrete tracks
  • Quad 8

    1970–1978
    4-track quadraphonic on 8 track tape

    Quad 8

    1970–1978
    4-track quadraphonic on 8 track tape

    Quad 8

    1970–1978
    4-track quadraphonic on 8 track tape

    Quad 8

    1970–1978
    4-track quadraphonic on 8 track tape

    Quad 8

    1970–1978
    4-track quadraphonic on 8 track tape

Soundtrack

  • Cinerama

    1952–1963
    7 tracks on 35 mm full-coat magnetic film

    Cinerama

    1952–1963
    7 tracks on 35 mm full-coat magnetic film

    Cinerama

    1952–1963
    7 tracks on 35 mm full-coat magnetic film

    Cinerama

    1952–1963
    7 tracks on 35 mm full-coat magnetic film

    Cinerama

    1952–1963
    7 tracks on 35 mm full-coat magnetic film
  • 70 mm

    1955–1990s
    70 mm film with 5 front channels and one surround channel on magnetic strips

    70 mm

    1955–1990s
    70 mm film with 5 front channels and one surround channel on magnetic strips

    70 mm

    1955–1990s
    70 mm film with 5 front channels and one surround channel on magnetic strips

    70 mm

    1955–1990s
    70 mm film with 5 front channels and one surround channel on magnetic strips

    70 mm

    1955–1990s
    70 mm film with 5 front channels and one surround channel on magnetic strips
  • Dolby SR

    1970s–present
    4-channels matrix encoded on 2 optical tracks

    Dolby SR

    1970s–present
    4-channels matrix encoded on 2 optical tracks

    Dolby SR

    1970s–present
    4-channels matrix encoded on 2 optical tracks

    Dolby SR

    1970s–present
    4-channels matrix encoded on 2 optical tracks

    Dolby SR

    1970s–present
    4-channels matrix encoded on 2 optical tracks
  • Dolby Digital Surround

    1992–present
    5.1 channel: front left, center and right; rear right and left; subwoofer

    Dolby Digital Surround

    1992–present
    5.1 channel: front left, center and right; rear right and left; subwoofer

    Dolby Digital Surround

    1992–present
    5.1 channel: front left, center and right; rear right and left; subwoofer

    Dolby Digital Surround

    1992–present
    5.1 channel: front left, center and right; rear right and left; subwoofer

    Dolby Digital Surround

    1992–present
    5.1 channel: front left, center and right; rear right and left; subwoofer
  • Sony Dynamic Digital Sound

    1993–present
    7.1 channels, including front left center and front right center

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound

    1993–present
    7.1 channels, including front left center and front right center

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound

    1993–present
    7.1 channels, including front left center and front right center

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound

    1993–present
    7.1 channels, including front left center and front right center

    Sony Dynamic Digital Sound

    1993–present
    7.1 channels, including front left center and front right center