Skip main navigation

Scenes in Our Village

Some time in the 1850s TR Williams produced a series of fifty-nine stereoviews entitled ‘Scenes in Our Village’ which presented a romanticised vision of 19th century English rural life. As …

Thomas Richard Williams

Thomas Richard Williams (1824-1871) was born in Blackfriars, in the City of London. He was apprenticed to the London daguerreotypist Antoine Claudet whose own interests in photography and the development …

Duboscq’s stereo daguerreotypes

Photo historian Denis Pellerin looks in more detail at some of (Louis) Jules Duboscq’s stereo-daguerreotype still life compositions and talks about how Victorians spent their evenings viewing stereo images. As …

Louis Jules Duboscq

Louis Jules Duboscq (1817-1886) was a French instrument maker, inventor, and pioneering photographer. Apprenticed in 1834 to Jean Baptiste Françoise Soleil, a Parisian optician, he later married one of Soleil’s …

Sir David Brewster and Louis Jules Duboscq

In this video, photo historian Denis Pellerin explains how Sir David Brewster and Jules Duboscq came together to develop the lenticular stereoscope, which was exhibited at the Great Exhibition in …

William England

William England (1816 or 1830-1896) was the chief photographer for the London Stereoscopic Company between 1858 and 1863, after which he operated independently. He was an extremely skilled photographer, especially …

Francis Frith and the Near East

Francis Frith (1822-98) trained as a merchant, but decided after an illness to take some time off, travelling first in Egypt and then the Middle East. The photographs he took …

Around the World

From the safety and comfort of their armchairs, 19th century Britons could enjoy famous sights from around the world, through their stereoscope. They would have looked at these, in the …

The Victorian Stereo Sensation

In this video Denis Pellerin discusses how Victorians enjoyed stereo images and introduces the concept of ‘armchair travel’. This is the second of three videos recorded at the National Museums …

Stereoscopes: cabinets

As we have seen, stereoscopes came in a range of sizes and were tailored to suit the pockets of almost everyone. Image: ‘Natural’ stereoscope, by Hirst & Wood, J Wood, …

Stereoscopes: hand-held

David Brewster’s lenticular stereoscope was developed by a number of manufacturers hoping to benefit from the huge demand for stereo images. George Lowden (1825-1912) of Dundee made Brewster’s prototype stereoscope, …

The stereoscope

Stereoscopic vision had been at the forefront of experimental science since English physicist Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875) demonstrated it at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of …

Making a stereo image

Before the invention of stereo photography, only hand-drawn or printed designs or engravings could be used to create a stereoscopic, 3D effect. Stereo images were created by making two photographs …

What is stereoscopy?

‘Stereoscopy’ derives from the Greek stereos meaning ‘firm’ or ‘solid’ and skopeō meaning ‘to look’ or ‘to see’ = seeing something firm, solid, three-dimensional or 3D. We are used to …