British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Online Course: Stereoscopy: an Introduction to Victorian Stereo Photography

Discover why the stereoscope and stereo photography mesmerised Victorians when they first appeared at 1851s This free online course, which starts 1 August, will examine the rise of stereo photography and the work of two pioneering photographers – the Scotsman, George Washington Wilson, and the Englishman, Thomas Richard Williams.
It will explore how the stereoscope, originally created by inventor Sir Charles Wheatstone to investigate human binocular vision, was improved by scientist Sir David Brewster, to become a vital, elaborate drawing room essential. To enjoy stereo photography, you usually need a stereoscope or stereo viewer, but you can enjoy this course without one.

 Image above: Stereocard of the Art and Science Museum, Edinburgh by H Gordon

Following its presentation to the world at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, the stereoscope – a device that makes images appear 3D – mesmerised Victorians. Collecting and viewing stereo photographs became a craze.

Stereoscopes were produced in different price ranges, thousands of stereo images were printed and bought each year, and one company involved in this boom, The London Stereoscopic Company, proclaimed: ‘No home without a stereoscope.’

The course has been developed following the major exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in 2015, Photography: A Victorian Sensation, and many of the images in this course are drawn from the National Museums Scotland collection.

The course lasts for two weeks and registrants need to commit 3 hours per week. A certificate will be provided.

Use the hashtag #FLstereoscopy to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.

See more and sign up here:

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Comment by Tom Ruffles PhD, ARPS on August 15, 2016 at 16:32

I did the course and enjoyed it.  I hope they repeat it:

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