British photographic history

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Thomson’s Stereoscopic Atlas of the Human Eye

“One is hearing now, in this country at least, that in the near future we may look for a great revival of stereo photography, and if the rumor is well founded and turns out to be fulfilled prophecy, we may expect once more to find the stereoscope ‘on every drawing-room table,’ as of yore.” Thus wrote the photographic journalist Andrew Pringle in 1892, thirty years after the first, golden age of the stereoscope had passed.

In the event, Pringle’s prediction would only be partially fulfilled, stereo photography never quite regaining the height of fashionability it once enjoyed in the drawing rooms of the middle classes and aristocracy. But revived it was, most significantly in the scientific rather than the domestic sphere.

Among several innovative applications of stereo photography in medicine and anatomy in the period one in particular stands out due to the reflexive nature of its subject matter: Arthur Thomson’s The Anatomy of the Human Eye (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1912). Also referred to as “Thomson’s Stereoscopic Atlas of the Eye”, the work consisted of sixty-seven “enlarged stereoscopic photographs” of human eyeballs in various states of dissection, together with a handbook of detailed descriptions and diagrammatic keys to the images.

Read more

Stereograms and the Standardization of Anatomical Observation:
Arthur Thomson’s The Anatomy of the Human Eye, 1912


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Comment by Giles Hudson on January 18, 2014 at 10:40

Thanks - looks useful

Comment by Andrea Kuratli on January 18, 2014 at 10:05

Don't know if you read german but this might be interesting for you too...Neisser, Albert, Stahnisch, Frank: Albert Neissers (1855 - 1916) "Stereoscopischer medicinischer Atlas" : eine aussergewöhnliche fotografische Sammlung aus dem Gebiet der Augenheilkunde, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2006.



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