Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Just Love Old Stuff

About 6 years ago, on a magical night of good wine and conversation with a friend, I was introduced to the beautiful little world of stereoviewers, stereoscopes and the three-dimensional amusement of a bygone era.

Stereoviewers, or Stereoscopes, allow small, side by side, images to converge into one curiously rich 3D experience. As soon as my friend set me up with one of these, I fell in love. As a Jane Austen-loving girl who grew up putting socks on my hands like they were gloves at a ball, I found my key to the past where I belonged. He had boxes of the photographs and I think I looked at all of them.

He sent me home with a spare viewer (yes, this awesome photophile had a spare stereoviewer) and I have amassed a small, but precious, collection since.

Above, you can see a couple of favorites from my collection that really come to life through a viewer. The Kremlin, whose water emits a perfect reflection in 3D, and Swedish women picking sugar beets in their bonnets; they look like aligned mannequins picking at the soft soil.

People collected these as tokens of a land they may or may not have visited...almost like flipping through an issue of National Geographic at exotic things you'd never see otherwise.
The photos still allow a vicarious experience, but of a time past. And I love them for that.

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