The English scientist and inventor Charles Wheatstone presents the first stereoscope for viewing stereographic drawings. It’s a large device that works with mirrors which he invented in 1832.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre introduces the Daguerreotype process, which will be the first publicly available photographic process. It’s widely used during the 1840s and 1850s and the first stereo photos are Daguerreotypes.
Joseph Petzval designs the Petzval lens. It has a focal length of 160mm and a maximum aperture of F3.6, which is much faster compared to previous lenses with a maximum aperture of about F16. The lens makes shorter exposure times possible and will be used for portraits.
Alexis Gaudin establishes a photography business with his older brother Marc-Antoine. The company makes Daguerreotype portraits and manufactures plates. In 1852 it’s one of the first stereoscope sellers in Paris and two years later they open a branch in London. Alexis Gaudin et frère will be one of the largest publishers of stereoviews.
Carl Zeiss starts the company that will become Carl Zeiss Jena. In the beginning it’s specialised in the manufacturing of microscopes. Over the years, it distinguishes itself in optimising and improving optics. The company will produce from c. 1905 the high quality Verant stereoscopes.
Albumen glass negatives are invented by Claude Félix Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor. Albumun-on-glass negatives and diapositives will be mainly used by Ferrier & Soulier to create high-quality glass stereoviews.
William and Frederick Langenheim produce their first albumen-on-glass slides for the magic lantern projector.
The Scotsman Sir David Brewster develops a more compact stereoscope based on lenses but this lenticular “Brewster stereoscope” initially arouses little interest in Britain and he can’t find manufacturers willing to produce his device.
Brewster takes the prototype of his stereoscope to Paris and interests the instrument maker Jules Duboscq. Duboscq recognizes the potential of the device and starts producing and selling stereoscopes and improves Brewster’s design. He also starts making daguerreotype stereos to sell with the device.
Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard presents the first albumen prints. It will be the most important process to create printed photos and stereocards from collodion glass negatives until c.1900.
The British Queen Victoria looks through the lenses of a Brewster stereoscope made by Duboscq during the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace. She’s impressed by the three-dimensional view and her enthusiasm contributes to the popularity of stereoscopy in the 1850s and 1860s.
Antoine François Jean Claudet is a French photographer who produces daguerreotypes. From this year he operates a studio in London with the name “Temple to photography”. Claudet is a great promoter of stereo photography and improves stereoscope designs and will create many stereo daguerreotypes.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
During the 1851 Crystal Place exhibition, Jules Duboscq is introduced to the magic lantern glass slides of the American Langenheim brothers. It inspires him to sell glass stereoviews, made by his photographer Claude-Marie Ferrier. It will become a French specialty.
Frederick Scott Archer invents the collodion process. The process produces a negative image on a transparent glass plate, allowing to make unlimited number of prints from a single negative. Collodion printing is typically done on albumen paper. It makes it possible to produce and sell stereocards on a large scale.
John Frederick Mascher from Philadelphia patents a stereoscopic viewing case for stereo daguerreotypes.
The first stereo camera is designed by John Benjamin Dancer (1812-1887). Problems with finding two identical lenses means that the camera will not be released until 1856. Before the first stereo camera, stereo photos are taken sequentially by sliding a mono camera to obtain lateral differences between the two images.
The Carte de Visite (CDV) is patented by the French photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri. It’s a small photo that is mounted on a thicker paper card and can be produced inexpensively. The cards become a great success and are so popular that its usage is known as Cardomania.
The company begins as the London Stereoscope Company (LSC), from 1856 it’s known as the London Stereoscopic Company and from 1859 as the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company. They sell stereoviews and stereoscopes and will be leaders in the stereoscopy boom which sweeps England, Europe and the United States. The company ceases business in 1922 but its legacy is kept alive by the new London Stereoscopic Company.
Antoine Claudet invents the revolving stereoscope. It’s a multiview stereoscope where stereoviews are attached to a revolving chain. This type of stereoscope will become very popular.
The company of Henry Negretti and Joseph Zambra produces optical instruments and operates a photographic studio in London. This year they sponsor a photographic expedition to Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia by the English photographer Francis Frith. More than 500 stereoviews of Frith’s voyage are produced between 1857 and 1860.
Alexander Beckers from New York patents an improvement of the revolving stereoscope which is invented by Antoine Claudet. This type of stereoscope is now known as American stereoscope or Beckers stereoscope.
The company of the Anthony brothers begins with producing sets of stereocards, supported by an extensive distribution and retail network. They will become a major publisher of stereoviews in the United States.
The French photographers Claude-Marie Ferrier and Charles Soulier start a partnership and produce high quality glass stereoviews of 8,5x17cm that will be very popular well into the 1870s.
The best known and most sold stereoscope-type in history is invented by the American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. He does not patent his invention and everyone is free to develop stereoscopes based on the design. It’s further improved by Joseph L. Bates and becomes known as the Holmes-Bates stereoscope or American stereoscope.
The first model of the Stereographoscope is patented by Charles John Rowsell.
The gelatin silver process is introduced by the English photographer Richard Leach Maddox, though widespread adoption of the process occurs from the 1890s and it will become the leading photography process. Stereo photographers will use it for producing glass negatives and diapositives as well as for printing paper stereocards.
The company of Mackenstein is founded. Mackenstein becomes a renowned manufacturer of cameras, stereo cameras and stereoscopes.
Underwood & Underwood is founded by the brothers Elmer and Bert Elias Underwood. They will become the largest publisher of stereoviews in the world, producing 10 million views a year.
Photographie Vulgarisatrice is founded and established in Paris. The company’s goal is to make photography accessible to amateurs with simple and affordable cameras. It will develop a series of wooden folding cameras with a single lens with the trademark L’Incroyable and a limited range of stereo cameras.
Brentano’s is a chain of American bookstores. It opens its first foreign store on the Avenue de l’Opéra in Paris. The bookshop in Paris will be a major producer and wholesaler of glass stereoviews with images of the First World War in 45 x 107mm and 6 x 13cm format.
August Fuhrmann patents The Kaiserpanorama, a stereoscopic entertainment medium used in the 19th and early 20th centuries, a precursor to film. The panorama has a number of viewing stations through which people would peer through a pair of lenses showing a number of rotating stereoscopic glass slides.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
The Stereoscopic Society is founded. The society still exists today and is the longest established stereoscopy club in history. The image is the earliest group photo from 1927.
Image source: The Stereoscopic Society
The company is founded by Arthur Schwarz. It will be one of the best known and largest German companies in the production of postcards, photographs and stereoviews until the First World War.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Etablissements A. Plocq from Paris is founded by Alexandre Plocq and located at Rue de Center, Les Lilas. The company builds both hand-held and table stereoscopes, including the Planox Stéréoscope Magnétique.
The Stéréocycle camera is introduced by Charles Bazin and Lucien Leroy.
Lucien Leroy introduces the Stéréo-Panoramique camera. It can produce both stereo photos and panoramic photos, just by switching the position of a lens.
The brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière patent the Autochrome process which will be first marketed in 1907. Autochrome is the first process that allows creating a color image based on one single exposure. It will be the leading color photography process until the 1930s.
Lucien-Albert Bize and Siméon-Louis Claparède patent a design for a small table stereoscope with the name Minimus. The device lacks a complex mechanism. The glass stereoviews are simply brought in viewing position by gravity. The Multiphote is a further development and adds a slide-tray to place and catch the slides.
Hemdé is a lesser-known French manufacturer of stereoscopes. The name “Hemdé” is composed of the name of founder Maurice Delécaille and Hem, a village near Lille in northern France. He partners with Paul Sorel, who continues the business on his own from this year.
Henri Plait opens his first photography store at 37, Rue La Fayette in Paris. During the First World War he promotes cameras especially for the soldiers at the front. The marketing slogan is “Le Kodak du Soldat”. The Photo-Plait catalog of 1918/1919 contains glass stereoviews of the war, produced by La Stéréoscopie Universelle.
The First World War is the first major conflict in which photography plays a major role. The French army sets up its own photography section, named Section Photographique de l’Armée. The SPA takes about 120.000 photos during the war, including about 20.000 stereo photos.
Underwood & Underwood discontinues its stereoview production and the company sells its negatives to the Keystone View Company.
Auguste-Robert Kaufmann patents the Posographe, an exposure calculator for photographers. It’s a clever design and the device will be a great success.
The Zeiss Ikon company is founded and is a merger of Ernemann, Goerz, ICA and Contessa-Nettel. Zeiss Ikon will be one of the most important camera manufacturers until the Second World War. Its headquarters is located in Dresden and the product range initially consists of products designed by the merger companies, including stereo cameras and stereoscopes.