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November 1, 2014

Vintage 3D Stereoscopic Images From the 1800s and Early 1900s Turn to Stunning Gifs

19th-century Holmes stereoscope3D images have been around almost since before the invention of photography. The earliest known stereoscope was invented in 1838. These devices, like modern 3D, show a slightly different image to each eye. As with our perception of the actual world, our eyes see the separate images but our brains combine them into one scene with perceived depth.

While many archives of stereoscopic images exist, there are few ways to view them in a way that allows one to see the 3D effect. Vintage 3D, a Tumblr blog by art photographer Dan Florence, attempts to make this art form more accessible by transforming these still images into animated gifs which feature both offset views.

General Ulysses S. Grant’s horse, Cincinnati, in 1861. This was Grant’s favorite horse, and he rode Cincinnati to negotiate Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House in 1865, four years after this stereogram was taken.

Dancer in a chair, date unknown.

Deadening silkworms by steam in Antioch, Syria, 1913 (modern-day Antakya, Turkey)

Uintah Ute child and baby, 1874.

Workers in Hong Kong, China, 1896.

Pulling the ovens - making coke coal in Starkville, Colorado, 1906.

Japan, sometime around 1900.

Market Street, San Francisco, 1901.

Harvest in China approx. 1900.

Croquet on the lawn at Mr McCrary’s cottage, 1875.

A Hauran train caravan arriving at Damascus, Syria, 1900.

A civilian merchant’s tent, U.S. Civil War, 1861.

Vacationing at Echo Lake in the Franconia Mountains of New Hampshire, 1850s or 1860s.

Vacationing at Echo Lake in the Franconia Mountains of New Hampshire, 1850s or 1860s.

An ice cream merchant in Constantinople,Turkey, 1898.

Woman and a horse, Putnam, Connecticut, late 1800s.

Point Reyes Lighthouse looking out to the Pacific Ocean, California, 1870.

Minnehaha Falls and rustic bridge, Minneapolis, Minnesota, late 1860s.

Pueblo Indian woman, Isleta, New Mexico, 1906.

Moslem band playing at the Turkish barracks near Jaffa Gate in Israel, early 1900s.

Young children with a stroller, around the turn of the century.

A Uintah Ute boy and his dog, 1874, living along the western slopes of the Wasatch Mountains in present-day Utah. The state of Utah was named after the Ute people.

Tired of play - a young girl naps with her head resting on her beloved dog. 1894.

Travelers beside the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, 1903.

Union soldiers in the U.S. Civil War - Priests of the Congregation of the Holy Cross from the University of Notre Dame, 1862.

Grain market in Haifa, Palestine, 1903.

Street scene in Cork, Ireland. 1927.

Hopi girls weaving baskets in Sipaulovi Village, Arizona. Early 1900s.

President Teddy Roosevelt ready to enter Yellowstone Park, 1903.

Woman being visited by a ghost, 1869.

American soldiers in France in WWI learning how to use gas masks properly.

A photographer takes a 3D image of himself in a reflecting globe. William Henry Hotel at Lake George, New York. 1870.

Playing with dolls, date unknown.

Hopi tribe members in front of Walpi Village, Arizona. Date unknown. Walpi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited villages in the United States - it has been occupied for over 1100 years. The village sits atop an isolated sandstone mesa that rises 300 feet above the surrounding desert. It’s only entrance is the path seen here.

Doughnuts for the dough boys. American soldiers in Montabaur, Germany during World War I.


  1. This is the first time I have seen this way of displaying stereo photos. Fascinating! Great for online; you don't need a stereo viewer, you don't need to know how to refocus your eyes (this is less tiring than doing that). I like it. I will have to give this a try doing some of my own.




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