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January 25, 2021

Whimsical Stereo Cards From the Victorian Era Show How Different the Courtship Process Used to Be

These vintage stereo cards from the late 19th and early 20th centuries vary from the romantic to the humorous. From preparing to spank their partner to suggestively holding a butter-churning handle, they show the quaint history of love from courtship to marriage in a bygone age.

The photos appear to have all been taken in the United States, judging from the clothing and names on the original copyrights, which include E. W. Kelley - whose Chicago-based publishing office dealt in stereographs; H. C. White, who produced stereo cards in a small factory in Vermont; and R. Y. Young who established the American Stereoscopic Company circa 1896.

Stereo cards were invented in the mid-19th century. When pairs of them were viewed through a binocular apparatus, known as a stereoscope, it created a 3D effect.

Another Button Off (1875)

Retouching Portraits (1889)

Country Love (1897)

Before Marriage (1900)

After Marriage (1900)

Giving Him Her Hand With All Her Heart (1902)

Translating a Love Letter From a Boston Girl – Now Does That Mean ‘Yes’ or ‘No’? (1903)

The Milkman’s Reward for Good Measure (1904)

The Milkman’s Reward for Good Measure (1904)

Taking the Cream (1904)

The Elopement – a Hasty Descent (1904)

Jessie, Has The Furnace Man Been Here Yet? Yes Ma’am I Think About Five Minutes Ago (1905)

A Whole Day’s Catch (1906)

An Unexpected Meeting of the Board (1906)

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (1906)

When Love is Young (1906)

Guess Who! (1906)

Sovereigns of Love’s Domain (1906)

Chinning, Not Churning (1906)

A Glance Through the News (1906)

Will the Butter Ever Come? (1906)

At the Hour of Midnight (1906)

The Only Man – Slighted (1906)

When the Frost Is on the Punkin and the Fodder’s in the Shock (1906)

Just Waiting for the Buttermilk (1906)

A Malden’s Dream – How Sweet Is That (1906)

The Monster! Be Brave If You Love Me, Jack! (1907)

The Best I Can Do at Present (1907)


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