> > > >

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 252 (216)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 252
Page 252

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 252

The Stereoscopic Art

A Thorough and Complete Study of the Development and History of Three-Dimensional Motion Pictures

BRIEF: At the present time the entire nwtion picture industry is in an excited and exciting period . . . The chief cause is the rebirth of interest in stereoscopic motion picture techniques . . . Although 3-D is far from new . . . it appears that the time has finally come when this form of entertainment will be fully explored. In order for its readers to get the proper background knowledge of threedirnensional techniques . . . the editors of THEATRE CATALOG are reprinting what they consider to be the most complete and accurate article to appear on this subject . . . Although it was written before the present situation, developed . . . the information it contains is as up-to-date as anything which has yet to appear.

By JOHN A. NORLING* President. Laucks & Norling Studios. New York City

An accelerated interest in stereoscopic photography has been inspired in recent years by the appearance of compact, well-designed cameras and viewing devices marketed at moderate prices. These new products and their increasingly widespread use support the belief that any art such as stereoscopic representation depends for popularity, indeed for survival, on the equipment available to enable people to practice the art.

That an appreciation and understanding of stereoscopic vision has existed for a long time is evident from Euclidis definition:

SQME INDICATION OF THE amount of interest and confusion about stereoscopic Elms is evidenced in this cartoon by the famous artist Angelo. Although the approach is humorous. the need tor accurate intormation is very vital.



31:9 Dmeu sum MOVIES

11' JUMP! 007' OF THE

To see in relief is to receive by means of each eye the simultaneous impression of two dissimilar images of the same object. .

On this definition by Euclid (280 BC.) the entire stereo art is based. And that stereoscopic representation has long been practiced is borne out by the stereoscopic drawings of Giovanni Battista della Porta around the year 1600. How della Portals drawings and similar drawings of other artists of that era were viewed is not known. But is is well known that the popularity of stereoscopic pictures reached a peak about 50 years ago when the stereoscope was virtually a parlor fixture. Now, although the parlor stereoscope is instead a museum piece, the art of steroscopy appears to be flourishing again as it did half a century ago ewith one principal difference: It is a participating art instead of simply a spectator art. More and more people are not only viewing three-dimensional pictures, but they are taking them with their own cameras. The popularity of stereoscopic photography looks as if it is here to stay. With a wider appreciation of its possibilities, and with an increasing number of camera enthusiasts trying their skills at stereoscopy, its possible eventual widespread acceptance as the ultimate form of photographic realism may one day come about.


One of the first known viewing devices was the Wheatstone Stereoscope, which was described before the Royal Society in 1838 by Sir. Charles Wheatstone sixe teen years after Niepce produced the first permanent photographic image. This instrument supported a pair of pictures on easels clamped to a bar, one at each end. Midway between the pictures were mirrors facing them. The observer saw the reflected images and was able to fuse them provided they were properly spaced and aligned. But its unwieldiness contributed to its lack of popularity.

The first practical stereoscope was invented by a Scotsman, Sir David Brewster, who introduced it in 1849. This was modified by Oliver Wendell Holmes some years later in America. In its early form, the Brewster stereoscope contained a pair of prisms which, in 1856, were replaced by segments of a convex lens. The Brewster and Holmes stereoscopes were used for viewing paper stereograms. Later, several Europeans brought out a large variety of viewers for transparencies, frequently in elaborate cabinet form.

Just about the time Brewster's first stereoscope was introduced, there appeared some stereoscopic Daguorrmtype

* Reprinted with special pcrtiiission'fmxii the Journal of The Photographic Soclctv ot America. Inc, and Mr. john A. Norllng.

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 252