What is this?
No, it’s not a mailbox.
A Holmes Stereoscope was recently installed in the Special Collections department for public use. This device incorporates the mechanisms of two hand-held stereoscopes of the type first developed by the poet and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1861. The viewer looks through a pair of prismatic lenses at a stereocard mounted on wooden stand. A stereocard consists of a pair of identical side-by-side photographs. The stereoscope lens overlaps the photos into a single image and, in doing so, creates a “3D” effect for the viewer.
The Minneapolis History Collection in Special Collections has hundreds of stereocard images of Minneapolis scenes from the late 19th and early 20th century. Select stereocards from the collection will be on display using this Holmes Stereoscope. Stop by for a look at the 19th century’s version of “3D” – no special glasses required.
More stereographs from Special Collections can be viewed online.