Loading Spinner

Stereoviews

Stereoviews, also known as stereographs, were novelty images that became popular in 1860 through the early 1920s. Consisting of two images side by side, either on glass or pasted onto a sturdy card, stereoviews were meant to be observed through a special viewer, called a stereoscope, that created the effect of a three dimensional image.

The stereoscope was invented in 1833, predating the photograph. Inexpensive stereoviews images were first drawings, and sometimes reproduced by lithography. After the development of photography, daguerreotypes, tintypes, and ambrotypes were all used in stereoscopes. As improvements in paper and cameras developed throughout the 19th century, higher quality images were those printed from the negative on silver gelatin paper.

Stereographs were typically not meant as a high art form, or as a serious documentary vehicle, but were mostly for the purpose of entertainment. Stereoscopes and a collection of images would be passed around at social gatherings. Popular images of famous people and places were produced as tourist keepsakes, though some well-respected photographers had their images printed as stereographs. Stereoviews are often seen as an advancement towards the development of the motion picture.


Quick Facts

  • One of the most popular categories of images used in stereoscopes was railroad imagery, as this type of transportation developed extensively in the 19th century, especially with the development of the transcontinental railroad from Sacramento to Utah
  • Carleton Watkins was one of the most prolific producers of images of the American West. His images were published widely as stereoviews, and their popularity introduced the population of the Eastern states to the vast wonders of Yosemite valley
  • The most prolific producer of stereoviews in the United States was the Keystone View Company in Pennsylvania, and in the United Kingdom, the London Stereoscope Company

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

ENSEMBLE WITH AN ORIGINAL BREWSTER-TYPE STEREOSCOPE AND 49 STEREOSCOPIC IMAGES OR STEREOGRAMS.
Dec 09, 1:00 PM CET
ENSEMBLE WITH AN ORIGINAL BREWSTER-TYPE STEREOSCOPE AND 49 STEREOSCOPIC IMAGES OR STEREOGRAMS.
by Arenberg Auctions
Est: €100- €150
€501 Bid
Stereo Card Viewer & Box of Stereo Cards
Nov 29, 12:00 PM EST
Stereo Card Viewer & Box of Stereo Cards
by Old Kinderhook Auction Company
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Keystone Stereoview card bridge - Peru
Dec 28, 6:00 PM EST
Keystone Stereoview card bridge - Peru
by Captain Ahab's Antiques
Est: $25- $60
$200 Bids
KEYSTONE VIEW CO 1920s Stereoscope
Dec 21, 10:00 AM EST
KEYSTONE VIEW CO 1920s Stereoscope
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $20- $80
$10 Bids
Stereoview vintage view finder
Dec 28, 6:00 PM EST
Stereoview vintage view finder
by Captain Ahab's Antiques
Est: $100- $250
$900 Bids
VINTAGE 1326 STREET ON OCEAN FRONT, JUNEAU CITY, ALASKA STEREO VIEW CARD
Dec 19, 12:30 PM EST
VINTAGE 1326 STREET ON OCEAN FRONT, JUNEAU CITY, ALASKA STEREO VIEW CARD
by Museum of Culture and Arts, Inc
Est: $70- $270
$90 Bids
VINTAGE 1233 THE PUEBLOS OF TAOS, NEW MEXICO STEREO VIEW CARD
Dec 19, 12:30 PM EST
VINTAGE 1233 THE PUEBLOS OF TAOS, NEW MEXICO STEREO VIEW CARD
by Museum of Culture and Arts, Inc
Est: $70- $270
$90 Bids
VINTAGE 1329 MAIN STREET BENNETT, THE KLONDIKE, ALASKA STEREO VIEW CARD
Dec 19, 12:30 PM EST
VINTAGE 1329 MAIN STREET BENNETT, THE KLONDIKE, ALASKA STEREO VIEW CARD
by Museum of Culture and Arts, Inc
Est: $70- $270
$90 Bids
A stereoviewer, with approximately 75 stereocards.
Dec 03, 10:00 AM GMT
A stereoviewer, with approximately 75 stereocards.
by Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
Est: £80- £120
£800 Bids
A collection of stereo cards depicting people in various pursuits and viewe
Dec 03, 10:00 AM GMT
A collection of stereo cards depicting people in various pursuits and viewe
by Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
Est: £100- £150
£1000 Bids
Group of 4 [Stereoviews] Railroad Depot New York, Tuckee City Pacific Railroad & Others
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Group of 4 [Stereoviews] Railroad Depot New York, Tuckee City Pacific Railroad & Others
by Regency Antique Books
Est: $75- $100
$500 Bids
179 STEREOVIEW CARDS
Dec 18, 10:00 AM EST
179 STEREOVIEW CARDS
by White's Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Group of 11 [Stereoviews] Yosemite and Yellowstone J.J. Reilly, Others
Dec 03, 10:00 AM MST
Group of 11 [Stereoviews] Yosemite and Yellowstone J.J. Reilly, Others
by Regency Antique Books
Est: $75- $100
$500 Bids
Vintage Sawyers View-Master Stereoscope Reel l
Dec 04, 9:00 PM MST
Vintage Sawyers View-Master Stereoscope Reel l
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Stereoviews


Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

Captain Ahab's Antiques

Captain Ahab's Antiques

Regency Antique Books

Regency Antique Books