Check Out These Amazing Vintage Stereoscopic Images of NYC From 1850s to the 1930s

Before motion pictures were a thing, the pinnacle of visual technology was the Stereoscopic Image, a process where two images are produced of the same subject which have a very slightly different viewpoint. When shown through a special piece of equipment that diverts one image to each of your eyes, the result is that the viewer’s brain combines the images into a 3D view of the subject.

Without a stereoscope, a similar effect can be had by showing the images back-to-back quickly in succession. These GIF’s from The Guardian do that perfectly using a few of the thousands of vintage stereoscopic photos in the New York Public Library’s collection.

“Between the 1850s and the 1910s, stereographic images were a mainstay of home entertainment, perhaps second only to reading as a personal leisure activity,” says the NYPL. “Like television, stereos were an intimate medium viewed by individuals or small groups at home, or at churches, schools or clubs”

Check out the full article for more on the NYPL’s vintage stereoscopic image collection.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their three dogs. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time working from a treadmill desk at home.

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