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This is a stereoscopic camera with a folding (scissor) structure for cut films, with a 5.5 x 12.5 cm format. The camera is equipped with two lenses: the Doppel Anastigmat DAGOR III 6.8/80, by CP Goerz of Berlin.
The camera for stereoscopic photos was made between 1905 and 1910...

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This is a stereoscopic camera with a folding (scissor) structure for cut films, with a 5.5 x 12.5 cm format. The camera is equipped with two lenses: the Doppel Anastigmat DAGOR III 6.8/80, by CP Goerz of Berlin.
The camera for stereoscopic photos was made between 1905 and 1910 by Heinrich Ernemann AG in Dresden (Germany). The camera took a picture (stereo-pair) on a “dry” glass sheet with a 5.5 x 12.5 cm format.
The first stereoscopic pictures on paper negatives were made at the end of the 1830s by one of the precursors of Wiliam Henry Fox Talbot.
The fashion for looking at stereoscopic pictures, giving the impression of space in home comfort, lasted from the 1860s until the early twentieth century. Stereoscopic photos could be taken with a normal photo camera by moving it on a special rail, or by a much simpler technique: using a camera equipped with two photo lenses. Such cameras have been widely produced since the 1880s; folding cameras were equipped with dual lenses with compound snapshots. This enabled the stereo-pairs to be taken at one moment, which was especially important in case of images of moving objects, that could only be photographed in this way.
The camera body is in the form of a cube, made of wood (with metal elements), and covered with black leather with a grained texture. A carrying handle (belt) is made of black leather and attached to the side surface. At the top, there is a nailed round brass plate, describing the manufacturer with the inscriptions: ERNEMANN AG / DRESDEN (with the logo in the middle).
A wooden front, covered with black varnish, slides out and locks with metal chromed struts; two Dagor-type lenses are mounted at the front; bellows connect the front with the body, in the form of a rectangular sack, covered with black leather. The camera is equipped with a slotted snapshot, with blinds made of black rubber canvas.

Elaborated by Marek Maszczak (Museum of Photography in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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How was the three-dimensional effect obtained in the 19th century?

Stereoscopic photography was the first three-dimensional photography in history. It developed after 1851. Then, it was demonstrated for the first time at the London World Exposition, where spatial photographs aroused the delight of Queen Victoria. From that time on, stereoscopic photography became the entertainment of the bourgeoisie, and it was not until the 1930s — when fascination with film and radio began — that stereoscopy was reduced to the role of a children’s toy.

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Stereoscopic photography was the first three-dimensional photography in history. It developed after 1851. Then, it was demonstrated for the first time at the London World Exposition, where spatial photographs aroused the delight of Queen Victoria. From that time on, stereoscopic photography became the entertainment of the bourgeoisie, and it was not until the 1930s — when fascination with film and radio began — that stereoscopy was reduced to the role of a children’s toy. An optical instrument is used for viewing images in stereoscopy: a stereoscope. Stereoscopic photography consists of two photographs of the same object, made from different points of view. The viewer — looking through the stereoscope — gets the impression of the spatiality and three-dimensionality of the scene being viewed. Stereoscopy is one of the imaging techniques reflecting the impression of spatial vision and the depth of the image under observation. Today, stereoscopy is a 3D technique, obtaining images by reproducing the binocular visual effect, which gives the impression of depth. They are obtained by creating anaglyph paintings. The anaglyph method has gained popularity thanks to computer processing.
Stereoscopy requires the delivery of two images seen from the perspective of both the left and right eye to the brain. For this purpose, a pair of two-dimensional images (stereo pairs) are registered, representing the object or scene from two points of view, spaced as far apart from one another as the observer’s eyes. The images differ according to the angle of view of the objects concerned.
What is the history of this technique? An Italian physicist, Giambattista Della Porta (1538–1615), wrote about creating the illusion of spatial vision in 1593. His work was forgotten; it was not until 1838 that an English physicist, Sir Charles Wheatstone, built a camera for viewing spatial images and named it a stereoscope (it was a reflective stereoscope). He ordered a few pairs of photos (talbotypes) from William H. Fox Talbot. Ten years later, David Brewster improved Wheatstone’s idea. A pair of photos was made with a camera with two lenses, and it amazed everybody with its naturalistic projection of space. The photographs were presented, as already mentioned, in 1851. In 1861, the American, Oliver Wendel Holmes, constructed a light stereoscope. He did not patent his design, which spread greatly. The development of stereoscopic photography began when — in 1871 — dry glass plates with a gelatine emulsion were invented, which were sensitive and liberated photographers from the proximity to their photographic darkrooms. In the 19th century, mass-produced copies of stereoscopic images began to enter the market. Walery Rzewuski soon applied the new technique in his photographic atelier.

See also: 
The “Mercury” Stereoscope viewer by Underwood & Underwood, Stereoscopic camera by Heinrich Ernemann A.G. Company and Duchessa Stereo — stereoscopic camera by Contessa Nettel A.G. Company.

Elaborated by Małgorzata Kanikuła (Museum of Photography in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Stereoscopic camera by Heinrich Ernemann A.G. Company

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