Thursday, December 13, 2007

Stereopticon or stereograph?

stereopticonMy mother calls it a stereopticon, but most of the information I found on the net calls it a stereograph or stereoscope. Me? I call it ingenius. I used to love playing with the apparatus when I was younger. My mother's is vintage 1906, but I found reference to the first one and it was developed in 1838 or 1833 (I found two conflicting pieces of information so I'm not real sure.)

Look at these stereopticons. I included a scene in Once Jilted whereby Shauna, my heroine, is intrigued by an object owned by Kane, the hero. Enjoy an unedited snippet:

Her eyebrows rose over wide eyes. “You want me to stay in your tent?”


“Will you be moving your things soon?” She stood, wiping her wet hands on her apron.

“Nay.” He quirked a brow and lifted the corner of his mouth in a smirk. “Nay, I’ll just come get things as I need them. Otherwise, you’re to be making yourself at home.”

“But where will you sleep?”

“Beneath the heavens.” He smiled. “I’ve always enjoyed sleeping outside with nothing more than a blanket of stars.”

“I think I’ll feel like an intruder.”

“Well now, I’m noot given you permission to snoop in me personal belongings,
mind you.”

A becoming blush stole over her features, and she quickly masked her pink features by stepping behind the drying clothes to hang more wet things on the line. Had the lass already done just that? Snoop through his things?

“Of course not, but there are some items that are in clear view.”


She smiled. “I couldn’t help but admire the picture viewer.”

“Ah. That’s a stereopticon, a present from me last employer.” A fond memory entered his thoughts as he reminisced about the bridge they’d built in Missouri.

“Are – are there more pictures for it?”

The eagerness on her face was so adorable, he laughed. “I’ll fish them out for you.”

“Thank you.”

“Well, I haven’t found them yet, lass.” He stared at the puddles made by her wash water then at her soggy hem.

Here's a photo I took of one of the photos in my mother's collection. Somehow the double image adds to the 3D effect when viewed through the stereopticon. I thought of this particular image when drafting another scene where this object came into play. This image is of a young girl playing house.stereopticon photo


Jane Toombs said...

Hey, I'm so old I remember these in some of my friends' grandmother's houses. We called them steriopticons and looked at cards of many of the National Parks and also Coney Island, NY with women in those weird old bathing suits. Jane

Ciara Gold said...

Oh man, my mother still has her old wool bathing suit, the one that covered everything. LOL. Too fun