Stereoscope, known as Brewster stereoscope

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made in England

Postcard of Stereoscope, known as Brewster stereoscope.
© National Museums Scotland

Stereoscope, known as Brewster stereoscope

A Brewster stereoscope is a device through which a stereo pair of photographs mounted on a card is viewed through two lenses. It is named after its inventor, David Brewster. This example was made in England around 1855. It is unsigned.

The stereoscope gives the viewer the illusion of a three-dimensional scene from two slightly different flat pictures. The pictures are examined through the device so that each eye sees only one picture.

David Brewster was careful to claim that he had invented only the lenticular form of the stereoscope, as opposed to Charles Wheatstone's reflecting instrument. Brewster's stereoscope was a huge success following its inclusion in the 1851 Great Exhibition.

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Online ID: 000-100-102-831-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1986.524
Date: Around 1855
c. 1855
What: Brewster stereoscope viewer
Who: Sir D. Brewster (Owner)
Where: England
Description: Brewster stereoscopic viewer, unsigned, England, c. 1855
  • Stereoscopes are discussed in Morrison-Low, A.D., 'Brewster and Scientific Instruments' in Morrison-Low, A.D. & Christie, J.R.R. (eds.), Martyr of Science: Sir David Brewster 1781-1868. Edinburgh: 1984, pp 58-65, 98-9 
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