Perfecscope Viewer.

Age: 19th century

Condition: Excellent


Item information


Viewer for Stereographic cards.

History & Provenance

In the late 1800's and early 1900's sets of photographic "stereo cards" were very popular with Americans for viewing historic, travel, art and entertainment images. They gave people a chance to "see the world" from their parlour. Parlour sittings to view stereo card images were popular pastimes. For the sake of CW veterans and their kin, cards were reproduced from the actual images of Brady, Gardner and others. Since time exposures did not yet allow images of actual moving battles during the CW, engravings were made into stereo cards of famous battles. The stereo cards remained popular till about 1920, so there are sets showing World War I. Then, they became passe'. This is a very nice viewer called the "Perfecscope" with a patent notation of 1895/1902. It has an aluminium cowling with hand-incised floral design and the seal of approval from the 1900 Exposition Universelle in France impressed nicely into the metal. It still has its wood handle and sliding card holder. So, it could well be used to this day. What eyes looked through this item to view images of old CW fields where they fought?

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