||Stereoscope Stereo Viewer - Holmes type likely by H C White
This Stereoscope has no markings whatsoever, with the exception of the "PAT'D. JULY 28, 03" marking on each of the lens rims. My research however indicates that this is the Holmes type stereo viewer, the most popular during the late 1800's and early 1900's. Interestingly, the Holmes name refers to Oliver Wendell Holmes, who made and popularized this style in 1881. He was the father of the Oliver Wendell Holmes who became a Supreme Court Judge.
This item is in very nice condition, considering its age. It is made of wood with the hood only made of what appears to be a heavy aluminum. The top of the hood has a lovely intricate pattern etched into the metal of a flower with tendrils and a leaf like design. There is no corrosion that I can find. The soft brown felt-like edging is all present and attached; however it is "worn through" on the very edge of the metal on each side. The wood appears in nice condition. I have not attempted to polish or clean it, short of dusting it off. Both of the lenses are in excellent, clear condition.
The metal brackets and handle are indicative of H C White stereoscopes. H C White manufactured viewers for a number of companies, and this bracket was unique to him. The bracket for the card holder slide has been repaired (see photos). It had apparently been broken on one side, and a small piece of metal soldered to repair it. It works well. Likewise, one of the ears of the handle bracket has been soldered. Again, the handle is stable, and importantly the friction pivot is snug enough to permit the handle to be utilized as a prop for display purposes.
Dimensions are approximately 12-3/4" long, by 5-1/2" wide at the hood or 7-1/4" at the slider, by 8-1/4" high with the handle extended.
For more history of the Stereoscope or Stereopticon and how they actually create the 3D effect, see the description for the "Saturnscope" in this same category of our site.
We have both Stereoscopes and a number of Stereoviews (the official name for the picture slides) offered on our site, and will be adding many more views. If you are looking for a certain category, please inquire by clicking on our Contact tab.
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