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Long before people were entertained by TV and even radio, photographs were about as exciting and innovative as entertainment got. And in 1851, not long after the invention of chemical photography, Scottish inventor Sir David Brewster developed the “lenticular stereoscope,” the first portable 3D viewing device. Needless to say, minds were blown.

Until 1854, Japan was basically off-limits to the outside world. With the advent of photography, the Western world could finally get a glimpse of the long-mysterious land and culture. And through the magic of animated GIFs, we can now view the hand-tinted stereoscopic images just as they appeared to an excited public over 150 years ago.

How did it work?
A subject would be photographed from two angles to simulate the view from the left and right eye. When viewed through Brewster’s stereoscope, the two imagines became one with a 3D effect. It was basically the Victorian era View-Master. But since there were no Fraggle Rock picture discs available, people had to settle for photos of far-off lands.

Source: Ink Tank

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