Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Stereoscope "Gems of Kentucky Scenery" by Carpenter and Mullen collection, 2010AV006

This newly processed collection consists of 21 albumen process stereograph cards of various Kentucky landscape scenes taken by local Lexington photographers Carpenter and Mullen. James A. Mullen, founder of Carpenter and Mullen, had an illustrious career in the 1860s. He operated galleries in New York and Cincinnati, worked for a Cincinnati photographer, the Engineering Corps, the State Geological Survey, and the Engineers of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad before settling into his Lexington Main street gallery.

Stereograph cards are an early form of three-dimensional photograph. First introduced in the 1850s, they were most popular between 1870 and 1920. To create stereograph cards a camera with multiple lenses, such as the one on the right, was used.

After the camera captured the images simultaneously, the two virtually identical photographs were printed side-by-side. When viewed with a stereoscope, like the one on the left, the image appears three-dimensional.

--Sarah K. Piester, graduate student processor

1 comment:

Free Genealogy Guide said...

I remember seeing a sterograph and the long stiff cards when I was a child. I even remember seeing one of the double-lens cameras that were used to take the photos. All I recall thinking at the time was that they were clumsy and not as easy to use as my View-Master.