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The Ghost in the Stereoscope
London Stereoscopic Company
Albumen silver prints from glass negatives with applied color
Mount: 8.6 x 17.5 cm (3 3/8 x 6 7/8 in.)
Image: 7.8 x 6.5 cm (3 1/16 x 2 9/16 in.) each
Gift of Weston J. Naef, in memory of Kathleen W. Naef and Weston J. Naef Sr., 1982
Not on view
Founded in 1854, the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company was a major publisher of stereographs-cards with two nearly identical photographs mounted side by side that can be viewed through a binocular device to create an illusion of depth. The firm's output was colossal; their 1858 catalogue listed more than one hundred thousand views. While the majority of these were landscapes or architectural views, there was also a thriving market for staged historical, sentimental, or comic tableaux, which were often hand-colored to enhance their dramatic impact. Among the most popular themes were courtship, marriage, unrequited love, bereavement, children sleeping or praying, fairy tales, fortune telling, and supernatural scenes involving ghosts or spirits.