Sir David Brewster The Beginnings of photography

Who is Sir David Brewster?

Sir David Brewster was born on December 11th 1781 in Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, Scotland and died February 10th 1868.

Brewster was a Scottish physicist educated for the ministry at the University of Edinburgh, but his interest in science deflected him from pursuing this profession.

He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1815, and he invented the kaleidoscope the following year and an improved version of the stereoscope applied to photography.

What is Sir David Brewster known for?

Brewster was noted for his experimental work in optics and polarized light.

In 1799 he began his investigations of light. His most important studies involved polarisation, metallic reflection, and light absorption.

In the early 1840s he improved the stereoscope by utilizing lenses to combine the two dissimilar binocular pictures and produce the three-dimensional effect.

He called it the "lenticular stereoscope", which was the first portable, 3D viewing device.

A stereoscope is a device for viewing a stereoscopic pair of separate images, depicting left-eye and right-eye views of the same scene, as a single three-dimensional image.

A typical stereoscope provides each eye with a lens that makes the image seen through it appear larger and more distant and usually also shifts its apparent horizontal position, so that for a person with normal binocular depth perception the edges of the two images seemingly fuse into one "stereo window".

Early stereo photography

In 1851 Queen Victoria and was entranced by the stereoscopes on display at The world fair in London that she encouraged an enthusiasm for three-dimensional photography that soon made it a popular form of entertainment world-wide.

The taking and viewing of stereo photographs was a popular pass time in the nineteenth century.

It was Sir Charles Wheatstone who in 1833 first came up with the idea of presenting slightly different images to the two eyes using a device he called a reflecting mirror stereoscope. When viewed stereoscopically, he showed that the two images are combined in the brain to produce 3-D depth perception. The invention of the Brewster Stereoscope by the Scottish scientist Sir David Brewster in 1849 provided a template for all later stereoscopes. This in turn stimulated the mass production of stereo photography which flourished alongside mono-photography. Stereo photography peaked around the turn of the century and went out of fashion as movies increased in popularity. In 1939 William Gruber saw a way to make use of the newly invented flexible 35mm film by Kodak and teamed up with Harold Graves to form the View-Master company. These toys first became available during the 1940's and are still available today.

The Stereoscope was the beginnings of the concept of 3D Photography & visual depth within a Photograph.

What is a Stereoscope.

How we could re-create the process

Research Done by Olivia, Emma, Naomi & Carly


Created with images by Nesster - "Central Camera 1936: Stereo Puck, Eho Stereo, Contessa Nettel Stereo, Zeiss-Ikon Super Ikomat C"

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