Saturday, March 19, 2011

3D yesterday and tomorrow

We know there that hand holding a torch scultped by Bartholdi wound up, don't we?

I may be in the process of changing my mind about three-dimensional video. Old codgers like me need, perhaps, a little while to catch up with the cutting edge of technology.

And yet, as the illustration at the top shows, stereoscopy is far from new. It comes from a collection of 3D images which is slightly famous.   
In 1939 the New York Public Library purchased from Robert N. Dennis his entire holding of approximately 35,000 stereographs, which he had called then "the largest known collection of its kind." 

Just as the television industry has for more than half a century addressed the diverse entertainment tastes and far-ranging information needs of a complex audience, so stereoscopic views entertained and enlightened a similarly broad and eclectic audience a century ago, and often for the same types of profit. During the period between the 1850s and the 1910s, stereos were a mainstay of home entertainment, perhaps second only to reading as a personal leisure activity. Like television, stereos were an intimate medium viewed by individuals or small groups at home, or at churches, schools, or clubs. 

Now it was not my plan to blog about 3D today. I was simply doing some research into things biographical. Below is another stereo from the Dennis collection. The church was the bulding next door when I lived in Maine from 1955 to 1957 and my father was the occupant of the pulpit for Sunday services.

Was I not fortunate to have on my very doorstep a fascinating example of Victorian architecture in its North American form.

This was not the only interesting building on the campus of the Goodwill Hinckley School, although I wasn't really aware of how lucky I was at the time. We had, of course a school library...

Isn't this picture-perfect neo-classicism? Almost too perfect. In books there is wisdom, but when the books are housed in such a wee jewel box then the wisdom has an inspiring setting. I find it fascinating that this little building is a real Carnegie Library.

1905:  Andrew Carnegie gave $15,000 to the Good Will Home Association to build the library. 1906:  Construction began on the brick and granite building.  The year is noted on the cornerstone.1907:  The library was dedicated on May 29th.

Oh aye, I wanted to say something about libraries today. And about how lucky I think I was to be introduced to 'wisdom' in such an idyllic setting.

And the photo below, taken not far from the school campus... well, it would look pretty good in stereo don't you think?



Anonymous said...

Would that be Philippa in the last photo ?

Macthomson said...

What an interesting notion, Miss B! I wish I could claim to have taken such a very evocative, moody photo. In truth I just Googled 'Hinckley' and this lovely shot turned up.

Anonymous said...

Miss B ? What an interesting notion. Sorry. Not so.

Macthomson said...

Okay, guessed wrong! But I wonder why the veil of anonymity is your choice?

Anonymous said...

I visit the blog occasionally, do not intend to comment regularly, and see no purpose served by identifying myself.