Stereo-daguerreotype of optical instruments, c 1855.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A stereoscopic daguerreotype of a display of optical instruments, including microscopes, telescopes, binoculars and stereoscopes, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1855. A sign on the top shelf of the display reads 'A Gaudin A Paris'. In 1832, Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875) first established the principles of stereoscopy. A stereograph is a pair of photographs which, when viewed through a stereoscope, give the appearance of three-dimensional depth. Stereoscopic photography became very popular in the 1850s and 1860s - particularly after it was exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851.