• FA-110306 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Information & Communication
Photograph and Film
medien.welten (media.worlds)
1850 - 1899

Stereoscopic viewer

Vienna, around 1900



The stereoscope enables three-dimensional image perception. After being presented at the World Expo in 1851, stereographic images are circulated around the world.

In 1839, the English physicist Charles Wheatstone describes the fundamentals of spatial perception. According to him, an object is perceived from a slightly different angle by each of the two eyes. In the brain, the two images are brought into congruence and the difference between the two creates the illusion of depth. Using a special viewing device, the stereoscope, Wheatstone can support his claim. If his device is used to simultaneously view two photos of the same scene taken from slightly different angles, the image appears to be three-dimensional.

The stereoscopic images are taken with double cameras where the distance between the two lenses corresponds to the distance between the two eyes. After being presented to the public at the World Expo in London in 1851, stereograms soon become very popular and are circulated in their hundreds of thousands throughout Europe and the New World.

Inv.Nr. 20280
Member of