Wheatstone's Reflective Stereoscope

Wheatstone's Reflective Stereoscope

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The mirror stereoscope built for the English physicist and inventor Charles Wheatstone in 1832. Two mirrors are placed at 90º to each other reflecting two upright panels which are equidistant from the mirrors. The viewer's left eye sees the reflected image of the left panel and simultaneously the right eye sees the right panel's image. As his stereoscope predated by seven years Daguerre's invention of the Daguerreotype, he initially had to demonstrate stereoscopy with simple line drawings, but by 1841 he commissioned. still-life and portrait stereo pairs made photographically as calotype prints. Though binocular vision, the basis of stereoscopy, had been recognised by Euclid, Galen, and Leonardo da Vinci, it was Wheatstone, the founder of the science of stereoscopy, who realized that the illusion of three-dimensional depth could be produced artificially.

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Keywords: binocular vision, calotype, charles wheatstone, daguerre, daguerreotype, euclid, fox talbot, galen, inventor, leonardo da vinci, mirror stereoscope, nineteenth century, photography, physicist, reflective stereoscope, stereo pair, stereoscope, stereoscopy, three-dimensional, wheatstone

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