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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Susie, Susie, Susie, Susie: 1950

Susie, Susie, Susie, Susie: 1950

3-D was big in the early 1950s. This slide is one of 4,800 3-D slides I have bought over the past 21 years. It is captioned "Susie at home for Christmas 1950". You can learn to "free-view" this digital version by giving the image a blank stare. In time, you brain will produce three images, the middle one in 3-D. It's like learning to ride a bike ... not easy, but once you do it, that's it. View full size.

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Just like the "Magic Eye" from the 1990's!! Very cool.


When I was a child my favourite toy was my Viewmaster and its reels; once grown up I worked for 20 years on aerial mapping with different kinds of equipment: analogic and mechanical first, digital later.

I always liked 3D photos, those of the '50s are wonderful, it seems that everyone had a 3D camera in those years. When I take pictures now with one, people always ask me what I'm using.

I hope that there will be other pictures like this.

Modern Stereoscope

I bought a modern plastic version a view years ago and instead of a postcard, I held my smartphone in front of it. Works Great.

Glad you liked this.

And thank you, Shorpy folks, for including it. Yes, the top is "cross eye"(X) and the bottom is "parallel" (P). I can only do P since I learned from "Magic Eye" books. P is actually more "useful" in that you can view old stereo cards that way. I'm delighted that some of you were able to do this. I'll offer a few more in the future.

Wake up, little Susie

Thank you for this! Yesterday I tried but nothing happened. Today, after reading all the comments, I stopped overthinking it and just crossed my eyes and Bob's your uncle, the picture popped right into 3D! Now I can't stop looking at little Susie triking past that see-through Christmas tree, the icicles nearly brushing her face. It's awesome. What a treat.

It works!

Wooow! it is really easy if you cross your eyes slowly to finally "lock" the center image. Fantastic effect.

Tried so hard

Well, now that my eyes are stuck in the crossed mode, does any know the name of a decent ophthalmic surgeon?

Anaglyph of Susie

Here's a black-and-white 3D anaglyph of Susie for anyone who has the red/blue lens glasses used for 3D comic books, many children's books, early 3D movies, etc. Anaglyphs don't work well in color if there is any red or cyan in the photo as one eye will not see that color and it creates uncomfortable viewing.

Free Viewing

The two pictures have to be printed with a point-to-point separation less than eye separation to free-view.

At last!

I've been waiting for someone to post something in three dimensions. I hope you come up with more.

Freeviewing Susie

The bottom set of images is the one to use for traditional "freeviewing" to see the 3D image -- the left image is on the left, the right image is on the right. On the top set of images the right image is on the left. That would be proper for anyone using "crosseyed freeviewing" which is used for stereo images if the image is large. For traditional "blank stare" type freeviewing the left/right images should be in proper order (the bottom set here) and the size of the image on your screen should be adjusted so that the distance between the centers of the two pictures is about the distance between your pupils. Freeviewing in a skill worth learning -- once your mind learns what it is supposed to be doing, it will lock in the 3D image easily. There are thousands of antique stereoviews every day on eBay, and you can free-view them on your screen.


It's really easy if you happen to have one of these. I never could do it with the "blank stare". I also wasn't good at autostereograms in the '90s but at least I was able to do it occasionally.

Two different styles of stereo pairs

Upper photo pair is for crosseyed technique (not my preference). Left eye focuses on right image, right eye on left)

Lower photo pair is for parallel technique (much more relaxed in my book). Left eye to left photo, right to right.

If you use the wrong technique for a given stereo pair, items that should be in the forefront are pushed to the back.

Stereo Pair Viewing

While on the pursuit of a Forest Management degree in the mid 1970's, I took a required course in Photogrammetry and Aerial Mapping. I was provided with optics that enabled me to view stereo pair photos. After a time I mastered the art of parallel focused vision instead of convergent vision. It is like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it.

If the center of each photo is beyond parallel vision (divergent), you can't bring the photos into full overlap. In this case, if you're on a computer (I know you are), scale the image down until you can converge the images.

Crosseyed and Parallel

The top pair is for crosseyed viewing, the bottom for parallel (like those 'magic-eye' patterns).

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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