3D is How Old?!

For the last few years Hollywood has desperately been trying to convince audiences that viewing movies in 3D is the ultimate way to experience a director's vision.  Personally, I think all 3D is good for is viewing movies through lenses that make everything darker and give me a headache, but that's just me.

Source: http://www.wehner.org/tools/anna/
Source: http://www.wehner.org/tools/anna/

Charles Wheatstone, the father of 3D...in 3D!

Some of you may be familiar with stereoscopy, the method of filming/conversion and projection that makes the 3D possible.  What many people may not know is how old this technology is.  Most people tend to think the technology originated in the 50s when audiences like the one pictured above were wowed by amazing 3D special effect.  While it is true that 3D movies were a huge fad in the 50s, 3D images are much older than that.

Sir Charles Wheatstone is credited as the inventor of the original stereoscope, a device which allowed viewers to see images with added depth, or in other words, primitive 3D.  Patented in 1838, the device was released to the public a full year before a reliable method of taking photographs was invented.  this meant that Wheatstone's device was used to view drawings as opposed to drawings.   Here's what the device looked like:

Source: wikipedia.org
Source: wikipedia.org

Don't ask me how this thing works.

 

Basically, Wheatstone's stereoscope was the 19th Century equivalent of these beauties from your childhood:

Source: wikipedia.org