T. J. Nevin’s big tabletop stereograph viewer
Although this image is faint – it is a scan of a print pasted into the scrapbook of his son George Ernest Nevin (1880-1957) which is held by Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin’s descendants in the Shelverton family – it shows clearly enough that George’s father, photographer Thomas J. Nevin, was rather fond of his big box table top stereograph viewer. It provided clientele with a ready amusement, a novel experience of 3D. The Victorian fascination with this “advanced” photography is quite understandable. Viewing a static stereograph, three images can be seen, not just one: the central image appears in deep perspective, with the image split into halves on either side. A double lens stereograph viewer of this size could hold a large number of stereograph cards; turning the wooden handle changed the card being viewed, providing a motion picture effect. In Nevin’s self-portrait – not a selfie in the strict sense, of course, taken probably by his younger brother Jack Nevin – a frame holder on top is propped up. In the two portraits below, the holder is flat. An earlier portrait of Thomas Nevin, taken ca. 1868, shows him wearing white gloves, posing with a smaller portable stereoscopic viewer, similar in size to a stereoscope camera. … More T. J. Nevin’s big tabletop stereograph viewer
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