A pair of goggles with a double picture of Eldon House attached. There are a stack of images next to them, it is sitting on a multi-coloured table.
A stereoscope in the Eldon House Library

Country of Origin: United States
Year: ca. 1880
Materials: Wood, glass, and metal 

A stereoscope is an early 3D image viewer. A stiff card showing a double image is inserted into the end of the piece, and when the image moves closer to the viewer, the viewer’s depth perception merges to make one 3D image. These devices were constructed by Sir Charles Wheatstone and optician R. Murray in 1832. They were produced using innovations in photography and became incredibly popular.  Over time, multiple people began manufacturing different styles of stereoscopes. This one, which is one of the most common, was called a Holmes stereoscope. It was invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. in 1860 and was more about recreation than science. “Stereo Cards” could be purchased with images all over the world, allowing for the first time, Victorian armchair travellers.