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No. 2 Stereo Brownie (1905 - 1910)

The No. 2 Stereo Brownie is a special purpose camera for amateurs to take 3D photos.

Stereo Photography has been in and out of popularity as long as photography exists. During the early years of the 20th century it was 'in', and this is when the No. 2 Stereo Brownie was made. In April 1905 it was introduced, in 1910 it was discontinued. During this period about 4000 were made. It cost $12.

Stereo photographs can be taken several ways, but I think that using a camera that takes two pictures at the same moment is the most usual. As you can see in the video the Brownie has two lenses, two shutters and even two separate bellows. The shutters are coupled by a mechanism and both act at exactly the same time. Two pictures are taken side by side on one film at the same moment.
Both pictures are viewed in a special viewer, one picture is seen by the right eye and the other by the left eye. In the brain they are blended together, giving the impression of depth.

 

There are a number of early stereo Kodaks. The 'Satchel' Folding Kodaks of the early 1890's could accomodate stereo lensboards and be changed to stereo cameras. During 1901-1905 Kodak also produced the No. 2 Stereo Kodak, a rollfilm boxcamera. The Stereo Kodak Model 1 was made from 1917 until 1925. During the 1950, when stereo photography was 'in' again, other cameras were made as well.

 

The No. 2 Stereo Brownie is a pretty instrument, with its wooden lensboard, brass shutters and red bellows. Kodak collectors as well as stereo collectors are allways on the lookout for one, but the camera is not seen often.
 

 

 

 Sample pictures made with the Stereo Brownie

 

 

 

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