King's College London
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Professor Sir Charles Wheatstone

The stereoscope

Wheatstone's stereoscopeWheatstone's stereoscopeAlongside his study and experiments with sound, Charles Wheatstone also investigated optics - the behaviour and properties of light.

He examined how the use of lenses and mirrors could create different optical effects.

Wheatstone's family in stereo - c 1851-1852Wheatstone's family in stereo - c 1851-1852One of Wheatstone’s first optical inventions was the pseudoscope, an instrument which made a concave object appear convex.

For example, a box on the floor viewed through the pseudoscope would look like a box shaped hole.

Wheatstone went on to develop the first stereoscopic viewer in 1838 which created the illusion of 3D.

This first stereoscope used illustrations but the development of photography provided a medium which was much more suited to 3D.

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