At the turn of the 20th century, long before virtual reality and 3D action movies, there was an obscure device not very different from today’s sunglasses, that people used to transport themselves to another reality.
The stereoscope, as it was named in 1838, would show two images taken from a slightly different angle. Viewed by left and right eye separately, the combined photo gave the impression of 3D depth, as you would see it in reality.
Well, it doesn’t sound so breathtaking now, at the time of black and white portraits, it spurred huge interest.
Manhattan was one of many subjects photographed by this “latest” invention, leaving for us a unique memory of what the city used to look like.
Recently published photographs by New York Public Library, take us to the moving Manhattan, that was as alive and pulsing, as the city is today.