Thursday, November 10, 2016

Book of the Day: When America Was Great And Dad Was The Master Photographer

stereo realist guide cover.jpg

(For our video discussion of this book- and a demo of the Amazing Viewer- click here:

Willard D. Morgan, Henry M. Lester and 14 leading 3-D experts, Stereo Realist Manual (Morgan & Lester, 1st ed. October, 1954), 400 pp. hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, Library of Congress #54-11905, 6 1/2" x 9"). Very good condition, rare. Your price: US $100.

By the late 1940s, photography had branched out in all sorts of directions. One was Seton Rochewite's Stereo Realist 35mm camera, produced by The David White Co. of Milwaukee from 1947 to 1971. In simplest terms, the Stereo Realist camera gave every American his own View-Master.

Stereo film photography took off, and by the mid-50s several of the major players in the film and photographic equipment industry, including Bell & Howell and Kodak, jumped in with models of their own. But they mistimed the market, and by 1960 David White not just the first manufacturer, but the last. Production ceased in 1971 but enthusiasts still bought and used Stereo Realist equipment into the next decade.

Stereo Realist Manual, published at the peak of the craze in 1954, is an evangelist's tract/user guide to the David White camera. Silent film legend Harold Lloyd wrote the introduction; he shot over 200,000 stereo photos, from which his daughter published the collections 3D Hollywood (1992) and Hollywood Nudes in 3D! (2006). Contributors include the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and art historian Beaumont Newhall. The dust jacket announces, "Here is something new- the first book on stereo photography actually illustrated with color stereos. An amazing new optical Stereo Viewer (it's inside the back cover!) was specially designed for viewing the stereos in this book." Our copy- a first edition- includes the special Stereo Viewer, in its original envelope, behind the back cover just as promised sixty years ago.

Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like.

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