Tuesday 19 September 2017

Can you identify this 1920's family?

Can you identify the family or locations in these 1920’s stereoscope photographs?

During our customary month long stay at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August I decided 
to take an online course on the development 19th century stereoscopes. It was a fascinating and informative course enhanced by being delivered by the University Of Edinburgh. I could pop into the National Museum Of Scotland and had seen a linked exhibition in 2015.

I decided keep an eye out for a stereoscopic viewer whilst browsing in antique and charity shops as I wanted to experiment with stereoscope images for my artwork.

19th century stereoscopes are magnificent beasts but not always the most portable or storable objects, so I was delighted with a recent find.

Last week at the corn street antiques market in Bristol the first thing to catch my eye was this little portable viewer. A later date than I really wanted but the moment it was in my hand I knew it was mine. The weight, the materials, the texture. The mechanism  pops up and folds down into perfect pocketable portability.
I glanced at the double photographs within and struck a good deal with the stall-holder.

The first photograph in the pile was the jolly little boy looking cheekily towards the camera. I was further enchanted by the enormous polar bears at a zoo, frozen forever in their cramped mock Arctic environs.

Please do take a moment to look at the photographs. It looks as if the family are on holiday, a day out at the very least, precious enough to immortalise with a stereoscopic camera and processed as postcards. I have a feeling the beach may be in South Wales, perhaps the zoo and castle are there as well?

Do let me know if you recognise any of the family or the locations. I’d love to know where they are and if you may be related?

Images & text ©Heather Tweed 2017

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