New London Stereoscopic Company Book ‘Stereoscopy: The Dawn of 3-D’ to launch on the 10th November 2021.

New London Stereoscopic Company Book ‘Stereoscopy: The Dawn of 3-D’ to launch on the 10th November 2021.

The London Stereoscopic Company have announced the launch of their latest book ‘Stereoscopy: The Dawn of 3-D’ will take place online on the 10th November 2021.


This book tells the astonishing and sometimes controversial story of the birth of STEREOSCOPY, the phenomenon we now call 3-D, which entranced Victorian society and is the great-grandparent of today’s VIRTUAL REALITY. Peering into a small, dark, magical box (a STEREOSCOPE!) an eager new audience in the 1850s was transported into another dimension. The immersive realism of 3-D beckoned to them to experience the far-flung wonders of the world without ever leaving their fireside. It was as if they were actually there amongst the Great Pyramids of Giza, or looking up at the Matterhorn, or standing in the rice fields of China. 

They could, virtually, meet their heroes, such as Brunel and Dickens, and they could enjoy current events at close quarters, such as the construction of Brunel’s Great Eastern ship on the banks of the Thames, the exhibition of the relics from Sir John Franklin’s disastrous expedition to find the North-West passage, or the celebratory visit to the UK of the legendary “General” Tom Thumb..

In these pages you will find for the first time the FULL account of the first 30 years of this extraordinary scientific, artistic and social revolution that was started by Charles Wheatstone, Professor of Experimental Philosophy at King’s College London, before the dawn of photography!

This book has been in my head for so long and has involved so much research that I am thrilled it is being released at last, thanks to the efforts and dedication of Dr. Brian May and all of our team. It is a dream come true ! This publication should set a few things right about the history of the first thirty years of the medium and should put stereoscopy once more in the limelight, where it rightfully belongs.” Denis Pellerin.

“STEREOSCOPY – the Dawn of 3-D” – is the book I have dreamed of publishing since we resurrected the London Stereoscopic Company in 2006. 

It’s actually the most important book we have ever produced, because it chronicles the birth and first steps of what we now call 3-D – the very core of what we at the LSC proudly bring to the 21st Century. Denis Pellerin, probably the foremost Stereo Photography historian in the world right now, has made it possible, with his uniquely original research, to put the historical record straight in this book. It’s quite shocking that nobody has undertaken to tell this story in its entirety until now, and some of the revelations you will find in the book are in themselves shocking, because so many falsehoods have been perpetuated over the years about what actually happened.

The rivalries which led to serial misinformation are thoroughly explored in this work, and the result is a proper and final restoration of Charles Wheatstone as the true discoverer of Stereopsis, and the true inventor of the Stereoscope, the ancestor of every 3-D and Virtual Reality device in the world today. The story begins in 1832, when Wheatstone, a true Victorian genius and polymath, discovered why creatures such as humans have two eyes instead of one, and how this enables them instantaneously to perceive their surroundings in depth – a massive evolutionary advantage. “STEREOSCOPY” for the very first time tells the full story of how this discovery became a world-wide sensation.”  Brian May

Pre-orders are available through most book stores and the London Stereoscopic Company’s shop.

THE LAUNCH EVENT, 10th NOVEMBER 2021 19:30 – 20:45 GMT

Peering into a small, magical box an eager new audience in the 1850s was transported into another dimension. Stereoscopic 3D images allowed them to experience the wonders of the world without ever leaving their fireside, see the heroes of the day in realistic detail, enjoy sentimental scenes or watch the construction of Brunel’s Great Eastern ship on the banks of the Thames. Millions of images were published and voraciously consumed by the public in just a few glorious years.

Join two of the world’s leading authorities on this early form of virtual reality, Brian May and Denis Pellerin, on the publication of their major new book, Stereoscopy: the Dawn of 3-D.

Brian and Denis reveal some of the highlights of this extraordinary scientific, artistic and social revolution in this special event. The stereoscope was first demonstrated in 1838 by Charles Wheatstone, inventor and Professor of Experimental Philosophy at King’s College, which is now the home of his remarkable archive.

Images will be viewable on screen in 3D using a viewer, or are fully accessible without. 

You will be able to submit online questions live to our speakers on the night. Q&A moderated by Kelly Wilder, Professor of Photographic History at DeMontfort University, Leicester.

For details and to book please see this link: Please note there is a fee from the British Library to attend and if you have any queries regarding access to footage after the event, please contact them directly.

Brian May is a founding member of the band Queen, a world-renowned guitarist, songwriter, producer and performer. He also works in astrophysics and stereoscopy. After 30 years as a rock musician, he returned to astrophysics in 2006, completed his PhD, and co-authored his first book, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, with Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott. In recent years he has joined several NASA teams contributing stereoscopic imaging to their missions. Brian now heads his own fine arts publishing house, The London Stereoscopic Company, dedicated exclusively to stereoscopic works. He has recently assigned most of his huge historical stereoscopic photograph collection to the Brian May Archive of Stereoscopy, a charitable institution newly create to protect the collection and make it available for future generations to study. Brian is also an active campaigner for animal rights.

Denis Pellerin is a photo-historian with a passion for stereo photography. He has been researching the history of stereoscopy for over 40 years, writing a dozen books and over sixty articles both in French and in English. Since 2012 Denis has been the curator of Brian May’s extensive collection of stereo photographs. Brian and Denis have co-authored four books together with more to come. Denis has been the director of the London Stereoscopic Company since 2013 and he has given nearly a hundred online or face-to-face 3D talks on different aspects of Victorian stereo photography.

Kelley Wilder is Professor of Photographic History, Director of the Photographic History Research Centre, and Director of the Institute of Art and Design at De Montfort University, Leicester. She is the author of numerous books and articles on photography, archives and science, including Photography and Science and with Gregg Mitman, Documenting the World: Film, Photography and the Scientific Record.

The event is in partnership with the London Stereoscopic Company, the British Library and King’s College, London.

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