995.4.40: Stereoscope, c. 1900

Additional Images

995.4.40: Stereoscope.
Image No. 1301 ; Photographer: Helen Kingsley

Object Description

Stereoscope [viewer for stereoscopic plates] with decorative pattern on view-finder fastened onto a wooden base bar. The plates are held in place by wire fastenings at either end of the cross bar which can slide up and down the base bar. A wooden handle is attached to the underside of the base bar and can be folded down. A circular embossed crest on the view-finder depicts two figures, one with wings, and the words 'EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE INTERNATIONALE 1900' around the parameter [The Exposition Universelle of 1900 was a world's fair held in Paris, France, to celebrate the achievements of the past century and to accelerate development into the next] and a depiction of the exhibition centre is situated in the lower part of the crest with 'B.C. WHITE CO.' below.

Object Classification

Accession Number: 995.4.40
Collection: Audio-Visual
Date: c. 1900

Object Dimensions

  • Height: 8.5 cm
  • Width: 32 cm
  • Depth: 17.5 cm

Object Parts

Object Materials

  • glass,
  • steel,
  • wood

Acquisition Detail

  • Owner: Dr. Andrew Davidson
  • History of Use: Used for reading 'The Edinburgh Stereoscopic Atlas of Anatomy'. Stereoscopes were popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The early stereoscope, invented by Charles Wheatsone in 1854, used drawings, but as photography became more widespread the drawings were replaced by photographs. Stereoscopic images consist of sets of two photographs taken from very slightly different perspectives which are then viewed together. They contain mirrors and work rather like binoculars. This gives the effect of a three dimensional image and stereoscopic atlases of anatomy became a very useful tool for teaching anatomy. Used by Dr. Andrew Davidson [1885-1972] a military doctor and a noted dermatologist who served in both WW1 and WW2. He served in France as an officer [Captain] for the Royal Army Medical Corps (1915-1917) and in the Canadian Army Medical Corps (1917-1919), specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of venereal and skin diseases. In 1939, he returned to active military service with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was involved in the institution of the PULHEMS system. This is a system for classification of soldiers, the acronym stands for: P – physical capacity, U – upper extremity, L – locomotion, H – hearing, E – eyesight, M – mental capacity, S – stability of emotions. After the war, Dr. Davidson moved from Winnipeg to Vancouver, where he was in practice in association with his son, Dr. Kenneth Davidson. In 1947, Dr. Davidson was elected as the founding president of the Canadian Dermatological Association, and was a winner of the Sabouraud Medal for research in dermatology.