, Salem, MA


November 15, 2013

Peabody library shows off stereoscopic images

Long before 3-D movies, there were stereoscopic postcards, 11 of which are now on display at the Peabody Institute Library website.

“In the mid-19th century, photographers figured out a way to make a camera with two lenses, 21/2 inches apart, about the distance of a pair of human eyes,” said Erik Bauer, the library’s archivist. “Pictures would be taken simultaneously and matted on a board or other material.

“When they were put in a stereoscope and moved at certain angles, it would give an illusion of depth.”

Some of the images Bauer posted online depict Peabody Square and the Miles Osborn House, both of which were photographed in 1870.

There are also images of George Peabody’s remains riding in a funeral train in 1869, when his body was returned from England for burial.

A second set of images show Peabody lying in state at the Peabody Institute Library, where he remained from Feb. 1 to 8.

“According to Mr. Fitch Poole’s diary, 6,617 people passed though on February 5th,” a caption reads. “On the 8th of February, his body was removed from the library and buried at Harmony Grove Cemetery in Salem.”

The images don’t appear three-dimensional when viewed online, but Bauer felt people would appreciate seeing the views and learning how they were made.

Stereoscopy was all the rage in Victorian times and regained popularity when it was rediscovered in the 1920s, Bauer said, before radio and TV made them permanently obsolete.

Bauer has been at the library since 2010 and has worked as an archivist since January. He discovered the images while familiarizing himself with the library’s collection.

Much of his work involves helping patrons do research on genealogy or academic subjects, but he also tries to exhibit interesting materials in the library’s holdings.

“We have a strong collection,” Bauer said. “We have holdings I wouldn’t expect to find in other places, such as church records relating to Peabody history. City archives are not a place where you find those records, and they do illuminate a part of the culture of Peabody’s past.”

To view “Double Vision: Stereoviews of Peabody and George Peabody,” click the link in the Library Announcements rotating display at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • misselwood_2 Rare, classic cars make an appearance at annual Endicott College show

    The original Concours d'Elegance was a fashion show on wheels. "It did start in 17th century France, where some of the aristocracy wanted to show off the fashions they were wearing," said Patrick Cornellison, chairman of the event. "Mainly women woul

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • twenties_3 Ipswich's Castle Hill braces for 1,000 at Roaring '20s Lawn Party

    The latest dance craze started in the 1930s. The Lindy Hop, which first flourished in the ballrooms of Harlem, is expected to draw hundreds of people to a dance floor at the Crane Estate this Sunday. Organized by Boston Swing Central, a dance club in

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • kallyson North Shore entertainment calendar Good cause YARD SALE TO BENEFIT JIMMY FUND. Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 11 Anna Drive, Danvers. Family yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. WOOSHIE'S WARRIORS FUNDRAISER FOR MS. Sunday, July 27, 10 a.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • The reader's eye Name: Erika Torkildsen Hometown: Beverly Description: "I took this at the Salem Common around a park where I noticed a ripped basketball net amid the blue sky. Instead of taking the picture from my original view, I tipped the camera up from under the

    July 24, 2014

  • shakespeare Good cause The Bard comes alive on Misery Island Join Sea Station for its inaugural performance of "The Tempest Trials," a Shakespearean festival on Salem's Misery Island, on Saturday from noon to 4:15 p.m. The festival features actors of all ages participating

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Horoscope Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Your goals and current lifestyle need a little adjustment. Be receptive to new ideas, and make a change if you want to feel better about the direction you are heading in. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your leadership qualities

    July 24, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault Dear Abby: My granddaughter "Cindy," age 2, was being watched by her mommy's ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, "Bubby hurt me." Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman s

    July 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, July 23

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker