Toronto. Fellow member George Dunbar came up with this period advertisement for the Iloca Stereo camera (version 1) from a January 1951 Popular Photography magazine ad. You may be more familiar with one of the camera’s aliases, the Realist, or Tower (Sear’s brand).
The popularity of stereo vision has waxed and waned over the years. There was a burst of interest at the end of 1800 and beginning of 1900 resulting in the commonly seen curved cardboard stereo cards that offered education and entertainment before television. Stereo jumped in popularity once again in the 1950s with these 35mm cameras and the ubiquitous View-Master for children and adults alike.
Even books were written about stereo like 1954’s Stereo Realist Manual by Leica enthusiasts Morgan and Lester. The book is filled with stereo pictures and a back cover insert of a special little pair of stereo glasses!
The 1950s also sprouted many rather high camp 3D movies as well. When camera collecting came into vogue, a society, the National Stereoscopic Association (NSA) and their periodical Stereoworld showed up and hung around. Leitz got into the act with various accessories for the Leica camera including stereo prisms (Stereoly) and even small closely matched 33mm Elmar lenses (Stemar).
And more recently, the brief burst of interest in 3D televisions, which died out due to the need for ungainly and expensive glasses and rather limited source material. 3D movies have arrived once again but are easier on the eyes and do not rely on obvious high camp 3D effects, but are often created at the same time as the less expensive 2D versions.