dancing with mr stanhope

an array of Stanhopes courtesy of the Collectors Weekly website

Toronto. Did you know that microfilm images have been around since the beginning of photography? The role of John Dancer is recorded on the Collectors Weekly website under an article called, “Royalty, Espionage, and Erotica: Secrets of the World’s Tiniest Photographs (the image to illustrate this post is courtesy of their website).

The source of the name ‘Stanhope’ is for the type of lens used to view these tiny marvels instead of a much more expensive microscope.

The role of the Stanhope lens is also noted there and in a Wikipedia article. A few of our members collected “Stanhopes” which came in many guises. All used a Stanhope lens and a tiny positive image viewed by holding the lens between the eye and a bright light source.

NB. The title is a riff on the book “Mr Standfast” by one of my favourite authors – John Buchan  – also known as Lord Tweedsmuir (and governor-general of Canada back in the day). At least one of his books – “The Thirty-Nine Steps” written in 1915 – was adapted for a movie of the same name.

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