Whaling in 3D

Our Nicholson Whaling Collection is best known as one of the best sources of whaling logs in the world. But the collection also includes a lot of other amazing, whaling-related material, including manuscripts (over 70 boxes), scrimshaw and photographs, including stereoview photographs like this one:

Stereoview cards like this one were widespread and made in a standard size, and they were designed for use in a viewer. Their essential function was to trick the brain into seeing depth within the image. (More information about stereoviews and the history of 3D images here or here or here.)

Best viewed in person, it’s possible to mimic the effect somewhat by creating an animated composite that shifts quickly back and forth between the two images on the card. The result of the image above, for instance, would be something like this (click the image to view animation):