After Charles Wheatstone's demonstration, that two two-dmensional images, only slightly different from one another, could procure a three-dimensional impression in a spectator. With the advances in the new field of photography yet to come, these images initially were mostly carefully made drawings. After the production process of photograaphies was stabilised, the new image pairs along with this handheld version of the stereoscope found their ways into the public households.
The stereoscope in our collection is made of wood with a slit on the side to insert the image pairs. For images printed on cardboard, aflap with a mirror mounted to the inside can be opened to improve illumination. Stereoscopic images painted or printed on glass plates can also be inserted, the rear side of the stereoscope has a pane of translucent glass for ample illumination.
The keen interest in Brewster stereoscopes lessened in the 1880s, when the market was saturated and the field of stereoscopy found its way from the households (back) into the research laboratories.