Don't miss out on this beautiful commemorative art book, telling the story of MRU's first 100 years, using our mural mosaic images. Available at the Mount Royal BookStore until supplies last.
The world in a box
The 19th century Victorians were fascinated with 3-D imagery, developing wooden stereoscopes to view specially designed photographic cards that give the illusion of depth.
The trick is simple — each card presents two nearly identical images side by side and, when looking at the card through a stereoscope, our eyes perceive the two images as one three-dimensional scene.
This 1896 Paragon scope — along with a collection of 44 stereograms featuring the landscapes of Ireland, Great Britain, Europe, Hawaii, the United States and Canada — was discovered by former Mount Royal laboratory manager Bruce Horrey in 1967 in the physics storage area at the downtown campus.
The stereoscope and stereograms were donated to the Mount Royal Archives in 2006 by Moira Thom.
A teaching tool
Stereoscopy reached its peak popularity in the early 1900s and stereograph companies marketed their products as educational tools.
While its history before 1967 is unknown, the Mount Royal Paragon scope may have been used in physics classes during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s to demonstrate lenses and the principles of 3-D photography.
More recently, students in Jennifer Pettit’s History of Public Amusements course studied the stereoscope and viewed the collection of stereograms as part of their curriculum.
This page regularly showcases the collections of the Mount Royal University Archives. Thanks to the Director of the Archives, Patricia Roome, PhD, and her staff for their assistance in selecting artifacts and conducting research.