Friday, September 20, 2019

Seeing Double, On Purpose

Did you grow up with one of these? I did. The ViewMaster came with little round cardboard frames holding celluloid squares of far-away places and famous people. You slipped the cardboard into the back of the viewer and held it to the light, and you saw a three-dimensional picture that transported you to another time and place.

But the ViewMaster was only one of a long line of devices. In the nineteenth century, such devices were called stereoscopes, and the pictures that you viewed were stereographs. Instead of being mounted on a circle, these cards came with a single image side by side. And they were hugely popular. At the peak of the craze, a sought-after stereograph card might be printed and sold more than 100,000 times!

Naturally, photographers were keen to have one of their images used. But a stereograph required careful composition. In the early years, a photographer would shoot two pictures, one slightly offset from the other. When viewed together, the pictures took on a three-dimensional aspect. By the middle of the 19th century, camera makers had devised a stereographic camera—one exposure, two offset pictures.

Some of the stereographs were of famous places like Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. Others showed architectural or engineering wonders like the Washington Monument or a famous courthouse. Local manufacturers might issue stereographs of nearby attractions. Other cards told a story through a series of photographs, like a courtship or a trip on a sailing ship.

Here are a few for your viewing pleasure. First, Westminster Abbey

 Then one called "The Penn."

Perhaps a cowboy?

Or a child?

And of course, there's always the self-promoting card. ;-)

What place or person would you want on a card for your collection?

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Pass the Popcorn, Please

We’re getting closer to the release day for my new young adult historical fantasy, Evergreen...and yes, I’m excited, in case you were wondering. Excited enough that I just had to share this with NineteenTeen readers...

I hope it intrigues you just a little!* 

Evergreen will be out on November 5 both in print and in e-book from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Apple, and GooglePlay, as well direct from its publisher, Book View Café.

Friday, September 13, 2019

And Many More!

It’s that time of year again: NineteenTeen is having a birthday!

Time for party hats...

(Hey, we’re Nineteen-Teen. Our concept of party hats may be a little out of the usual way, but did you expect anything else?)

Time for balloons...

(What? Wrong kind of balloon? But latex and mylar are so, like, twenty-first century!

And of course, time for cake!

(Lots and lots of cake, please. Especially like this one, without frosting--just pure cakey goodness. Not very historical, but one must make sacrifices where chocolate is concerned.)

This year we’re celebrating twelve years of blogging. Yeah, twelve—we can hardly believe it ourselves. It’s been a busy twelve years: between us, Regina and I have posted one thousand, one hundred and fifty-seven times (including this post), with an average of just under a hundred posts per year.  

We’re writers; story is what we’re all about. But we’re also about the stories behind the story--and that’s where our history geekitude comes in. Sharing the stories behind the stories is what NineteenTeen is all about...and we thank you for listening to our stories for the last dozen years.

Have some cake. 💖 😊

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Happy Birthday to Us!

Twelve years blogging! Who could have imagined? (Well, perhaps the little girl in the Victorian birthday card here.) Marissa and I are honored and humbled that you’ve stayed with us all this time. If you are relatively new to Nineteen Teen, or if you simply like to reminisce, we thought we’d look back at some of our most popular posts and ask you what you’d like to see in the future.

Marissa is fabulous (though she won’t admit it) with detailing the fascinating, and sometimes tragic, lives of King George’s and Victoria’s children. This post on Princess Helena has the highest number of hits over the years. 

We’ve also brought you some tidbits of history, including one on the invention of matches (surprisingly, another of the top 10 posts of all time). 

And Marissa’s fashion forecasts, like this one for 1812, remain perennial favorites. 

So, in the coming year, what would you like more of?

What would you like less of?

What else can we do to amuse you and keep you informed about the marvelous nineteenth century?