History of the Stereoscope: Sir Charles Wheatstone, an English physicist, invented a curious device in 1838 for observing pictures in three dimensions. This was also the year he devised his theory of stereoscopic vision. But it was Oliver Wendell Holmes who redesigned the stereoscope in 1859 into the shape you can see in the image on your left. Oliver also published a paper detailing his work which can be viewed here. With the help of friend Joseph Bates from Boston, who owned a small workshop, many improvements were added including the slide rail and shade hood.
A good book on Iowa Stereographic images is one by Mary Bennett and Paul C.Juhl. Click on the book image below to purchase it on Amazon.com.