I recently found a stack of stereo cards, a box set (without the box) of 10. These are meant for a stereoscope, which is basically the early way to view 3-D images. They are from the year 1900, and were published by the once-largest stereo card publishers in the world, Underwood & Underwood.
This story is what they’d call ‘naughty’ back then. It’s nothing to our eyes, but back then it must have been scandalous viewing!
Now let’s get to the cards! I really love the background and furniture in this. The girl is cute. She looks sweet and innocent, right?
In comes Mr. Newlywed. Instantly we know he’s not such a good husband. We kind of get the feeling that the new French maid isn’t as sweet and innocent as she originally appeared.
She doesn’t even reject his advances, not even a little! Here we see the rest of her dress. Even the help had pretty elaborate clothing!
A little more necking.
They hear Mrs. Newlywed. Was she there the whole time, or did she just get in? What a terrible mess they’ve gotten themselves in!
The idiot isn’t very good at this. How lovely his wife is! The parlor is lavishly decorated. Note the fan on the wife’s lap. Some versions of this story place the fan almost falling off much more toward the right, her left.
The husband accused.
The French maid is sacked. Look at her winking in the background. She’s done this before. All her fault, huh?
Aaaaand the new French maid is hired. I guess she isn’t Mr. Newlywed’s type. Note the strange spelling of French as ‘Frinch’. There were many versions of this story, some from different companies, some with different actors and scenery, and most of them have the ‘Frinch’ spelling.lawrenceAaaaand the new French maid is hired. I guess she isn’t Mr. Newlywed’s type. Note the strange spelling of French as ‘Frinch’. There were many versions of this story, some from different companies, some with different actors and scenery, and most of them have the ‘Frinch’ spelling.
And they lived happily ever after. This card especially reminds me of the Thanhouser film starring Florence LaBadie called Portrait of Lady Anne. Most of the sets I’ve seen online have the wife looking up at the husband, rather than looking down.
Most of the sets I saw online have wording on the back. These do not; the backs are blank, the same color as the border. I think these are the coolest things ever. Have you had a chance to use a stereoscope? What do you think of these? Say something in the comments!