Bierstadt patented in cover book stereo viewer


robert mcafee
 


David Starkman previously published a pdf  "An Abbreviated History of Stereo Illustrated books" by David Starkman on this forum.  He discussed some versions of early stereo books with viewers built into the cover - in particular "Gems of American Scenery - White Mountains" which was printed in 1878 using an 1876 patent by Edward Bierstadt for a book incorporating the stereoviewer into its cover.
 
Presently laid (layed?) up at home with a broken femur I rediscovered a book on my shelf "Syracuse and its Surroundings - A Victorian Photo Tour of New York's Salt City" by H.P. Smith (author of original 1878 work), edited by Robert Joki (2002 paperback re-print).  I purchased this book because I am a Syracuse, NY native.  This paperback book includes a preface about the original text "Syracuse and its Surroundings."  The balance of the book is a reprinting of the original text and the 103 stereoviews.  Unfortunately decision was made to not publish stereo image pairs but just one side of each stereo image enlarged for better viewing and avoiding the expense and need to include a viewer - ah pity.
 
I wonder how many titles were printed with the Bierstadt patented in cover viewer?  I was also surprised there were 103 stereoviews in the Syracuse book compared to only 24 views in the Gems of American Scenery - White Mountains book. The Syracuse book must have been very expensive.
 
I don't think the text of the original book is very interesting and many of the pictured buildings no longer exist.  I found the images about the salt industry in Syracuse interesting.  Syracuse is about mid-way along the Erie Canal which used to run through the center of the downtown.
 
Anyone collecting such rare stereoscopic books might be interested in one I found for sale for a mere $7,500.Results for: Keywords: Syracuse and its surroundings 
 
Inline image
 
I am also wondering if anyone here is acquainted with the editor for the paperback reprint - Robert Joki from the Saratoga Springs, NY area (at least at the time of publishing in 2002)?  He describes himself as a long time collector of Victorian stereoviews and he owns an original copy of this book from which photo graphic scans were made of the original images.
 
Bob McAfee
Syracuse, NY

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