I heard today that Stanley Long died, very quietly after a long illness.
Now perhaps not many people will know the name, but Stanley played a very significant part in the history of Stereo Photography in the UK. He founded the Vistascreen company … which produced some very nice little stereo cards sets in the 1950s. And he personally took most of the sets of photos himself. I was lucky enough to meet him … by one of those pure chance things … he happened to be the brother of the husband of one of my wife’s best friends! So I found myself chatting to him about his great adventure some years ago in a garden party. I really wish now I had paid more attention. But his legacy is with us … and really it was his viewer, and the 3-D cards that were to be found in Weetabix packets when I was a kid, that got me started in 3-D – something which was to be a fascination for me all my life.
Here you can see the viewer he created, inspired by a Coronet viewer; and I have to say that must have been unconsciously part of the inspiration for my OWL viewers. The OWL folds outwards instead of inwards, of course, and the hinge mechanism is different … and also the OWL has focussing – which was the hardest thing to pull off … but when in ‘deployed’ position, there are definitely similarities.
I often think of Stanley when I am working on aligning sets of cards … it takes hours to get it right … and when I’m working out how much money I’m going to lose when they go on sale!! Stanley, to his cost, was not very good with business matters, which caused him to fall out with probably everyone he ever worked with. But the quality of his work is very high, in my opinion. And the work he put in was tremendous.
Well, RIP, Stanley … and thanks for brightening our world.
There’s some good information about Stanley here;. http://www.tg004b3325.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/images/Vistascreen.htm
Look how many cities he covered! No mean achievement!