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150 years on, 3-D Civil War photos unveiled

The Library of Congress announced a fascinating glimpse of Civil War images to be viewed in 3-D.

Library of Congress Photography Curator Carol Johnson said on their blog that stereo photography first became popular around the time of the Civil War. In fact, many Civil War photographs were made specifically to be viewed in 3-D.

U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers via Library of Congress

A group of nine men pose in front of a tent with a surveying instrument at left. The two men seated center and right are most likely Frederick W. Door and John W. Donn. The officer seated to the left is William H. Paine who invented the steel tape reel worn by the man standing on the right. Standing second from right appears to be Allan Pinkerton. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, the Peninsular Campaign, May-August 1862.

The Library of Congress is featuring images of original Civil War stereographs on Flickr along with recently acquired digital anaglyphs made from several of the stereo views. Anaglyphs are the blue and red tinted images you need those funny 3-D glasses for.

Library of Congress

General Ulysses S. Grant leans over a bench to examine a map held by General George G. Meade at a council of war in 1864.

Many stereograph cards like the one above are being digitized and made available online. There are already over 350 on display here.

Library of Congress

Stone church in Centreville, Va. during the Civil War.

Library of Congress

Anaglyph stereograph made from digital images of a pair of stereograph negatives (above) by George N. Barnard in March 1862.

In addition to anaglyphs, the Flickr set features rare stereographs printed on cards and some of the Library’s unique original glass negative stereo plates.

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Anaglyph stereograph made from digital images of a pair of stereograph negatives (above) of the Petersburg railroad depot in Richmond, Va., during the Civil War.

Related content:
Civil War stereographs on Flickr
Library of Congress' 1600+ stereographs
Nightly News video: Faces of the Civil War
How Civil War photography changed war