August 31, 2006

Carleton Watkins Stereo Views

Carleton Watkins was one of the Old West’s “big name” photographers. He did most of his work in the 1860s and 1870s, when photography was just starting to become popular and it required those big cameras and glass negatives. Watkins was based in San Francisco, but he lugged his enormous camera all up and down the California coast, into the canyons of Yosemite, and even here to the Comstock Lode. He specialized in stereoscopic photography, and I found a website,, that is collecting as many of his stereo views as they can get their hands on. Included is one entire page devoted to the photos he took at Lake Tahoe, and another devoted to Carson City and Virginia City.

There are some really cool pictures here, and I pulled a few out to post on this page. But you really should follow the links and thumb through the entire collection.

Watkins 4070p
The first Ormsby House

Watkins 4069p
The first State Children’s Home

Watkins 4066p
The Lumberyard (where the RR Museum is today)

Watkins 4075p
Looking down Carson Street

Watkins 1006
The International Hotel in V.C.

Watkins 1025
Piper’s Opera House in V.C.

I put a bunch of these on Flickr too.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (2)

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  1. Kalrac says:

    Those work really well with the little Lorgnette stereo viewer I bought a while back from And while we’re on the subject, there’s an article-in-progress over at that talks about how you can take your own digital 3D pictures. And, of course, I’ve uploaded some of my anaglyph pictures, for people who happen to have any red-blue 3D glasses.

    Posted September 2, 2006 @ 10:26 am
  2. Kalrac says:

    Also, it’s comforting to see that he’s had some of the same problems and taken some of the same crappy pictures that I have. Like how his long distance shots (El Capitan or some of the Seattle pictures, for instance) look completely flat, or how some of the people will move and produce a jarring discontinuity between the left and right images.

    Posted September 2, 2006 @ 10:40 am

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