Fotoplastikon. Old scenery in three dimensions

  • Date of event : 31.10.2009

The Fotoplastikon Stereoscope – Old scenery in three dimensions
19th century in 3D

The Fotoplastikon – one of the most interesting exhibits of the Silesian Museum – after a complete overhaul, was presented anew at the ‘Night of Museums’, on 16 May, 2009 and it was warmly applauded by the public. Starting from 6 August, it will be displayed on a permanent basis.

The history of the fotoplastikon is closely related to the development of stereoscopic photography invented in the 1850s. The first official show took place in 1870 in Berlin and the spectacles gained instant popularity.

The fotoplastikon in the Silesian Museum – one of the few surviving in Poland – comes from the late 19th century. Located in Sosnowiec, at the corner of Modrzejowska and Warszawska streets, it was in continuous use from 1949 until the 1980s. It enables viewing stereoscopic photography, that is three-dimensional pictures. One can watch slides simultaneously at 24 stations and each slide can be illuminated by a separate source of light. It gives the viewer the magic illusion of participating in the presented reality.

In the museum, we go back to the traditions of the 20th century. For a modest price, we can embark on a virtual journey to the times of our ancestors.


Stereopara: Venice – Doge’s Palace, early 20th century

Fotoplastikon, a photograph taken at the Silesian Museum’s Night 2009

Stereopara: Katowice, Pocztowa Street, a modern three-dimensional reproduction of the archive photograph

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