1890s Cameras & Cycling

Stereoviews

With hand-held stereoviewers for the masses, and walnut cabinet stereoviewers or graphascopes for those who could afford them, the £d stereoview photo entertained Victorian enthusiasts for many decades. As this was before the age of petrol-driven machines, the bicycle was the main form of transport featured in the pictures: they made an ideal prop or theme for the photos. Common themes are presented below.

 

COUPLES

COMIC SCENES

REVERSAL OF WOMEN’S ROLE

A reversal of the woman’s place in society, with women photographed smoking or drinking, and riding men’s bicycles. Another favourite series depcited a woman bossing a man in the home while he does the laundry; or the man working while she sits and reads the paper.

BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

Another popular series illustrated staged accidents, with bicycle parts strewn around the scene.

BICYCLES IN PARADES & NUDES ON BICYCLES

Pictures from around the world were a major feature of stereoview pictures. There were also many series of risque photos using bicycles as props.

WOMEN AND THEIR BICYCLES

Many stereoviews simply illustrated women riding their bicycles.