Douglas Adams hated Heathrow Airport. My wife likes it. Somewhere in between these points of view, there was the 1950s "London Airport", as captured here by VistaScreen. In this essay, we'll explore the nature of documentary stereography that was probably boring when shot but has become more interesting with the passage of time.
Benjamin White bought a Napoleonic-era coastal fort in 1957. Instead of turning it into a museum, his vision was a huge model village - and the bizarre Blue Grotto Aquarium. And who was on the scene to capture two weird attractions in one old fort? Why, Stanley Long of VistaScreen, of course!
In our first full look at a non-Anglocentric series from VistaScreen, in the bilingually-captioned "Venezio". Featuring above-average stereography, this series raises some questions about the provenance of the images - and raises doubts about whether Stanley Long was involved with these at all!
In this third and final part of a series on VistaScreen's stereoviews featuring the Bertram Mills Circus, we look at the inferior (but scarcer) "Night" version of Series 46, which replaced the "Day" version at some point in time. We also look at possible times these photos were taken, the performers who appear in them, and the problems with shooting on slow glass plates in the dark.
In the second installment (out of three) focused on the wonders of the three VistaScreen series on the Bertram Mills Circus, I document my personal journey over the course of the last couple of years to complete Series 46 - which led to my discovery of two more complete 10-card sets, and to a fascination with VistaScreen. We also delve into the reasons why there are two alternate sets with the same designation - including the theory that some rather racially unacceptable portrayals of American Indians caused the company to change from this relatively quaint "Day Series" to the more formal, and more scarce, "Night Series".
Out of love of all things circus, my very first series of images on this blog was VistaScreen C.62 "Bertram Mills Circus". This is more or less a redux of that series, revamped to greatly improve the image quality, display options, and anaglyphs, with some new information. This is the first in a series of three posts focused on 1950s VistaScreen stereography of Britain's answer to RB&BB - Bertram Mills Circus - because who doesn't love the Big Top?
In existing since the first decade after the Norman Conquest, Dudley Castle was destroyed by the Parliamentary siege during the First English Civil War. Now the grounds are a zoo - and are fully open to the public. The Levellers, Diggers, and Ranters would be proud!
A random search on a French merchants' website led me to discover the fact that Vistascreen made views marketed to the French market - and there are almost certainly more.
Looking for a ridiculous series of stereoscopic photographs on one subject that were probably all taken in the course of an hour and possibly all given captions in the span of two minutes? Then look no further, my friends.
In additional to his usual fare - fancy estates, towns, zoos, and so on - VistaScreen's photographer Stanley Long dabbled in artistic figure studies. Largely unadvertised for obvious reasons - this was 1950s Britain after all - few of these sets are floating around. Here's the first in the Miss Continentale series.