“Hocus Focus”: The Stereoscope and Photography

  • Jonathan Potter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


This chapter uses popular fiction to uncover subjective experiences of the stereoscope within the middle-class home, detailing how the device provided a technologically controlled surrogate for potentially bewildering and chaotic sensory experiences. Technologies, which, on the face of it, seem to be further developments towards a technological realism, in some instances actually had the opposite effect and, like the magic lantern, subverted the premises of empirical rationalism. Using a selection of fiction and journalism from the periodical press, the stereoscope is here considered in terms of the domestic and everyday, as a device that facilitated and impelled imaginative visions, including daydreams and fantasies.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Potter
    • 1
  1. 1.Coventry UniversityCoventryUK

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