Search the Collection
Advanced Search


Date: c 1908
Overall: 203 x 330 x 182 mm, 0.2 kg
Medium: Wood, glass, metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Stereoscope
Object No: 00006261

User Terms

    This stereoscope is made to be hand held, folds for storage and was made around the time of the American Great White Fleet's visit to Australia in 1908. It enabled the viewer to see a photograph as a three-dimensional image. Stereo cards were a popular memento of the Great White Fleet's world tour to countries including Australia. They were produced in sets with images of the ships, parades and civic decorations.
    SignificanceThis stereoscope is representative of souvenirs created for the Great White Fleets world tour in 1908.
    HistoryThe earliest stereoscopes were produced in the mid-19th century and were exhibited to England's Queen Victoria at Crystal Palace in 1851. Later handheld versions were popular items for society in the late 19th and early 20th century, however by the 1920s the stereoscope was declining in popularity and being overtaken by postcards.

    In December 1907 United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent a US Atlantic Battle Fleet of 16 battleships on a 14 month goodwill cruise around the world. The fleet was a chance for the Navy to practice seamanship and express America's world power. Roosevelt was also concerned about rising Japanese aggression and their expansionist foreign policy. The cruise would be a political and public relations exercise to build domestic support for more naval construction.

    Led by the flagship, USS CONNECTICUT, the Great White Fleet as it became known, consisted of 16 battleships painted white, as was the practice of all US Navy ships in times of peace. The ships sailed in four divisions of four ships each. Early in the voyage the order of the ships was altered to allow the best-looking vessels to be at the front of the fleet. The cruise incorporated six continents, 26 countries and 32 ports with 614 officers and 13,504 crew. It consumed 435,000 tons of coal, more than any other naval expedition and was the largest fleet to ever accomplish a circumnavigation of the globe.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Stereoscope

    Primary title: Stereoscope

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.