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Stereoscopic photographs, or stereoviews, are card-mounted photographs that render a three-dimensional image when placed in a specialized viewer. Stereoviews were a popular form of parlor entertainment from the 1860s until the 1910s. The most popular images were exotic scenes in distant lands. Though a wide variety of images are presented in this collection, from the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 to a Japanese silkworm factory, the bulk of images show the devastating aftermath of the 1903 Pacolet River Flood. Gastonia-based photographer Thomas R. Shuford traveled to Clifton and Pacolet in the days following the flood and documented much of the damage and cleanup efforts.
Another early stereoscopic photographer active in Spartanburg was W. T. Robertson. Primarily based in Asheville, Robertson created a series of stereoviews documenting landmarks around Spartanburg in the mid-1870s. These are among the oldest outdoor photographs of Spartanburg.
In the digital collection presented here, the front and reverse of each stereoview are shown. Also included is a 3-D anaglyph that allows users with 3-D glasses (with red and blue lenses) to view the image in full three dimensional depth.