Stereoscopes of Civil War Beaufort

The Sesquicentennial commemoration of the War of the Rebellion continues with a new exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum. The Coming of the Civil War looks at the origins of the disagreement between South Carolina and the federal government beginning with the nullification crisis of 1832-33 (in which native son Robert Barnwell Rhett played no small part). The display is part of an expansion of the State Museum’s permanent Civil War exhibits.

To supplement The Coming of The Civil War, the State Museum has posted a digital collection of its 54 stereoscopic photographs of Fort Sumter, Charleston and of the Beaufort/Hilton Head area. Thirteen of the stereoscopes were taken here in our locality. Take a look: 3D images(require use of anaglyph eyeglasses); 2D images (the naked eye does just fine).

To learn more about the process of stereoscopic photographs, the State Museum recommends these online resources: 
*A History of Stereoscopic Photography I 
*A History of Stereoscopic Photography II 
*Anaglyph History I 
*Anaglyph History II 

I found the technical explanation of how the State Museum transformed the stereoscopic images into 3-D and 2-D images quite interesting. Perhaps you will, too. 

Heads up: A traveling display of Civil War era stereoscope photographs will be coming to Penn Center's York Bailey Museum the first week in November. Details later. 

The stereoscopic image at the lead of this entry is from our own collection. It is Hospital #7.

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.