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each drawing of the frustum of the cone occupy a different place in the binocular slide, and they will obtain the very same results. Hence we place beyond a doubt the incorrectness of Dr. Berkeley's theory of the size of the horizontal moon,—a theory to which the stereoscope enables us to apply another test, for if we make one or more of these circles less bright than the rest, no change whatever will be produced in their apparent magnitude.
APPLICATION OF THE STEREOSCOPE TO PURPOSES OF
Every experiment in science, and every instrument depending on scientific principles, when employed for the purpose of amusement, must necessarily be instructive. "Philosophy in sport" never fails to become "Science in earnest." The toy which amuses the child will instruct the sage, and many an eminent discoverer and inventor can trace the pursuits which immortalize them to some experiment or instrument which amused them at schooL The soap bubble, the kite, the balloon, the water wheel, the sun-dial, the burning-glass, the magnet, &c, have all been valuable incentives to the study of the sciences.
In a list of about 150 binocular pictures issued by the London Stereoscopic Company, under the title of "Miscellaneous Subjects of the 'Wilkie' character," there are many of an amusing kind, in which scenes in common life are admirably represented. Following out the same idea, the most interesting scenes in our best comedies and tragedies might be represented with the same distinctness and relief as if the actors were on the stage. Events and scenes in ancient and modern history might be similarly exhibited, and in our day, binocular pictures of trials, congresses, political, legislative, and religious assemblies, in which the leading actors were represented, might be provided for the stereoscope.
For the purpose of amusement, the photographer might carry us even into the regions of the supernatural. His art, as I have elsewhere shewn, enables him to give a spiritual appearance to one or more of his figures, and to exhibit them as "thin air" amid the solid realities of the stereoscopic picture. While a party is engaged with their whist or their gossip, a female figure appears in the midst of them with all the attributes of the supernatural. Her form is transparent, every object or person beyond her being seen in shadowy but distinct outline. She may occupy more than one place in the scene, and different portions of the group might be made to gaze upon one or other of the visions before them. In order to produce such a scene, the parties which are to compose the group must have their portraits nearly finished in the binocular camera, in the attitude which they may be supposed to take, and with the expression which they may be supposed to assume, if the vision were real. When the party have nearly sat the proper length of time, the female figure, suitably attired, walks quickly into the place assigned her, and after standing a few seconds in the proper attitude, retires quickly, or takes as quickly, a second or even a third place in the picture if it is required, in each of which she remains a few seconds, so that her picture in these different positions may be taken with sufficient distinctness in the negative photograph. If this operation has been well performed, all the objects immediately behind the female figure, having been, previous to her introduction, impressed upon the negative surface, will be seen through her, and she will have the appearance of an aerial personage, unlike the other figures in the picture. This experiment may be varied in many ways. One body may be placed within another, a chicken, for example, within an egg, and singular effects produced by combining plane pictures with solid bodies in the arrangement of the persons and things placed before the binocular camera. Any individual in a group may appear more than once in the same picture, either in two or more characters, and no difficulty will be experienced by the ingenious photographer in giving to these double or triple portraits, when it is required, the same appearance as that of the other parties who have not changed their place. In groups of this kind curious effects might be produced by placing a second binocular slide between the principal slide and the eye, and giving it a motion within the stereoscope. The figures upon it must be delineated photographically upon a plate of glass, through which the figures on the principal slide are seen, and the secondary slide must be so close to the other that the figures on both may be distinctly visible, if distinct vision is required for those which are to move.
Another method of making solid figures transparent in a photograph has been referred to in the preceding chapter, and may be employed in producing amusing combinations. The transparency is, in this case, produced by using a large lens, the margin of which receives the rays which issue from bodies, or parts of bodies, situated behind other bodies, or parts of bodies, whose images are given in the photograph. The body thus rendered transparent must be less in superficial extent than the lens, and the body seen through it must be so far behind it that rays emanating from it would fall upon some part of the lens, the luminosity of this body on the photograph being proportional to the part of the surface of the lens upon which the rays fall This will be readily understood from Figs. 48 and 49, and their description, and the ingenious photographer will have no difficulty in producing very curious effects from this property of large object-glasses. One of the most interesting applications of the stereoscope is in combining binocular pictures, constructed like the plane picture, used in what has been called the cosmorama for exhibiting dissolving views. These plane pictures are so constructed, that when we view them by reflected light, as pictures are generally viewed, we see a particular scene, such as the Chamber of Deputies in its external aspect; but when we allow no light to fall upon it, but view it by transmitted light, we see the interior of the building brilliantly lighted up, and the deputies listening to the debate. In like manner, the one picture may represent two armies in battle array, while the other may represent them in action. A cathedral in all its architectural beauty may be combined with the same building in the act of being burned to the ground; or a winter scene covered with snow may be conjoined with a landscape glowing with the warmth and verdure of summer. In the cosmorama, the reflected light which falls upon the front of the one picture is obtained by opening a lid similar to that of the stereoscope, as shewn at cd, Fig. 14, while another lid opening behind the picture stops any light which might pass through it, and prevents the second picture from being seen. If, when the first picture is visible, we gradually open the lid behind it, and close the lid Cd before it, it