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In July 2001, just one week after the 50th Year Anniversary Celebration of the Adventures of Superman in Los Angeles, California I received in the mail from Rich Taylor a fascinating set of cards reminiscent of the Topps 1965 cards. But what set these image captures apart from the Topps is they had different scenes and were printed in 3D. 3D imaging is not by any means a new technology. Superman fans are well aware of the 3D comic 50's, The Creature From the Black Lagoon film had 3D presentations, and Neal Adams illustrated a 3D Rocketeer comic book in 1991. The public has always been intrigued by 3D. Fans of The Hooneymooners will recall Ralph Kramden claiming he'd never own a television set for Alice until the day he can by it with 3D. That was over 50 years ago. Oh well, Alice missed a lot of television shows.
For Rich, seeing 3D was not enough, he had to know how it worked and thereby made it his hobby. A few weeks ago I asked Rich if I could showcase the cards. Instead Rich created all new images. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Rich sent me nine images and said I didn't have to use them all, just the best ones. They are all good.
Oh, you'll need the traditional 3D glasses while sitting a slight distance away from your monitor screen to really enjoy the effect. ~ Lou
Lou was gracious enough to ask if I would share some of the stereoscopic images I have made from The Adventures Of Superman and also write something about my interest in stereoscopic (3D) images and how I came about making them. Well, I'm not much of a writer, and truth is I've found it down right frustrating sometimes to get what my head is thinking to come across in writing or make my point as I originally thought.
The 1950's surely was the peak of the 3D or stereoscopic rage. There were 3D movies and comic books and many specialized cameras one could buy to take your own stereo photographs. We all remember Viewmaster from our childhood and all the wonderful reels you could get, The Lone Ranger or Zorro but sadly there was never a 3D reel of our favorite show The Adventures of Superman.
Since I was a child I have been fascinated with motion, or better said, flip books and machines that produce the effect of motion. I used to spend hours as a youth drawing my own flip books and even made some 8MM movies with my friends, and you guessed it, Superman was often the subject matter for my imagination. As I grew older my projects grew in complexity to include building my own 35MM hand cranked motion picture cameras to something as large as a seven foot diameter hovercraft. I collect cameras on a small scale and around the year 2000 added a Stereo Realist to my collection. The 3D bug took hold and I was off shooting pictures of the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore and every family get together.
Well, it didn't take long for my interests to merge. In fact, just like the collision of Superman and the asteroid in "Panic in the Sky," my interests collided head on, and the 3D George Reeves became a new endeavor. I often wonder with stereo photography being so popular in the 1950's and George making personal appearances if there may not be stored away in someone's stereo slides, 3D images waiting to be discovered. It's interesting to note that Sterling Holloway was a member of the Hollywood stereoscopic society as was Harold Lloyd. Lloyd was the first president of the stereoscopic society formed in 1950 and amassed over 300,000 stereo photos, many of the photos were of famous people of the day. On a hunch I asked Jack Larson in 2001 if he knew Harold and Jack explained that he did know Lloyd and often bowled at Lloyd's home. Lloyd's estate was located just a short distance from George's home. Could Harold Lloyd's and George's paths have crossed too I wonder?
Best to you all,
I don't know how Rich does it, but I'm glad he did. I hope you enjoy these amazing images. I want to thank Rich for sharing his passion for stereoscopic imaging with the readers of The Adventures Continue.
The image at the top, THREE-DIMENSION ADVENTURES - SUPERMAN 3D is used with permission from the incredible and most extraordinary 1988 The Adventures of SUPERMAN Collecting book by Harry Matetsky and Danny Fuchs. (Thank you Danny)
Lou (January 2006)