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What is a Stanhope

May 30, 2023

What is a Stanhope

A little like the ubiquitous sandwich Invented by the Earl of Sandwich, the Stanhope was invented by Charles, 3rd Lord Stanhope in the mid 19th century, effectively it is a lens that due to is convex lens add a depth and 3D image affect to a photograph or picture.

He had a near rival who made the Coddington magnifier, but a little like Mister Biro or Mister Hoover it was Lord Stanhope's name prevailed.

The stanhope lens had a special trick in the fact as a novelty item it could be added into other items a tiny such as needle case or charms or tape measures, even fan handles and of course all pictures could be added often quiet raunchy ones, however most were of a touristic nature as a souvenir.

By happy coincidence the invention coincided with the invention of photography and Victorian mass production of novelty and tourist items as in particular the middle classes started to visit sea side towns and other attractions with tourist knick knacks becoming sought after such as mauchline and tartan wares, or indeed Connemara marble or in this case pictured a bog oak pig from Ireland.


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