In my previous post, I made allusion to Norma's camera mislabeling its subjects. I realize now this constituted an untruth and a disservice to German bronze, which I will try to correct by posting the whole picture.
What you see here is a monument in Golden Gate Park depicting the seminal figures of Wiemar Classicism, a great innovation in philosophy, art, theatre and literature, the elder Schiller passing the laurel to his young friend, Goethe. This was an important event. There are philosophy classes in community colleges all over the world exploring the reasons why Goethe does not rhyme with "both". But that has nothing to do with photography. This does:
It is the original statue in Wiemar. It was produced in 1857 by a system of photoprocessing that very nearly eclipsed its famous subjects. We are familiar with much of photographic history. The French had Daguerre and the British, Fox Talbot, innovators who teased latent images from silver salts in albumin to produce true photographs. Working from the research of England's Sir Chas. Wheatstone, Oliver Wendell Holmes (American), perfected a stereoscope for 3-D viewing. In principle, the stereoscope focused upon two flat offset images and combined them into 3-D by making sober people cockeyed. Germans, however, in keeping with their long tradition of technical excellence, went one step further. They abandoned silver nitrate and sodium halides in favor of bronze, and produced real 3-D images.
It was possible to take a snapshot of two people and have it enlarged and processed in bronze at any German drugstore. You'd get your negative back with solid prints in enormous envelopes held shut with a gummed flap. You could send copies to friends in Syracuse,
And San Francisco: