writes "Some of the coolest media technologies predate the Web and the PC — in fact, they predate the 20th century. My column in Xconomy explores the world of 19th-century stereoscopes and stereo views, which are the all-but-forgotten forerunners to anaglyphic 3D, VR goggles, and other modern stereo vision systems. As it turns out, it's pretty easy to 'free-view' vintage stereo images on an iPhone or other small screen, getting the full 3-D effect without any other viewing aids. The article has instructions for accessing a collection of old stereo images using the new Seadragon Mobile iPhone app from Microsoft Live Labs."
The stereoscope, that killer technology of the last century but one, was invented in 1859 by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., who gave it away and never made a dime off it. If you don't have an iPhone and want to get the feel of free viewing
on a computer monitor, start here at Roush's Flickr photostream