The Panama Stereocard collection consists of thirty-six cards published by Underwood and Underwood featuring scenes in the
Republic of Panama from the first decade of the 20th century. Stereograph views were a very popular entertainment medium predating
television and film. Stereograph views were produced in the millions by photographers all over the world. The set contains
photographs of citizens on water ways, rural scenes in villages, the daily lives and work of the indigenous people, urban
scenes featuring modern paved streets, political leaders, and scenic views of the countryside. This collection also portrays
the early stages of the construction of the Panama Canal, which began in 1904 and was completed in 1914, led by the United
States Corps of Engineers. The cards are contained in an Underwood Company box.
Stereographs became a very popular entertainment medium from the 1850s to the 1930s, though a few companies continued to produce
stereographic images until the 1970s. Invented in England in 1854 by the London Stereoscopic Company, the novelty and attraction
of stereograph formats spread across Europe and the United States. Many different photographic processes were used to produce
stereographs, including dauerreotypes, ambrotypes, wet plate glass positives, salt paper prints, albumen prints, and gelatin
prints. Stereographs were formed of two images placed side by side and mounted on cardboard. They were commonly produced with
cameras that had two lenses side by side. Stereographic cards were produced in the millions by photographers all over the
Copyright is not assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All of the images published before
1923 reside in the public domain. All requests for permission to publish or quote from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections &
Archives, as owners of the physical collection. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original
materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
This Collection is open for research.