Hopewell Stereo Image – 1870s

Holmes Stereoscope [Wikimedia]

This is a stereo view of J. Q. McPherson’s general merchandise store at 47 West Broad in Hopewell Borough, which he operated in the 1870s. (This is the last of the block of commercial buildings on the left as you head out of town on West Broad, across from the Old School Baptist Church near Mercer Street.)

These 3D stereo views were popular in the late 1800s, with the two photos of the left and right views pasted on stereograph cards for use in a stereoscope viewer (see the American Antiquarian Society).

Of course, these days we can use technology to make different kinds of 3D stereo views by processing and combining the left and right images, as shown below. These include a flip animation of the stereo view, and a version for red/blue glasses.

Stereograph of 47 W Broad – McPherson store c1870s [Steven Cohen] – Click to enlarge

This stereo card is labelled on the left as as “Mead & Beard, Photographers” and on the right as “Waverly, N.Y.” See, for example, similar Mead & Beard stereo images in the collection of the Historical Society of Princeton.

Animated Stereo Image

This animated stereo image is made by cutting out the two separate photos of the left and right views, aligning them precisely, and then converting them into an animated GIF file that flips between the two views every second.

Unfortunately, the two views do have rather different exposures (the left view is more washed out, particularly the horses on the far left), and both frames have a significant amount of spotting. Plus, the scene is almost all in the same plane, so there is not much difference and variation in the stereo views. But you do see the eye movement between the two views.

Animated Stereo Image of McPherson store [Steven Cohen] – Click to enlarge

Color Anaglyph Image

Or if you have some red/blue 3D glasses handy, you can view this color anaglyph version of the stereo image. The image combines both the left and right views, separately colored in red and cyan.

When viewed through color-coded anaglyph glasses, each eye only sees its associated colored view, and the brain fuses them into the perception of a three-dimensional scene.

Red/Cyan 3D Glasses [Wikimedia]
Color Anaglyph Stereo Image of McPherson store [Steven Cohen] – Click to enlarge

Or click this gallery view to manually compare the two left and right images.

The Building

Some brief background on the history of 47 West Broad Street, taken especially from the 1985 Cultural Resource Survey of Hopewell Borough. The building was primarily a general store on the larger left side from the second half of the 1800s into the 1900s, with additional uses upstairs. Since the mid 1900s, it has been primarily used as an antique store. Once the open drive-through on the right side was closed in, that side also was home to other businesses, including chiropractors in recent memory.

== View the site on the Hopewell History Map, with associated images and documents ==

47 W Broad – McPherson store c1900 [HVHS]
47 W Broad, 2020 [DD]


This site originally had a smaller and plainer structure, built circa 1850. In the 1860s, this was the mercantile business of Jonathan V. Blackwell.

Circa 1870, the building was renovated and expanded into the core of what still stands today, with the three-story main left side with mansard roof, and the two-story right wing (originally with an open drive-through for wagons).

In the 1870s, the building was John Q. McPherson’s general merchandise store. The photos also show a “Print Shop” sign on the second floor, and a “Post Office” sign on the first floor. In the 1880s, the building was taken over by F. F. Holcombe general merchants.

The building continued as a general store into the 1930s, when the right side was finally closed in. In the middle 1900s, the building also was used for the West End Market grocery store.

Then starting in the 1960s, the building was uses for antiques businesses, with the At the Sign of the Black Kettle antiques store. Around the 1990s, it was Pennfield Antiques, and then was used for Muhbubeh’s Antiques. In the 2000s, it has been the Hopewell Antique Co Op / Consignment Shop, and now is Hopewell Antiques.

Thanks to Steven Cohen for the stereo view card, and many other materials.

Please do contact us if you have other such images to experiment with!

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