In the early decades of photography, stereoscopy was a very popular technique for creating the illusion of depth in photos. These early "3D" images must have seemed like magic, and photographers wasted no time documenting the wonders of the day in this glorious new format. The boom in bridge-building technology provided the perfect subject.

The following twenty animated GIFs were all created from stereoscopic cards over a century old that show beautiful bridges from around the world, picked from the amazing collection of the Swedish Tekniska Museet. No need for special viewing instrument (stereoscope)—just sit back and enjoy the lively, almost three-dimensional view.


Brooklyn Bridge, c1883-1900.

Source: Tekniska museet


Brooklyn Bridge, over East River, New York, c1860-1880

Source: Tekniska museet


A walk on Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: Underwood & Underwood, 1904.

Source: Tekniska museet


View of Devils Bridge over the Schöllenen Gorge, Switzerland. Photo: Charnaux Freres & Co, c1860-1880.

Source: Tekniska museet


The bridge to Saint Sébastien over the river Loire in France, c1860-1880.

Source: Tekniska museet


The Clifton Suspension Bridge, in North Somerset, England, c1870-1890.

Source: Tekniska museet


The Clifton Suspension Bridge during construction, c1870-1890. The man with the high hat is possibly the architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Source: Tekniska museet


The Royal Albert Bridge over River Tamar between Plymouth and Saltash, England, c1870-1890.

Source: Tekniska museet


Bridge over river River Garry in Killiecrankie, Scotland, c1870-1890.

Source: Tekniska museet


The castle and bridge in Conway, North-Wales. Photo: Francis Bedford, c1870-1880.

Source: Tekniska museet


The Hungerford Bridge in London, c1870-1890.

Source: Tekniska museet


The Britannia Bridge (Pont Britannia), the bridge over Menai Strait in Wales. Photo: Francis Bedford, c1870-1890.

Source: Tekniska museet


The Menai Suspension Bridge between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales. Photo: Francis Bedford, c1870-1890.

Source: Tekniska museet


Bridge in Chamonix, France c1860-1880.

Source: Tekniska museet


The new Buspension Bridge by the Niagara Falls. Photo: Geo. E Curtis, c1860-1880.

Source: Tekniska museet


View from The Pyrenees with the bridge Pont Napoléon, near Luz-Saint-Sauveur, France. Photo: C. Lamy, c1860-1880.

Source: Tekniska museet


The High Bridge, NYC, c1860-1880.

Source: Tekniska museet


Rialto Bridge, Venice, c1870-1900.

Source: Tekniska museet


Bridges over the river Saône (Rhône), Lyon. Photo: Jean César Adolphe Neurdein, c1860-1867.

Source: Tekniska museet


The bridge to Sister Island, Niagara Falls. Photo: Geo. Baker, c1860-1890.

Source: Tekniska museet


Top animgif: Niagara Suspensior Bridge from Monteage House – Tekniska museet