The Backwards Fashion Evolution of 3D Glasses

Illustration for article titled The Backwards Fashion Evolution of 3D Glasses

How could 3D glasses go from the sleek, minimal shades we see here on the noses of 1951's Festival of Britain-goers, to the clumsy, Oakley-style wrap-arounds of today? Dolby's new lightweight ones aren't even much competition, even though they're only passive glasses and don't even need to house the heavier active shutter components bundled with 3DTVs.

The above photo, snapped at 1951's festival which celebrated British art, science and other important fields, shows an audience of 400 enjoying the four 3D films that were presented. Apparently the most popular was Around is Around, which Scottish-Canadian Norman McLaren made using the first dual 35mm 3D camera with inter-ocular offset printing and a new projection system. More of a geometrical short than a movie, he photographed oscilloscope patterns in both left and right-eye positions, to give the effect of 3D in stereoscopic form.


At the time, the Telekinema cinema which was situated on London's south bank, was considered the "most highly equipped cinema in the world." If only they could see IMAX cinemas now—and the hefty, cumbersome glasses that go with them. [Webbox via The Telegraph]

Image Credit: Getty

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When you're sitting in a dark theater does it really matter what they look like? Why this obsession with form over function?