Lincoln Family Entertainment
In the 1850’s the home of Abraham Lincoln was a lively and well lived in location. Abraham would work down the street at his law office during the day and night return back to his home, his wife and the sons. They were a busy and happy family. Lincoln would often pass time with his boys wrestling or reading to them, but the family had at least one other form of amusement, a stereoscope very much like the one above. In fact, the one above is theirs as it is sitting on a table in their very living room.
The stereoscope worked very much like the old View-Master (you all had one of those growing up right?) In this case two photos are placed inside the unit and you would peer through the eyepieces. The two images would then become one, and appear to be in 3-D. This was very high-tech for the time. Through this device, the Lincoln’s could view places all over the world and see them in a way that most of us had never been able to.
While certainly not a cheap “toy” Lincoln was known for spoiling the boys and this would definitely fit the bill. On display at the Lincoln Homestead, this piece gives a brief look into the family’s life. Lincoln always had a curiosity about him and through toys like this, he instilled the same curiosity in his boys.