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I came across these photos a few months ago, not really knowing the significances of them. They were a pair of side by side photographs of an unknown pavement artist (and his dog!) in an unknown location. All I had was the photos, no description. So, with a little bit of detective work, I set about looking for clues……Researching historical evidence is often like this, more of an art then a science.
So, what did I discover? Well the artist nearest the camera is A F Harris, a well-known London pavement artist in the 30’s, who specialised in drawing dogs! I’m still trying to find out more about Mr Harris & his dog, when/if I do, you’ll read it here first. The photos were taken in Trafalgar Square, London, it looks like it was outside The National Portrait Gallery, but I can’t be sure. The newspaper man in the background is holding up a sign declaring the death of Arthur Conan Doyle, who died on the 7th July 1930. So it’s safe to assume that this photo was taken on the following day on Tuesday 8th July 1930.
The photographer was George Lewis; who was obviously a pioneer of 3D photography. I know nothing more about him, other than the fact that he has taken what must be the world first ever stereo (3D) photos of pavement artists at work. Certainly the first I’ve come across. If you know differently, let me know. We think of 3D images as being a rather modern invention, 1950’s perhaps, but the first stereograms were made way back in 1841.
As I said; I acquired these as ‘side by side’ images, not realizing that they were meant to be viewed in 3D using a special viewer; which I didn’t have. So, with a little jiggery pokery and some Photoshopery magic-fication I present them here for the very first time in 3D Anaglyph, rarely seen by anyone in over 80 years! (you need those cheap cardboard Red & Cyan glasses to view them in 3D like)……everybody has a pair somewhere; look in the cupboards!
Here’s a top quiz question: What’s the name of Mr Harris’s dog? Answers on a postcard pleeeze ;-)
Written & researched by Philip Battle