This collection consists of stereographs taken by John Pitcher Spooner in California between approximately 1875 and 1905. Most of the photos are of Stockton and include downtown businesses and buildings, private homes, local farms, the Stockton Rural Cemetery, and the California State Hospital and Insane Asylum.
John Pitcher Spooner (1845-1917) was a prominent Stockton photographer. After working for the Bradley-Rulofson Company, a photographic firm in San Francisco, Pitcher moved to Stockton around 1875. He operated a photographic studio here from the 1870s to the early 1900s (he advertised himself as a "Photographist"). In addition to the John Pitcher Spooner stereographs, the Spooner Family Papers (MSS 270) are also located in Special Collections. Stereographs consist of two paper prints of the same image mounted side by side on card stock. When viewed through a stereoscope, they produce a three dimensional image.
Stereographs were very popular in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The online images of the Spooner stereographs appear as three dimensional photos when viewed through 3D glasses or a stereoscope.