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In 1915 the city of San Francisco invited the world to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal with a world's fair, known as the Panama Pacific International Exposition. The occasion was also a celebration of the city's recovery from the 1906 earthquake and fire. The Exploratorium was housed in the last remnant of the Exposition, the Palace of Fine Arts. Without the media of today, its promoters had to find other ways to publicize the event. Thanks to the Keystone Company, people all over the world were able to experience a day at the fair by looking at the stereograph pictures through special viewers that created the 3-D effect.

PPIE case detail In the early 1900's the Keystone Company produced hundreds of thousands of stereographic images. Keystone organized some of the images from its collection into sets of 100. The stereographs on this website are from one set titled "The Panama Pacific International Exposition." We have scanned the original stereographic pairs, and used Adobe PhotoShop® to convert the images to anaglyph format.


The Exploratorium would like to thank our tireless volunteer, Bess Reynolds, on whose bookshelf we spied this collection during a dinner party she hosted. We then guilted her into doing the hundreds of hours of work digitizing and processing the stereographs for this website.

While the original photographs are public domain, we would like to thank UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California, Riverside, the current custodians of the Keystone-Mast Collection. They own the original glass negatives, and deserve credit for preserving these treasures for future generations, as well as encouraging us in this project.

© Exploratorium