Curator's Corner


  • <p>A stereoscope with a WWI stereogram.</p>
  • <p>A stereoscope with a stereogram card.</p>
  • <p>Stereoscope with informational stereogram card.</p>

Stereoscope Design

  • <p>Stereoscope - used for viewing stereograms</p>
  • <p>Stereoscrope Diagram</p>

The Stereoscope

Before the movies there was the Stereoscope. The device was invented by Charles Wheatstone in 1832. A device which paired flat images taken from slightly different angles were set at a distance from a viewing device. The two images would be combined in the brain causing them to be seen as one 3-dimensional image.


Stereoscopy is a photographic technique used to create the illusion of depth. Adding a 3-dimensional quality to the image. The realistic pictorial scenes presented a more somber view of a devastating war.


The stereograms were produced by the Keystone View Company. The piece holding the 2 photos slides back and forth to help focus the images. There is also a missing hand-grip that would extend from the base. The views on the cards of WW1 are from photographs, a medium that became more accessible in the late 19th century

  • <p>Heavy artillery used during WWI.</p>
  • <p>United States Unknown Soldier</p>
  • <p>WWI soldiers ready to be deployed from the United States.</p>

Letters Home

Letters home were one of the few ways at that time for men in service to send news from the war to their families in Fort Lauderdale. They would use any paper available and often had their writing censored for security reasons. They are some of the most impactful accounts of the war.

Letter - Harold Volk

  • <p>A letter from Harold Volk to his sister in 1918 from the battlefield.</p>

Pantheon de le Guerre

  • <p>The cover of the program from the Washington Bicentennial Fair in 1932.</p>

Pantheon de la Guerre

The Pantheon de la Guerre was a life size painting designed to be displayed in the round. It portrayed the war as both triumphant and tragic. Conceived in France in 1914 by Pierre Carrier Belleuse and Auguste Fran├žois-Marie Gorgue, it was painted by prominent artists of the time. In total, the circular panorama is 402 feet in circumference and 45 feet high. It holds the apt description of being the largest painting in the world.

Panels of the Pantheon de la Guerre

  • <p>The center French panel of the original Pantheon de la Guerre.</p>
  • <p>The Temple of the Dead panel from the original Pantheon de la Guerre.</p>

Original Panels of the Pantheon de la Guerre

While heavily French-centric, the twenty four countries that participated were represented and there were panels for a Memorial to the Dead and the Temple of Glory. It was displayed in France after the war ended too much acclaim until with the war receding from memory (9 years later), it was brought to America to go on tour.

The American Panel

  • <p>The American panel of the original Pantheon de la Guerre</p>

The American Pantheon de la Guerre

Before leaving France, additions were made to the American panel including images of Nurses and African American soldiers. It traveled throughout the US, from New York City to San Francisco (1940). It laid abandoned for 12 years after its final viewing in San Francisco. Forgotten and neglected in storage until parts of it were re- discovered. In 1956, it was restored by Daniel MacMorris, an artist and veteran of the war. Heavily altered to be American-centric and to include prominent US presidents FDR, Woodrow Wilson, and Harry Truman. It was unveiled in 1959 at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City where the largest World War I memorial resides.