on any image for an enlargement.
Home and History
is a non-profit museum housed in an historic colonial
building at 423 Chestnut Street, Meadville, Pennsylvania.
This building, erected around 1856, and the surrounding
property, has a rich local history that really begins
decades before its construction.
built to house offices of the Huidekoper's Holland Land
Company, responsible for the disposal of hundreds of thousands
of acres of land used as repayment of loans from Dutch
merchants during the American Revolution, the structure
also is believed to have been used for private schooling
at one time. It was a part of the Huidekoper Estate until
1929 when it was purchased by the First Church of Christ,
church, endowed with a Historical Society plaque, is quite
adequate in space and perfect in its longtime connection
with local history for the Johnson-Shaw
It is a fitting home for an expensive collection of stereoviews,
lantern slides, historic documents, books and equipment
manufactured by Keystone View Company, the largest
manufacturer of stereoscopic views in the United States,
and formerly located in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
View Companyoriginated in 1892, founded by Mr. B.
L. Singley, and continued in the vast and diversified
business of the stereoscopic industry until the operation
closed in 1976.
as well as that of several other companies acquired by
Keystone, was at first dedicated to the in-home use of
stereoscopes and stereoscopic views, so popular in many
country parlors. A common family pastime, and one to be
shared with guests, was the viewing of stereoscopic 3-D
photography long before the advent of moving pictures
and other forms of entertainment.
the industry expanded into the realms of institutional
education, military training as a means to recognize enemy
and friendly aircraft, and optometry. When Keystone
View Company entered the optical field, it sold equipment
to State Police Agencies in many states for driver's license
Keystone was acquired by Mast Development Company it closed
its Meadville doors and relocated to Davenport, Iowa.
The company possessed by that time the largest collection
of stereographic negatives and negative contact prints
in the world. This extensive collection was donated to
the University of California, Riverside. The negatives
and prints remain there today in the University's Museum