Christian 3D History

150 Years of Christian 3D:
From Stereo Photography to Holography.

The Frank & Debi DeFreitas Christian 3D Collection
Publishing Notes:
Updated 24 Aug 2014

Christian 3D History
Close up detail of a diamond cross, 3D laser hologram.
The diamonds sparkle, but the cross isn't there.
It is made entirely of laser light.
Reach for it, and your fingers grasp nothing.


-- ABOUT THE EXHIBIT --

Historic Allentown Home

ALL WHO PASS through the doorway of this humble (yet historic) row home in Allentown, PA witnesses an exhibition like no other before . . . an exhibition that fills the senses with wonderment and awe . . .

THE SHORT STORY: This is an exhibit documenting 150 years of Christian 3D. It includes antique stereographs, vintage lenticular prints, up to modern three dimensional laser holograms. It is curated by Frank DeFreitas, who manages the 20,000+ piece Antiquarian Holographica collection. There is truly no other exhibit like it in the world today.

THE LONGER STORY:

*WHY* is there a collection / exhibit of Christian 3D?
With the increasing popularity of 3D photography, movies and television, there is a renewed interest in the history of 3D in general. Many people are very surprised to learn that 3D has been with us since the middle of the 1800's(!) *AND* Christian 3D photography, specifically, was the driving force in its acceptance and further development.

Christian 3D lenticulars

While one will find an abundance of information online about the history of 3D photography in medical imaging, advertising, movies, etc., there is no information whatsoever documenting its history in Christianity (as of year 2011).

Christian 3D photography

*WHEN* did Christian 3D photography begin?
Christian 3D began right along with the earliest stereoscopic photography in the mid 19th century (1850's), with mainly glass plates and French tissue stereoviews. It continued through early stereoview cards (mid 19th through early 20th century), to the printing of mass repicated 3D lenticular images, and film-based imaging (mid 20th century). After seeing somewhat of a lull in production and interest in the latter half of the 20th century, it has emerged once again through today's latest technologies: digital, wide-screen HD televisions, electronic autostereoscopic hand held devices, and the most futuristic of them all: three-dimensional laser holograms.

Christian 3D Art
Various 3D imaging technologies:
From the earliest stereoscopic, to the latest
in laser holographic recordings.


*HOW* did the collection get started?
I (Frank DeFreitas) work with, and collect, items related to the history of three-dimensional imaging, particularly the field of holography. My collection is called "Antiquarian Holographica". It contains over 20,000 historical items, and it has taken over 35 years to assemble. Both my wife and I work as a team with this aspect of the collection.

Christian 3D Photography Exhibit
Your Host, Frank DeFreitas, in the exhibit / lecture room.

Since the topic of Christian 3D history has never been covered before anywhere online, in print, or in an exhibition setting (that I am aware of), and in order to present the collection in a orderly way, I have broken it down into several main categories, according to each 3D photography format type:

  • the World's Smallest Lord's Prayer (Learn More)
  • an original NCR "lunar Bible"
  • antique stereoscopes
  • stereoscopic French tissue views
  • glass plate stereographs
  • stereoview photographic cards (Learn More)
  • lenticular prints and glass plates
  • stereo film strips
  • stereo film cards
  • view-master reels
  • anaglyphics
  • 3D laser holograms
  • digital HD autostereoscopic technologies
  • SPECIAL: the computer generated 3D image calculated directly from the famous Shroud of Turin. Another is on display in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City.

Also: Christian based 3D optical illusions, and various pieces of historical ephemera. Bible leaves dating back to the 1400's are on display, along with a scroll containing the book of Genesis. You may also find the various miniature Bibles fascinating, including the smallest Bible (at the time) ever printed.

Every piece of the collection is an original, not a reproduction. Some pieces are held in highly esteemed historical archives such as the Library of Congress, and the George Eastman House Library Archive.

world's smallest lords prayer
See the world's smallest Lord's Prayer:
Just the width of a human hair.
Made with lasers and stored as a hologram.


antique gas discharge light bulb
This beautiful vintage light bulb was a distant cousin to the eventual LASER. Gas discharge lamps contained low pressure gas, either neon or argon, or a mixture of the two. The light comes from an electric discharge between two electrodes, bombarding the gas atoms with electrons. In this photo, the two electrodes are in the shape of a cross.

3D Church Event
Have a presentation with Frank at your church,
school or home school group.


Frank and Deb DeFreitas


Best Regards,
Frank & Deb DeFreitas

610-434-8236

Flag Counter
Flag Counter started on January 1, 2014.

Frank DeFreitas Holography