Third Class Carriage, Sultan's Railway, Syria


Railway construction in the Ottoman Empire began in the mid-19th century, generally with European financing and supervision in the context of Great Power rivalry. By the early 20th century, railways had become a major mode of transportation in the Near East. This stereo-view image from around 1908 depicts men seated in a railroad car, some wearing traditional dress, others in Western dress with fezzes. The producer of the image was the Stereo Travel Company of Corona, Long Island, New York, a small firm active in the early years of the 20th century. Popular with tourists at the time, stereo cards create the illusion of depth through the juxtaposition of two flat images. Two photographs are placed side-by-side and viewed through an instrument called a stereoscope. Each eye focuses on one image, creating a sense of three-dimensionality.

Last updated: September 29, 2014