Dwight "Ike" D. Eisenhower
34th U.S. President 1953-1961
Oct 14, 1890 - Mar 28, 1969
78 years old
Stereo Realist photographer
Sidewalk teenagers like Ike Inaugural Parade No 23
Dwight D. Eisenhower portrait with flag
An Enthusiastic voter at Festival of Stars No 22
Dwight D. Eisenhower happy with his Stereo Realist camera
LIFE magazine- Colorized
Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. President with wife Mamie and Stereo Realist camera - Colorized
1953 Winston Churchill in Bermuda by Dwight D Eisenhower - Colorized
Parade float for Illinois
Close-up - Pres Eisenhower taking oath of office No 2
Close-up - Pres Eisenhower taking oath of office No 2 -cropped
1953_01_20 John Meredith at Eisenhower Inauguration Reception with Stereo Realist
Close-up - Vice-Pres Richard Nixon taking oath of office No 3 -cropped
Parade with New York Welcomes IKE float
Governors' Reception at Statler Hotel No 9
Eisenhower press photos with hyperstereo photographer
1951 January Sunrise over Greenland by Ike Eisenhower - Colorized
Army band on stage at Festival of Stars No 20
Dwight D. Eisenhower giving inauguration speech
Mr Truman greet Pres & Mrs Eisenhower at White House No 8 cropped
Mr and Mrs Truman greet President and Mrs Eisenhower at the White House No 8
Eisenhower grandchildren with Paul Begley by DD Eisenhower - Colorized
Aksel Nielsen Ikes fishing, hunting and outdoor companion in Colorado by Ike
Eisenhower grandchildren not exactly posing by Ike
David Eisenhower poses with his little sisters by Ike
President and Mrs Eisenhower next to Ex-Pres Herbert Hoover on Reviewing Stand with General George C Marshall No 6
American Indians at Eisenhowers Parade
President and Mamie Eisenhower at Inaugural Ball No 10 cropped
District of Columbia Motorcycle Escort No 16
Fashion show at the Inaugural Dinner
Air View of Crowd in front of inaugural stand No 19
Mamie Dowd Eisenhower's parents with their car - The Electric by DD Eisenhower - Colorized
Inaugural Parade with President Eisenhower passing by
Eisenhower delegates at a photoshow
Dwight D Eisenhower First Stereo Photos as President Elect_image taken by DCS
Mrs John Eisenhower and daughter - Colorized
Inaugural Group during National Anthem No 11
West Point Cadets passing reviewing stand No 5
Eisenhower Inaugural Stand
Parade float for Massachusetts
Eisenhower on train
Ike in car with Mamie on parade No 21
Inaugural Parade with "Monty" Montana and other men No 25
Inaugural Parade band with ticker tape
The Invocation No 13
Governors' Reception at Statler Hotel
Press Photographers stand
State of Vermont - Inaugural Parade No 24
Parade float for Augusta, GA Golfing Mecca of the Nation
Inaugural Parade with yellow jacketed men
Ike Parade My Pop likes Mamie
V.P. Richard Nixon in car with camera lenses on right
West Point Cadets on Parade No 17
Vice-President and Mrs Nixon at Festival of Stars No 18
Vice President Richard Nixon at Ike's inauguration dinner
Woman with skunk named McCarthy 1953 political stunt
1990 Eisenhower 3-D Power drawing for NSA convention
Reprinted with permission from the National Stereoscopic Association. March/April 1990 issue of Stereo World, the quarterly publication of the N.S.A. - www.stereoview.org
Salutes Eisenhower -
by Laurance Wolfe
Hardly had the stereo dust settled around
the Portland 1989 National Stereoscopic Association (NSA) Convention area in August than NSA 1990 started to rev up in New England.
NSA 1990 will move out next year on June 29 and continue through July 2, 1990 with trade fair, scores of projection programs, workshops, group discussions, a unique exhibit of views and viewers, a superb banquet, a surprise breakfast, the traditional Spotlight Auction and some
innovative events to be announced.
The Convention and Trade Fair will be held in the Center of New Hampshire spacious facility with a dash of
contemporary New England charm, in
Manchester, New Hampshire.
The 1990 effort is singular in that it is to be dedicated to one individual - Dwight David Eisenhower. The dedication by NSA originates not from the fact that this will be the Eisenhower Centennial year (observing the 100th anniversary of D.D.E. birth), not because Eisenhower was President of the United States, not because he was a General and Supreme Commander of the American forces in Europe in World War II, not because he was President of Columbia University. NSA recognition is of Dwight David Eisenhower - Stereographer!
Only a few people are aware of Ike's 3-D hobby although LIFE magazine and more than a score of other publications have carried a news photo of him using his stereo camera. There are three different
photos of him with the Realist. There are no stereo views of same, however.
There are in existence 1154 stereo slide
transparencies accomplished by Ike or by someone else with Ike's Realist.
Sheltered in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas the views are divided into five categories: Family, Friends and Acquaintances, Events, S.H.A.P.E. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Trips and Scenics. A good number of these Eisenhower views may be seen on screen or view-box at the Convention along with a 50-view Eisenhower inaugural set from the Gordon Hoffman Collection.
Typical of the "family" views are shots of Ike's grandchildren at play. "Friends and acquaintances" include Bobby Jones, golfer, and Robert Montgomery, motion picture actor.
Winston Churchill and John Foster
Dulles appear in a "SHAPE" trip view. An inaugural view of the Eisenhowers and the Trumans is in the "Events" section and "Scenics" have any number of fine shots - many of Colorado.
When one realizes that, although he is referred to in many quarters as "The Man from Abilene," Ike was actually born in Denison, Texas, and, therefore, receives plaudits from men like NSA President Tom Rogers. Says Texan Tom, "Ike was a
most popular person, both as a wartime hero and as president, and was most respected and highly thought of in other countries (such as Britain) as well as in our own.
The fact that he was a stereo
photographer also speaks well of him. NSA salutes Ike the Stereographer!"
By Laurance Wolfe
As a military man, he led the largest armed force in history to victory over an enemy who surrendered unconditionally. He served as President of his country and as President of one of the nation's major
Universities. His record in personal
relations with world leaders was
impeccable. His integrity was such that before he died - and even though he had spent a lifetime in the military - he warned his countrymen of the dangers of the military industrial complex.
Despite his magnificent record of accomplishment, there is a small group which will revere Dwight Eisenhower for something other than his heralded exploits. These folks seem to focus on a little known side of Ike - his interest in stereo photography. Texas-born Kansan
Dwight David Eisenhower is being
paid, by the NSA, an especially
affectionate tribute in New England
this Eisenhower Centennial - Ike's 100th birthday, 1990.
Eisenhower, who claimed Kansas as his home because the family moved there not long after he was born, indulged his hobby of stereography for almost a decade overlapping his White House years.
Twenty years after his death, Ike, by
certain folks, may be respected more for adeptness at stereo than for his
Today's small coterie of 3-D photographers who revel in the avocation said to have caught Ike's fancy, jump at the opportunity to honor a 3-D
The Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, KS, is responsible for the administration of 1,154 35mm stereo transparencies, most of which they credit to Ike. The views cover a broad spectrum, from those of family, to stereogenic events.
Though Ike was not a collector of
vintage stereographs, and by stereo
standards Eisenhower Library views
are not vintage, collectors
enthusiastically seek to obtain Ike views
for their collections. These are, of course, duplicates made from originals said to have been taken by Ike, or the few odd Eisenhower views made during the presidential years by Keystone View Company.
Eisenhower, amateur stereographer, was the tag that might have been hung on this man who had a few more powerful descriptions attached to his name at various times.
At the beginning of 1990, a great number of happenings were being scheduled to mark Eisenhower Centennial. Ike's "native" Kansas is dotted with events scheduled throughout the year with John
Eisenhower, Ike's son, or grandson
David, nearly filling the calendar with appearances. Not the least of the observances of the centennial year is the Convention and Trade Fair of the National Stereoscopic Association. NSA has dedicated its annual event this year to "Ike - stereographer," despite the fact there is only one stereo view extant that
has been documented as being a
product of Ike and his camera.
The documented view is affirmed
by none other than Eisenhower
himself. In the book, "At Ease:
Stories I Tell My Friends," Ike writes
about a number of shots he took
from a plane going from Greenland
to Canada. He wrote: "at the time I was an enthusiastic amateur photographer
and (I) snapped at least forty or fifty
pictures . . . during the flight." The
year was 1951. The author has a
duplicate stereoscopic slide of one of these shots. The Library in Abilene has seven similar views titled "Sunrise Over
Some three-dimensional camera users claim that Ike was one who helped bring the Stereo Realist camera to the forefront of photography in the forties and fifties.
The Stereo Realist, introduced circa 1947, achieved a great popularity in the decade that followed. If we are to believe the advertisements of the day, many well-known folks were taken with the camera and the idea of three-dimensional
photography, even though 3-D was
more than a century old. A host of
celebrities - mostly of the Hollywood brand - armed themselves with Stereo Realists and went 3-D shooting.
The source of Ike's Realist (Serial
# A 78695) is not known. Manufactured,
as all Stereo Realists were, by the David White Company of Milwaukee, and part of an extensive marketing program, the cameras' routes to ownership were not traced as they would be in this later
The Realist's inventor, Seton Rochwite,
speculates that Ike's close friend and
consultant, Aksel Nielsen, may have
given Eisenhower one that Rochwite
had given Nielsen. One of the outstanding views in the Eisenhower Library collection is of Aksel Nielsen standing on a Colorado hilltop looking every inch the outdoorsman that he was.
Eisenhower was no new boy being
introduced to photography when it is said he took up stereoscopy. For years he had been a photo buff, taking everything from snapshots to amateur movies. Or so it was believed. When son John joined
Scouting, he was equipped with a
Brownie camera of his own and was
photographed on at least one picture
junket when his father was stationed
in the District of Columbia in the
midst of the Great Depression.
Thumbing through the Eisenhower
stereoscopic "file," one can see the wide range of interests that attracted Ike and his stereo camera. Grandchildren,
fishing companions, statesmen, house guests, historic events, all were grist for the 35mm Realist.
Possibly the grandchildren take the spotlight as far as repeaters among the images are concerned. They appear in scenes at Gettysburg, at Columbia University, at Augusta, GA, and, in conformity with the peripatetic heritage that had already marked the Eisenhower family tree - in various parts of Europe.
David Eisenhower, now grown and
author of a widely-hailed book
chronicling the critical World War II years of which his grandfather was so much a part, was a perky little boy close to five years old who called his grandad "Ike." Ike's Realist caught him in 3-D in the yard at Gettysburg, being very little boyish,
turning his back on the camera, shunning the very idea of being photographed. His sister, with their mother, make a pleasing 3-D tableau for Ike's camera. Other grandchild pictures find the children in their grandparents' Columbia University
home, frolicking with their Grandmother Mamie. The grandchildren appear every once in a while in the images of family life put on film in stereo. In a couple of pictures, there is indication that the children have more than the usual interest in photography. They are recorded with cameras both professional and amateur.
Eisenhower with Aksel Nielsen each with fish - Colorized
A sampling of family views includes Mamie's father and mother with their Electric Car in Denver; oil portrait of Mamie by Ike; the Nielsen ranch, Frazier, Colorado, solo of Ike; the Triannon Palace
hotel, summer of 1951, John Eisenhower, his son and daughters, and Mamie's mother; Election night, Hotel Commodore, with Mamie's mother, in-laws Gordon and Mike Moore, and friends.
A selective run-through of "friends and acquaintances" finds Aksel Nielsen at the Nielsen ranch; General A1 Gruenther and Col. A.J.D. Biddle at the hotel Raphael,
Paris; a West Point Reunion shot where Omar Bradley and Ike are easily identified; an air flight aboard the Columbine with Rose Woods, 1 Mamie, Col. Carroll and Lt. Col. Schultz; Augusta National, Club House area; Ramey Field, Puerto Rico; Versailles, Gardens of
Trianon; Fontainbleu Palace.
A group of fishermen, Ike among them, was the subject of a Colorado stereo view. In the middle of the group is Sgt. John Moaney, about whom Ike once wrote: "We were inseparable for . . . a quarter of a
century. In my daily life, he is just about the irreplaceable man." Ike loved to tell the story about Sgt. Moaney and the presidential race. It seems that when the General knew he would be returning to the U.S. to cast his hat in the ring, he
invited Sgt. Moaney to accompany him. Moaney quickly accepted despite Ike's words of warning that neither the nomination nor the election would be sure things. "That's all right, sir," the good sergeant had replied. "We'll find a way to get along if you don't win."
Typical SHAPE trip stereo views: street scene, Fort Benning, GA; Kaflavik, Iceland; airport, dinner with minister Lawson and members of American legation, Udine, Italy, Carabiniers in dress uniforms.
Events, in Ike's stereo album cover a wide range: Political campaign, Columbia, S.C.: Various The only stereo slide documented
(by Ike himself) as absolutely without
doubt the work of Eisenhower with his Realist. Titled "Sunrise Over Greenland," it was made in January, 1951.
A hastily arranged stereo portrait, done as part of the 3-D coverage of Inauguration Day, January 20, 1953.
"Places and scenes", in the Eisenhower file, cover much of France, Germany, Scotland with fairy tale castles, palaces, churches, and gardens predominating. Other European and American views fly
under the "places and scenes" banner.
Good evidence that Ike did more than just hold or point his Realist. Someone not actively taking pictures wouldn't have bothered advancing the film - as in this December, '53 photo from Augusta, GA.
The Library in Abilene credits most of their stereo slide inventory to David Dwight Eisenhower. Many and few - all the way down to the one documented view - are
credited by various sources to Ike.
The last word as to who authored the Eisenhower slides goes to an NSA member - Mel Lawson - not only because he is an NSA member but because he served in the military, most notably under
Commander-in-Chief Dwight D.
Eisenhower in the "Supreme
Headquarters Allied Powers Europe"
(SHAPE). This is a period when a number of the slides seem to have been taken. Admitting no "insider" information, Mel analyzed the catalog of the Eisenhower Library, and concluded that "those slides of most intimate and informal events
are most likely to have been snapped
by Ike in person. Those of formal
occasions would have been most likely taken for Ike and under at least general guide-lines as to what Ike wanted."
Mel Lawson's guesstimate is that only 10% to 15% of the Library stereo views were taken by Ike himself. These percentages match those of other people who are less qualified to join in the guessing game than Col. (Ret.) Melvin
1979 PSA Hartford CT Col (Ret) Melvin Lawson and Dolly Lawson stereo banquet by Susan Pinsky
Well, not quite the last word goes to Col. Mel.
Contradicting much that has been said about it, and reams of copy that have been written, stereophotography and his father do not appear together in memory, says John Eisenhower. He recalls that when he
was a boy "there was a stereoptican (sic) in the (grandparents) house in Abilene . . . it dated back to the turn of the century. But John Eisenhower does not remember his father as being attached to photography, let alone stereography.
Ike's son professed that he was a photo buff himself when in his teens. "Through high school in the Philippines (1936-39) I took four hundred photographs," he says, "I developed them myself and filed the
negatives." As for his Dad: "To the best of my knowledge he never took pictures himself even though he commented on those I took." A last word from John: "We did have a stereo camera in Paris in 1951 and took some pretty fair pictures."
Maybe, just maybe, no one gets the last word, at least in this Centennial year. What the Library reports, what Col. Mel says, what John Eisenhower remembers - all
could be accurate. There is not necessarily a conflict.
Members of the National Stereoscopic Association have dedicated this year's Convention to "Stereographer Ike." The one
documented view qualifies Eisenhower as the only president who ever shot stereo views. And that's enough for the "Stereographer Ike" loyalists to install him as a patron saint of 3-D.
At the moment, it appears to be known that Ike's Stereo Realist took the views which have been mentioned here.
What isn't known is: Who pressed
the shutter release?