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Thirty year old Richard Somerset Le Poer Trench (1834- 1891), born in Dublin, Ireland, 4th Earl of Clancarty, 3rd Marquess of Heusden, was styled Viscount Dunlo between 1837 and 1872.
He was born in 1834, just as Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851) and Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877) were beginning to have success in making the first photographs.
Here he is using his stereo camera, then a quite novel, trend-setting instrument. Sir David Brewster (1781–1868) had developed a lens based refracting stereoscope, a portable improvement on the 1833 mirror system announced in 1838 by Charles Wheatstone (1802–1875) and produced in 1849 what would be the template for stereo cameras and viewers thenceforth. It was in the early 1850s that Achille Quinet (1831–1907) developed the kind of twin lens camera that Dunlo is using, which was patented and first distributed in 1856 by John Benjamin Dancer (1812–1887).
The binocular camera had two lenses with focal lengths of 108mm up to 140mm; relatively short because the image size was small. They were mounted in a panel in front of a divider in the rear box to prevent overlapping of the two images. The twin pictures had to be transposed after being printed before being mounted on card. The lenses on the wet plate models had to be uncapped separately until a central shutter was developed.
Stereoscopes had gained international recognition at the Great Exhibition of 1851 where Queen Victoria was greatly impressed by the stereographic equipment displayed by the pioneering French photographer, Jules Duboscq (1817–1886). With her enthusiasm and seal of approval, their popularity boomed, so much so that by 1856, more than half a million stereo viewers had been sold.
Clonbrock House itself when Trench was photographing there was but 80 years old, having been built in the 1780s. In 1786 Clonbrock was the seat of R. Dillon. In 1837 Lewis recorded it as the seat of Lord Clonbrock. In 1906 it was valued at £135. The house was badly undefined