I N 1857, Oliver Wendell Holmes, father of the famous jurist, lifteda stereoscope to his eyes for the first time. After the initial strain, asthe lenses forced his eyes to accommodate the different images only inches away, Holmes experienced two "visions." One emerged as the neurons were tricked into fusing two disparate scenes into one. The other was the brilliant flash of historical insight. Holmes verbalized it in a kind of Brechtian soliloquy:

Holmes was examining these "carcasses" with a precision and dispassion worthy of a dean of Harvard Medical School and renowned physi-

ologist. Holmes, like his namesake in fiction, was peering out at the world through the analytical lens of 19th-century science. This eye of glass guided the razor edge of the scalpel. Forms distant and removed in both space and time, forms both microscopic and macroscopic would now be dissected, dessicated, and described. These "skins," etched on metal plates and negatives, would be preserved and hung to dry. The new wind blowing would not carry the stench of the Uthing-in-itself," but the sterile antiseptic smell of iodine, an odoT common to both 19th-century hospital and the photo developer.