Give-away curiosity advertising using tabula scalata images for Coles and Garrard Sight Testing Opticians

Catalogue Number: 3507
Give-away curiosity advertising using tabula scalata images for Coles and Garrard Sight Testing Opticians
Category: Memorabilia and ephemera
Sub-Category: Advertising, ophthalmic practitioners
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: c 1930
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Publisher/Manufacturer: Coles and Garrard Pty Ltd
Description Of Item: Two tabula scalata of oval photographic portraits, 30 x 40 mm, mounted in light brown cardboard, 75 x 60 mm, with each one having printed wording clockwise from the top COLES AND GARRARD SIGHT TESTING OPTICIANS 372 BOURKE ST, MELBOURNE / PHONE 10595 / To make this picture move press outside edge from right to left / OPEN FRIDAYS TO 9 PM. One picture is of a cowboy playing a ukulele and the other of a woman, possibly an actress. The two cards are enclosed in clear cellophane pockets,
Historical Significance: Coles and Garrard Pty Ltd was the largest optometry firm in Melbourne until it was sold to OPSM in 1988 for $14.5 million, and ceased trading under its name a few years afterwards. It was established in March 1922 and located at 370 to 372 Bourke Street. Its CEO and joint founder was Harold Earl Coles, a lively entrepreneurial man who used advertising of all kinds to promote his business against the wishes of the profession, which at the time desired that optometrist mimic medicine by exercising restraint in advertising and self-promotion.Tabula scalata are pictures with two images divided into strips on different sides of a corrugated carrier. Each image can be viewed correctly from a certain angle. Most tabula scalata have the images in vertical lines so the picture seems to change from one image to another while walking past it. Tabula scalata were known at least since the late 16th century, when they were a popular novelty in England. In 1906 Hiram C.J. Deeks was granted US patent 834,048 (application November 25, 1904) for a "Material for printing multiple photographs" that used a similar technique. Photographic paper on cardboard was corrugated with a press to form minute ridges that were then exposed to two different images from two different angles. Under this patent H.C.J. Deeks & Co marketed postcards with changing photographs or drawings.
How Acquired: Purchased by Kett Museum
Date Acquired: Mar 2018
Condition: Good except for minor stains
Location: Archive office. East wall shelves unit 3. Drawer 11

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