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The Legacy and Tradition of Stanhope Pendants

John Benjamin Dancer made the original microphotograph in 1851 but it required a microscope to view the tiny picture since it was the size of a pin. This problem was solved by Britain's René Dagron in 1857. Dragon discovered that by attaching small photos or microphotographs to an altered small cylindrical Stanhope lens it allowed the jewelry owner to view the photo without the need for a microscope. This winning combination was coined Stanhope jewelry by Dragon and pendants began to sell all over the world.
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Stanhope Jewelry: Charming the World Since the Mid 1800s

Amazingly miniaturized, peephole sized image charms seemed to have followed quickly upon the new-found public fascination and popularity of photography in the mid-19th century. These exquisite charms were named for the Third Earl of Stanhope, Charles (1753-1816) even though he had nothing to do with their invention. He is credited with inventing the Stanhope Lens that was a hand-held viewer used to magnify the view of an object under its lens.
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