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"We were essentially being shell-shocked by rapid change. That was one of the things you needed science-fiction writers for back in the Sixties, because we could cope with the future."
- Peter Watts

Stereoscopic Vernier and Cube  
  A means of photographing in depth.  

As far as I know, the moulage method of making a copy of tire tracks is still in use.

“When did the police abandon the moulage method of making casts?”

“Five years ago,” said Wohl. “We now photograph impressions with stereoscopic cameras. Impressions on fibrous surfaces are photographed in relief with the aid of the parallel light beam.”

“I know all that,” Graham told him. “But why is that method now used?”

“Because it’s handier, and absolutely accurate. It has been used ever since they found a way to measure stereoscopic depth by means of... heck!’’ — he risked a swift glance at his passenger, and concluded — “the Dakin stereoscopic vernier.”

From Sinister Barrier, by Eric Frank Russell.
Published by Unknown in 1939
Additional resources -

The picture was projected in three dimensions.

Finding the now-dead scientist’s original and somewhat crude model of his vernier, Wohl amused himself by projecting its standard stereoscopic cube upon a small screen. He twiddled the micrometer focusing screw that controlled the cube’s perspective, made the geometrical skeleton flat enough to appear almost two-dimensional, then deep enough to resemble an apparently endless tunnel.

“Cute!” he murmured.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Sinister Barrier
  More Ideas and Technology by Eric Frank Russell
  Tech news articles related to Sinister Barrier
  Tech news articles related to works by Eric Frank Russell

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