The original organization came together in New York in 1861, in an age when stereography and photography were so indistinguishable that a club set up to trade stereographs could be named the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club. Serious amateurs traded self made stereographs six times a year. During it's ascendancy the club limited itself to twenty active members -- many illustrious in their century, none remembered in ours -- until a certain Unpleasantness Between the States lead to a short supply of both photographic paraphernalia and club photographers. The group disbanded in 1863.
APEC started up again in 1975, members exchanging views twenty-four times over the next six years. After the club broke up in 1981, Larry Wolfe donated his collection of about 300 APEC, 20th Century Version views to the National Stereoscopic Association's Oliver Wendell Holmes stereo library.
The current incarnation got going in early 1997, among print stereograph buffs brought together by the internet's photo-3D email group. We had our first exchange in February 1997. We donate a full set of each of our exchange's views to the Oliver Wendell Holmes library.
Four times a year we each exchange one self made print stereograph with every other club member. In contrast to other stereo circuits APEC members keep and own the stereo views they receive with each exchange.
Membership is free. We just cover our own production and mailing costs.
We exchange print stereographs mounted in formats that can be viewed with a:
Innovation is good. Pin hole shots, black and white, macros, panoramas and other unusual work is welcomed -- encouraged, celebrated! But we do not exchange unmounted prints, Loreos (unless they're mounted in Holmes format), photocopies, antique views, or slides.
We use centralized mailing, which saves a bundle on postage. Club members send multiple copies of their stereo view to the View Redistributor -- me, Greg Kane. I sort the views and mail them back.
Membership is limited to 40. We typically have 2 or 3 folks drop out each exchange, so openings are common. If you're interested in joining just email Tom Dory and tell him you want to join.
Membership is free. We do cover our own production and mailing costs.
Join an old exchange
If you'd like to trade for a set of views from an earlier exchange, just contact me. I'll confirm the set hasn't been traded, I'll reserve the set for you, and I'll tell you how many views to send. Once your views arrive I'll send the return package back to you ASAP.
Join the next exchange
Right after the sign-up deadline, which is the first time I know how many folks will be involved in the next exchange, I'll email you a note telling you how many cards to send.
To join, just let Tom know you want in: email@example.com
We have four exchanges a year. Views are due at the View Redistributor's on the last day of February, May, August, November. The deadline for letting the View Redistributor know you are taking part falls roughly 6 weeks before each exchange.
APEC membership is free. No kidding. We do each cover our own production and mailing costs.
For members in the US, round trip mailing costs $8.
Production costs depend on how you make your stereocards -- figure on something between 75 cents and $1.50 per card, and on 25 - 30 cards per exchange.
I myself count on spending $30 - 40 per exchange.
Emailthomas.firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom Dory, View Redistributor)
Don't forget to visit Dan Shelley's APEC web site.voice, where you'll find all of the modern APEC stereoviews.
The Amateur Photographic Exchange Club's picture site , with side-by-side and analglyph copies of all the stereo views from all the modern APEC's exchanges.
Rocky Mountain Memories, where you can see and buy an a affordable, modern APEC-standard View Magic PA 4000 over-and-under 4 x 6" stereo viewer.
APEC's how to make a print stereograph web site. Part of this APEC web site, background on stereo cameras, viewers, supplies, theory, and step by step instructions for making print stereographs.
How to make print stereographs, one of several excellent 3D web pages put together by APEC's own RJ Thorpe.
Hundreds of stereo photography links. The best place anywhere to find important stereo photographic stuff on the web.
The Oliver Wendell Holmes Research Library, museum of stereo photography.
Reel-3D mail-order sales of NEW stereo equipment you can't get anywhere else-- stereoscopes, slide viewers, slide mounts, books, beam-splitter attachments, xeroxes of old stereo camera manuals, and much, much more. (310) 837-2368.
Dalia Miller sells reconditioned OLD 1950's vintage stereo cameras and other useful stuff. Pricey but guaranteed.