Derosier, D. 3D reconstruction from electron micrographs a personal account of its development. Methods Enzymol, 2010, 481, 1-24
Prior to the development of 3D reconstruction, images were interpreted in terms of models made from simple units like ping-pong balls. Generally, people eye-balled the images and with other knowledge about its structure, such as the number of subunits, proposed models to account for the images. How was one to know if the models were correct and to what degree they faithfully represented the true structure? The analysis of electron micrographs of negatively stained viral structures led to the answers and 3D reconstruction.
Review, 3D Reconstruction