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Old Stereo Photos

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Le Taxiphote and Collecting Old Photos

Years ago, my uncle had this old viewing cabinet sitting in his den. Once or twice he turned on the light behind it and allowed me to look into a strange sepia toned three dimensional world. It would be many years before I understood what was going on in there, but my fascination with stereo grew from this object.

I knew he had a stereo camera too, but never really connected the dots. When eventually I grew curious enough to ask, he explained the process as best he could, then showed me a color stereo picture of my great grandmother. That first experience of a 3D Kodachrome image was galvanizing. I went to the next camera swap meet and bought a Stereo Realist.

After languishing in a company boardroom for many years, one day my uncle asked if I wanted his Taxiphote. I said yes. He told me it contained the personal family photographs of a guy named Max C. Fleischmann. The content of this set is now the basis of, and one of the most valuable assets in my vintage image collection.

This section of the web site is a place to share a few examples of images I have collected along the way. Sadly, it is miles from comprehensive.

Glass Stereo Transparencies

The images presented here are samples taken from my collection. They are by no means the best technically, nor the most interesting, but rather what has fallen to hand. I would love to build an extensive library of images. Time and opportunity are the limiting factors. There is also a digital factor to consider.

From the turn of the 20th century to the demise of stereo glass plates after WWII, there were several competing formats. Go here to see a size comparison of several common formats.

Jules Richard Verascope

Jules Richard Nudes

An extremely talented and enigmantic figure, Jules Richard left a legacy of achievment in photographic design...and photographs of naked women. Sounds like an all around great guy to me.


WWI in Glass

Public fascination with the Great War led to a brisk business in stereo war photos. While the US market was mainly in cards, the Europeans bought large quantities of stereo glass slides.

Kaiser Panorama


In an age before cheap travel and color television, the hand colored images of a German Kaiser-Panorama show proved quite popular. This extensive WWI set contains over 400 hand tinted 8.5 x 17 images.

Over There Review Stereo Slides

Over There Review

I'm not aware any American stereo photographers covered the Great War. Consequently, the images in this set were probably all purchased from French sources. This rare boxed set is mostly complete, although I haven't the means to determine if all the photos are truly original to the set. I don't even know if the content was consistent from set to set.

Fisherview Stereo Slides


Why the Scientific Materials Co. even offered stereo views of WWI is a mystery to me. Perhaps someone, like the owner had some connection with wartime activities. I'm not aware if they ever produced any other image sets. The company is still in business, although the name has evolved to Fisher Scientific International Inc.

Handley Page V/1500

Too late for the Great War, too late for the first trans-Atlantic flight, and considered too big to be a practical commercial aircraft, Handley Page's biggest bomber is recorded here giving joy rides.

Max Fleischmann WWI

Max C. Fleischmann

Sportsman, aviator, philanthropist, Major Max Fleischmann led a life we can all be jealous of. Having said that, it should be noted he gave back on a grand scale.


Photos of R. Jacqmain

This group was acquired by a gentleman while researching the Belgian photographer, Piet Spoor. The photos were taken by his father in law, and span roughly from 1908-1912. While some are not very imaginative as stereo compositions, for the most part these images are sharp and well exposed.

Wedding Stereo Slides

1908 French Wedding

With photographers fighting for work, and nothing out of bounds, wedding photos today are looking more and more like stills from a soap opera/soft core porn movie. The fact they're delivered on a CD or DVD only adds to the impression. Step back in time to a more dignified age. Sadly, there are no shots of the bride in her lingerie.


Asian Unknowns

As is typically the case, none of these slides are labeled. The set appears to include a couple images from Texas, but is mostly shots of Africa and somewhere in Asia. There are a couple shots of Victoria Falls, which may have been commercial images purchased along the way. The slides are in 6 x 13 cm format.

Stereo Slides

India in Glass (from a small set)

This set could have been from two different sources, but the writing style on the glass looks about the same. Most are obviously commercial images of India with an "S. Edwardes" copyright. The others are mostly of a logging operation, probably in India as well. Some of them appear more amateurish, but are marked with a letter and number code. Labels on all of these images are better than nothing, but still tend to raise more questions than they answer.

Lumiere Trichrome

Lumiére Stereo Trichrome

The Lumiere brothers are well known for their successful Autochrome process, but the road to that success involved a great deal of experimentation. This is an example of a little known color process which preceded the age of the Autochrome.

Stereo Cards

As photographic technology moved from direct positive prints to negatives shot on glass (I'm not counting early paper negatives here), the age of the stereo card began. At one time here in the States, door to door selling of stereo card sets was a major industry. Many of the comercial WWI glass slides were also produced as cards.


China at 100 Year Intervals

My company's purchasing department makes a couple buying trips a year to China. In March of 2007 I decided to tag along. It's mostly a business trip, but we took a couple days to sight see around Beijing.

1950s-60s Kodachrome Slides

The world looked a lot different after WWII, but no less interesting. At 15-20 minutes per slide to go from image scan to the web, I'm not sure if I'll ever really get to this section, but just in case...

Kodachrome Stereo Slides

New Guinea Natives

A remarkable set of natives in ceremonial costume.

James Booze

Here are some samples from the photos of James Booze. What do I know about him? He had family in the northwest and appears to have a connection with the military. Although there are no photos of him in uniform, there are many photos of US military posts, and he sometimes traveled on Military Air Transport Service planes. He traveled extensively around the world by aircraft and cruise ship. You now know about as much about him as I do.