The Glyphoscope was a stereo camera for 45x107mm glass plate negatives, developed by Jules Richard. It was a compact, simple and affordable camera that could also serve as a stereoscope.

Glyphoscope Model 1
Glyphoscope Model 1

The Glyphoscope was an alternative to the more expensive Vérascope. It made stereo photography accessible to amateurs. The marketing slogan was:

Designed especially for beginners in photography

The camera was manufactured from 1904 to 1933 [1] without changing significantly in design. Initially, three models of the camera were available from 1904 and 1905. They offered the same functionality but differed by shape, used materials and weight [2]. The models 1 and 2 where made of bakelite and weighed 430 and 345 grams. Model 3 was made of wood and weighed 320 grams.

The camera’s features (model 1 to 3): [2]

  • Two achromatic, fixed-focus lenses with a focal length of 54mm
  • Three diaphragm settings: position 0 (large diaphragm), position 1 (increasing 2 stops) and position 2 (increasing 4 stops)
  • A guillotine shutter with two settings: P and I
  • A folding crosshair viewfinder

Other models: [1]

  • Model 4 was introduced in 1908 and supported roll film
  • Model 5 was introduced in 1927 and supported 6x13cm glass plate negatives
  • Model 6 was introduced in 1930 and was similar to the previous models but added more shutter speeds

To turn the camera into a stereoscope, the front panel with the shutter needs to be removed. A slide holder for stereoviews, fitted with an opaque glass, replaces the standard plate holder at the back. The Glyphoscope as stereo viewer works quite well, but it doesn’t offer the same ease of use and viewing experience as a dedicated hand-held stereoscope.

Glyphoscope Model 1
Front panel removed to use it as stereoscope


  1. Perin, Jacques. Jules Richard et la Magie du Relief, part 1, 1993
  2. Introduction pour l’emploi du Glyphoscope, Jules Richard
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