Mirror Stereoscope

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The Mirror Stereoscope was specially designed for viewing paper stereoviews that were mounted in a book. Its design was patented in 18591 by Jospeh Beck from the London firm Smith, Beck and Beck. The Mirror Stereoscope is an open viewer with a mirror on the base of the device, to which it owes its name. Two achromatic lenses are placed in adjustable brass tubes which bring the stereoview in focus.


Manufacturer:R & J Beck
Year of introduction:1859 (patent filed)
Year of manufacture:1859–1890
Serial number:None
Stereoview support:Paper stereoviews
Stereoview format:8.5 x 16 cm
Lens focussing:Yes
Inter-ocular adjustment:No
Eyepiece blinders:No
Dimensions (L x W x H):16 x 15 x 11 cm (stereoscope)
20 x 17.5 x 14 cm (storage box)
Other features:Comes with original storage box
Insciption left lens: Achromatic R & J Beck
Inscription right lens: Stereoscope – 31 Cornhill London


Title:Improvements in Stereoscopes
Filing date:16-09-1859
Publishing date:06-12-1859
Applicant(s):Joseph Beck

R & J Beck
James Smith started a partnership with his former apprentice, Richard Beck, in 1847. Richard’s brother Joseph also joined, and from 1857 the company was known as Smith, Beck and Beck. The company specialised in the manufacturing of microscopes but also made stereoscopes and was a publisher and seller of photographs. Smith retired in 1865 and the company was continued by the Beck brothers as R & J Beck.


  1. English Patents of Inventions, Specifications: 1859 (1860). H.M. Stationery Office. Via: books.google.nl ↩︎

Further read

  • Starkman, D. (2020) An Abbreviated History of Stereo-Pair Illustrated books. Via: stereosite.com