L’Omnium is a portable hand-held stereoscope that consists of a base on which the lens holder and stereoview holder can be folded. The handle can be detached from the base. When the viewer is disassembled, it can be stored in a small box. The box easily fits in a coat with large pockets.

L’Omnium was a very popular viewer, and different versions were manufactured for viewing paper card stereoviews and glass stereoviews. To enable the viewing of glass slides, the viewer was equipped with frosted glass in the image holder to diffuse the light and blur the background.


Manufacturer:Lucien Bize, Robert Pleyau
Year of introduction:1904
Year of manufacture:1904–1915
Serial number:None
Stereoview support:Paper
Stereoview format:Multiple formats
Lens focussing:Yes
Inter-ocular adjustment:No
Eyepiece blinders:No
Dimensions (L x W x H):14 x 13 x 4.5 cm (box)
9.5 x 9.5 x 19 cm (viewer)


Filing date:26-02-1904
Publishing date:19-07-1904
Applicant(s):Lucien Bize

Lucien Bize
Lucien Albert Bize (1866–?) designed a range of innovative and compact stereoscopes in the early 20th century in France. Many names were associated with the manufacturing of his designs. In 1902, Bize patented his first stereoscope design for the detachable hand-held stereoscope that was marketed under the name L’Omnium. His early stereoscope designs were manufactured by Maison Gustave Jacob at 22, Rue Oberkampf in Paris. After Jacob’s bankruptcy in 1911, Bize continued the manufacturing of stereoscopes at 69, Rue Oberkampf.

On 1 January 1913, Bize sold his company to Robert Pleyau. Bize’s last patent was filed in 1912. Pleyau sold a part of his business activities to La Société E. Brose et Cie in 1917, but he remained active as an entrepreneur at 69, Rue Oberkampf. It is unclear if Pleyau sold the business activities that were related to stereoscopes, but it seems that the manufacturing of Bize’s stereoscopes ended during the First World War.
The complete story of Lucien Bize


  1. Bize, L. (1904) Stéréoscope-monocle-loupe. Via: data.inpi.fr  ↩︎