Pantoscope à double socle

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The graphoscope was an English invention. The first design was patented on 1 February 1864 by Charles John Rowsell. The graphoscope was a bulky viewer, consisting of a large magnifying glass for viewing photographs or postcards. Stereo lenses were added later, and this variant was called a stereographoscope. A French compact and collapsible design, named Pantoscope, was probably introduced by George aîné around 1879. A reference states1:

George aîné, inventeur breveté s.g.d.g. du Pantoscope, remplacant avantageusement le stéréoscope et le monocle, rue Grenéta, 25. (George aîné, inventor of the patented Pantoscope, advantageously replacing the stereoscope and the monocle).

The Pantoscopes are decorative viewers, but they are cheaply manufactured, and the viewing experience is rather disappointing.


Manufacturer:Mattey and other manufacturers
Year of introduction:1879
Year of manufacture:1879–1940
Serial number:None
Stereoview support:Paper
Stereoview format:Multiple formats
Lens focussing:Yes, by sliding the card holder
Inter-ocular adjustment:No
Eyepiece blinders:No
Dimensions (L x W x H):22 x 14 x 8.5 cm (folded)

Mattey was one of the leading manufacturers of stereoscopes in France. The company offered the widest range of stereoscopes of all manufacturers. The company was founded in 1872, but its expansion began with the establishment of Société Mattey père et fils on 31 December 1902. The names behind the company were André Élie Victor Mattey (1844–1919), and his son Albert Georges Mattey (1873–1940). Mattey’s business grew through acquisitions. The most important was the acquisition of Maison Legendre in 1902, which set the foundation for Mattey’s stereoscope business.

Société Mattey père et fils was dissolved on 1 January 1912, and the company was continued by Albert Georges as Stéréoscopes A. Mattey. The company was located at 208, Rue Saint-Maur in Paris from 1906 but moved to 15, Rue Clavel in 1936. After the Second World War, the company continued as Société des Anciens Établissements A. Mattey. Mattey’s products were also branded Unis France, a collective trademark to guarantee the French origin of high-quality products, made by different companies.
The complete story of Mattey


  1. Annuaire-almanach du commerce, de l’industrie, de la magistrature et de l’administration (1879), p. 1509. Via: ↩︎