A beautiful and rare French folding camera for 9x18cm glass plate negatives, manufactured by Photographie Vulgarisatrice. Photographie Vulgarisatrice was founded in 1886 and located at 6 and 8 Rue des Petites-Écuries in Paris. The last found trace dates from 1914. Vulgarisatrice means Popularizer or Promoter. The company’s goal was to make photography accessible to amateurs with simple and affordable cameras. It developed a series of wooden folding cameras with a single lens with the trademark L’Incroyable (The Amazing). In addition to its cameras, it offered a wide range of photography accessories, lenses and tools for developing negatives.
The company published a monthly photography magazine called Le Vulgarisateur de la Photographie. It was published for the first time on May 15, 1892 and continued until 1910. Once a year it organized a photography contest for its subscribers. Customers and subscribers could take photography classes for free. It may be clear that this company did a lot to popularize photography.
Compared to its mono cameras, the company had only few stereo cameras in its product portfolio. This is remarkable given the enormous popularity of stereo photography in France from the 1890s to the 1920s. The 1893 catalog contains one stereo camera and the 1905 catalog contains three cameras. None of the models in these catalogs supported the popular 45x107mm format that was introduced by Jules Richard and revived stereo photography in France.
The camera in this post is therefore quit rare and appears in the catalogs of 1893 and 1903 as Nº 402 – Chambre stéréoscopique en noyer ciré. The camera was suitable for 9x18cm glass plate negatives. It has two achromatic F8 lenses with aperture settings up to f/64. The lenses don’t have a serial number and manufacturer name.
- Photographie Vulgarisatrice catalogs from 1893, 1903 and 1905
- Le Vulgarisateur de la Photographie – via: phlit.org