Stéréoscope monétaire

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Le stéréoscope monétaire is a chain-based or revolving stereoscope that is activated by inserting a coin. The mechanism is in the locking position by default and is unlocked by inserting a coin via the top. The slides can be viewed one by one by rotating the knob on the right side. One slide holder has an extension, and when all slides are rotated, the extension releases the coin, which falls to the bottom and locks the device. A metal spring supports locking and unlocking the mechanism. Slides are placed in the holders by removing the front panel of the device. This makes loading the viewer easier than the more common designs that support placing slides by opening a lid on top.

Le stéréoscope monétaire was intended for use in public locations. The mechanism and sliders holders are robust, indicating that this stereoscope was intended for heavy-duty use. The wooden housing is made of oak wood instead of the more stylish mahogany. This stereoscope has a metal plate with the name La Stéréoscopie Universelle, which was a trademark of Paul Rolland. Rolland’s company was one of the largest manufacturers of glass and paper card stereoviews, featuring images from the First World War. The stereoscope was likely used by Rolland to showcase his stereoviews during exhibitions or in public places.


Manufacturer:Stéréoscopes A. Mattey
Year of introduction:1922 (patent filed)
Year of manufacture:c. 1925
Bidirectional navigation:No
Serial number:None
Stereoview support:Glass stereoviews
Stereoview format:45 x 107 mm
Number of slides:28
Lens focussing:No
Inter-ocular adjustment:No
Eyepiece blinders:No
Dimensions (L x W x H):20 x 20.5 x 43 cm
Other features:A plate on the front of stereoview publisher La Stéréoscopie Universelle.


Title:Stéréoscope à fonctionnement monétaire
Filing date:08-07-1922
Publishing date:30-05-1923
Applicant(s):Albert-Georges Mattey

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. Mattey, A.G. (1923) Stéréoscope à fonctionnement monétaire. Via: ↩︎