Mattey was one of the leading manufacturers of stereoscopes in France. The company offered the widest range of stereoscopes, from simple hand-held viewers to advanced multiple view devices. Many of its competitors produced both stereoscopes and stereo cameras, but Mattey only manufactured stereoscopes. The company also supplied stereoscopes to other manufacturers which sold them using their own brand.
The company was founded in 1872, but its expansion began with the creation of the Société Mattey père et fils on 31 December 1902. The names behind the company were André Élie Victor Mattey (1844-?) and his son Albert Georges Mattey (1873-1940). The company had a factory at Rue Saint-Maur 119 and a store at Rue Pastourelle 8 in Paris. It moved to Rue Saint-Maur 208 in 1906 where it stayed for over 30 years.
The company grew through acquisitions. Stereoscope manufacturer Fouquet was acquired in 1908, followed by Pennard in 1911. These were apparently major manufacturers because Mattey still referred to their names in the 1936 catalog. These acquisitions came together under the trademark Pennard & Fouquet and was used by Mattey for the exclusive products in their range. The company used two other trademarks: 8&9 can be found on revolving stereoscopes and the logo with a star appears on stereographoscopes.
Société Mattey père et fils is dissolved on 1 January 1912 and the company is continued by Albert Georges under the name Stéréoscopes A. Mattey. In 1936 it moves to Rue Clavel 15.
Albert Georges was seriously injured while fleeing the German advance during the invasion of France in 1940. He died in a hospital in Bourges. After the Second World War the company continued as Société des Anciens Établissements A. Mattey. It still manufactured stereoscopes in 1952, although the heydays of stereoscopy were over by then.
Mattey also used the trademark Unis France. This was a collective trademark to guarantee the French origin of high-quality products made by different companies. It was issued by the Union Nationale Inter-Syndicale des marques collectives, which was founded on 9 December 1915. Over 3.000 French industrialists were granted to use the label in 1934.
A numbering system was set up to identify the members. Two numbers were used and were visible on the left and right site of the label, in case of Mattey the numbers were 76 (syndicate number) and 3 (user number). The Unis France label could be combined with a trademark of the manufacturer.
- Stéréoscopes 1936, A. Mattey, 1936
- Camera manufacturer Mackenstein sold revolving stereoscopes with Mattey’s 8&9 trademark under its own brand.
- Formations de sociétés, Archives commerciales de la France, 31 December 1902 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Vente des fonds, Archives commerciales de la France, 6 May 1908 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Marriage certificate summary – via geneanet.org
- Birth certificate summary – via geneanet.org
- Nécrologie Mattey, Le Photographe, 5 October 1940 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Dernière nouveauté stéréoscopes Américains, Photo-gazette, 25 September 1902 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Informations, L’Information photographique, January 1906 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Fouché Fouquet, Archives commerciales de la France, 14 October 1908 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Pennard, Archives commerciales de la France, 11 February 1911 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Dissolution 1 janv. 1912 – Soc. Mattey Élie et Albert, 17 April 1912 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Venetsianos, Panagiotis. Unis-France: a collective trade mark, not a manufacturer, Spring 2014 – via osgalleries.org
- A Mattey Métascope contains both Unis France and Pennard & Fouquet trademarks, Collection André Ruiter, collection number 49
See also: blogposts about Stéréoscopes A. Mattey