Brentano’s Paris

Home » The Great War 1914-1918 » Brentano’s Paris

Brentano’s started in 1853 as August Brentano’s kiosk in New York. It opened its first store in 1883 and the first foreign branch followed in 1887 in Paris [1].

Brentano’s Paris was located at 37, Avenue de l’Opera and specialized in English-language publications. It sold glass stereoviews of the war in the 45x107mm and 6x13cm format and a limited number of paper card stereoviews are known [2]. It alone offered a large number of images of the American Expeditionary Forces [2].

The stereoviews were sold in cardboard boxes bearing Brentano’s name. These boxes also showed up in the United States, where they were sold by Over There Review and STERECO [2]. The same images appear with different numbering and description styles, suggesting that Brentano’s acted as a publisher and wholesaler for other sellers.

45x107mm glass stereoview by Brentano's
45x107mm glass stereoview by Brentano's
These two 45x107mm glass stereoviews were developed from the same negative.
Both have a different tone, description and description style.

Recent research has led to new insights and it seems unlikely that Brentano’s Paris was a wholesaler. They probably sold the images in their bookshop, but because of their link with the United States, they were also distributed there. It is more likely that the images were supplied by an unknown “umbrella group” or another publisher, perhaps Stéréo-Éditions F. Meiller.

Brentano’s Paris closed its doors in 2009 but was bought and reopened in 2010 [1]. It has no more archives from the war [2]. The exact role of the company will therefore remain unknown.

While it is unlikely that Brentano’s was a publisher and wholesaler of stereoviews, the war stereoviews associated with it are still categorized as “Brentano’s”.

Brentano's - cardboard box for 45x107mm glass stereoviews
Cardboard box for 45x107mm glass stereoviews

References

  1. Wikipedia, Brentano’s
  2. The Great War in 3D, Brentano’s notes by Bob Boyd, 2007