The Sweetheart Viewer

A large deluxe revolving stereoscope for 8.5 x 17 cm paper card stereoviews with a burr walnut housing. The viewer has holders with lenses on both sides, allowing two people viewing stereoviews simultaneously. This type is therefore called “Sweetheart Viewer”, because someone could enjoy stereoviews together with his sweetheart.

Sweetheart stereoscope

The revolving chain has fifty wooden cardholders. Each holder can contain two paper card stereoviews, which are placed in front of each of the two lens holders. The lenses can be focussed by sliding the lens holders in- or outwards. Two hinged lids on top are fitted with mirrors to illuminate the images.

Adolphe Lesage

The bottom of the stereoscope contains a paper label from A. Lesage. Adolphe Lesage (1843-1881) [1] was born in France but moved to Dublin to set up his business. He was the seller of the device, but not the manufacturer. The stereoscope was manufactured in London by Patrick Meagher (1829-1897) [2] [3]. Meagher was best known as a manufacturer of high quality cameras. His company was founded in 1859 when the “stereoscopomania” was at its height. Like many other opticians and manufacturers of scientific equipment at the time, he entered the booming market of stereography products during the heydays of stereoscopy.

Sweetheart stereoscope.
The Sweetheart Viewer


  1. Lesage, Adolphe (1843-81) | BIFMO. via: 
  2. Information on Camera Makers and Companies – Antique and Vintage Cameras. via: 
  3. ‘England and the Continent, 1856-1890 (Chapter 2)’ (1996) in Wing, P., Stereoscopes: The First One Hundred Years. Transition Publishing, p. 44 
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