In addition to manufacturing stereo cameras and stereoscopes, Jules Richard offered a wide range of 45 x 107 mm glass stereoviews with a variety of themes, including erotica and war scenes. An English catalogue1 mentions more than 1,600 glass war stereoviews with the themes The Great War (1,500), Allied Peace Celebrations in Paris (76) and Signature of Treaty of Peace at Versailles (28). Richard is therefore one of the fews publishers whose exact number of stereoviews related to the First World War is known.
It looks like Richard used employed or hired photographers during and after the war. Series of parades, ceremonies or other scenes indicate that a single photographer captured the events.
45 x 107 mm glass stereoview
The glass slides bear the name Vérascope Richard, but not every war stereoview that is labeled Vérascope Richard was published by the company. Richard also sold Vérascope Richard-branded glass plates to amateur photographers who used the plates to print their own stereo negatives. Richard’s published Vérascope war stereoviews are identified by a (six-digit) number in combination with an elegantly handwritten or typed description.
Félix Richard (1809–1876) established in 1845 a company that was specialised in the manufacturing of barometers. Jules Richard (1948–1930) took over the management of his father’s company in 1876, and patented in 1880 the first reliable barometer that could permanently record air pressure. The barometer became very successful, and the company at 25, Rue Mélingue in Paris started to grow. Richard introduced the compact 45 x 107 mm glass stereoview format and Vérascope stereo camera in 1893. It became a great success and the Vérascope became the best-selling stereo camera of its time. A product line was created around the new format, with a wide range of cameras, stereoscopes and accessories in different price ranges. The company became the leading brand of stereoscopy products and brought stereo photography within the range of amateurs. Their product names, such as Vérascope and Taxiphote, were commonly used as synonyms for stereo cameras and stereo viewers of all kinds.
The complete story of Jules Richard
- Richard, J. Price List of Jules Richard Vérascope, Glyphoscope and Homéos Stereoscopic Cameras, Taxiphotes and Accessories. p. 51. ↩︎