Past Image Photography

WW1 Verascope Stereo Images

Commercially-produced stereoviews from the First World War (as produced by Keystone in the USA, Realistic in Britian and Verascope in France) became very popular as a record of the war. See The Great War in 3D for a summary of the range by nation. Compact stereo cameras of the Richard Verascope type were also used to take personal souvenirs. Officially, these were banned but were widespread in the French and Australian armies. Around half of the Australiians at Gallipoli are thought to have carried cameras. In November 2017, I purchased a Verascope from a well-known online auction site. The magazine contained nine developed stereo negatives on glass slides, which can be dated to 1917. These were then scanned at 1200dpi and turned into positive images which are unlikely to have been seen for 100 years. They included scenes from what seems to be a French aircraft workshop, with French officers giving a tour to Imperial Russian officers, and a parade in which US flags are displayed. Two officers feature in most of the photographs, suggesting that these were taken as personal souvenirs. As the Verascope used glass negatives these were clearly susceptible to damage during the war and they are rarer than the commerical stereoviews that comprise prints mounted on card. Examples of single images from the stereo pairs are shown below. I would be grateful for any further information on the scenes.

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French and Russian officers outside what appears to be an aircraft repair workshop. The wing and undercarriage of a wrecked aeroplane are seen in the background. The presence of Russian officers would date this photograph to 1917 or earlier.

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Inside a machine shop.

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Outside the buildings, next to a railway track.

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A parade of the French army through a town. US flags are displayed, suggesting a date of 1917 or later.

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This officer (?M. Peyvel) appears in many of the photographs in the collection.