Re: Bierstadt patented in cover book stereo viewer

Bob Aldridge

Don't forget the Frances Frith book "Egypt, Nubia and Ethiopia" that was published in 1862!

No viewer (well, one was offered as a separate item: "The Stereoscopes specially adapted for use with this volume, compactly folded in an elegant pocket-book form, fit for the drawing room table, price 5s. and upwards, may be had of Messrs Negretti and Zambra)

It was illustrated with 100 albumen prints glued down to the pages! Quite a bit is known about the process and even who made the prints - but I've forgotten! :-) However, as well as a slightly incomplete copy of the book (with colour photocopies in place of the missing pages), I also have 30 or 40 of the print pairs that never made it into books...

Anyway, this domonstrates that creating books with a lot of photographically illustrated images was perfectly feasible.

And, judging by the price of the viewer (5 shillings in 1962 is worth about £30 or $40 today...) the book was probably reasonably priced - but I don't know what the print run was. 100, perhaps? or 1000? I, personally, know of a few copies, so not as rare as the Syracuse book.

Bob Aldridge

On 18/09/2020 17:16, David Starkman via wrote:
As for the Syracuse book currently listed at $7,500, the seller indicates that possibly only 7 copies are known to have been made. Looking at the photos, and the fact that it indicates that 103 mounted albumen print stereoviews were in the book, this looks more like a book that was practically hand-made, using the maker of one of those fancy Victorian photo albums to make the basic book, and all of those prints having to be hand pasted in. I'm attaching a copy of an 1871 patent for a Stereoscopic Photo album that had a built-in viewer, and could have been the basis for this "book" design. We have one of these 1871 stereoscopic albums, and is only one of two that we have ever seen. 
As you have said, the Syacuse book must have been quite costly to produce, even in 1878!  Too bad that the reprint book did not choose to print the full stereo views!!!


Join to automatically receive all group messages.