19 July 2019

Saving Paris

Category: Stereoscopy   Tags: Jules Richard / Stereoviews / WWI
Saving Paris - André Ruiter Photography

I've added 23 glass stereoviews to my collection of images from the First World War. This time no trenches, soldiers or destruction. These images show the monuments of Paris, covered by sandbags to protect them against enemy fire.

In 1914, the German army marched to the gates of Paris but an Allied victory at the Marne river pushed the Germans back. This became the start of the trench war.

Although immediate danger had passed, the war was never far away for the citizens of Paris. German zeppelins bombed the city in 1915 and 1916. In 1918 it came under fire of a long-range siege gun, nicknamed “Paris Gun”. It’s understandable that the French wanted to protect their precious monuments.

The stereoviews are produced by the renowned stereoscopy innovator Jules Richard. He produced a large collection of glass slides with images from the First World War, all in 45x107 format. They are more rare than the slides of other manufacturers, like La Stéréoscopie Universelle and Brentano's.

Vérascope Richard - envelope for saving 45x107mm negative slides
Envelope for saving 45x107 negative slides

The slides are marked "VERASCOPE RICHARD" in typescript. They contain a stylish handwritten six-digit number and a title. The title starts with Protection des Monuments, followed by a description of the monument. All slides have a similar brown tone.

Vérascope Richard - Paris, Protection des Monuments - Notre Dame
Notre Dame
Vérascope Richard - Paris, Protection des Monuments - Notre Dame
Notre Dame, facade covered by sandbags
Vérascope Richard - Paris, Protection des Monuments - Porte Saint-Denis
Porte Saint-Denis
Vérascope Richard - Protection des Monuments - Hôtel de Ville
Hôtel de Ville
Vérascope Richard - Protection des Monuments - Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Vérascope Richard - Protection des Monuments - Louvre
Louvre, filling the sandbags

References: