André Ruiter Stereoscopy

Letters from Jules Richard

July 15, 2020
Letters from Jules Richard - B&W photographer and collector of antique photographica
A collection of 17 letters with correspondence between Jules Richard's company and a retailer. They provide an interesting insight into the trade of stereoscopy devices at the beginning of the 20th century.

The letters are addressed to Haussy Fils et Badet. The only information about this company comes from Le Grand écho du Nord de la France of 28 March 1894. It mentions a notarial deed of the establishment of A. Haussy Fils et Badet on 16 February 1894. The founders are Alfred Haussy and Léon Badet. The company is located at 16, Rue des Pyramides in Lille. Its business activities include:

The operation of a copper smelter, manufacture of gas and electric lighting equipment, etc.

Apparently they have changed or expanded their business activities by selling Jules Richard's stereoscopy products. It can be concluded from the letters that they sold his Vérascope, Taxiphote and glass stereoviews. Perhaps they also made minor repairs for their customers.

Jules Richard's letter templates are richly decorated. The title reads Jules Richard, Ancienne Maison Richard Frères, a reference to the time he ran the company with his brother Max.

The correspondence contains the typical conversations that you would expect between a manufacturer and seller: confirmations of orders, offers with discounts and conversations about problems with products. The first letter dates from 15 October 1901 and the last one is dated 7 July 1909. Most letters are written with a typewriter, some are handwritten.

Letters from Jules Richard

Some quotes from the letters:

27 July 1903
...we inform you that we have sent you by post some screws for the counter. We did not send you the springs for the plate holder, because you could not replace those in your device. These springs, which are powerful enough to lift the 12 plates, are indeed riveted to the bottom of the camera body and to exchange them, it would be necessary to completely dismantle the camera.

1 May 1905
Having been able to make a special agreement with our opticians, we are happy to inform you that from this day on, we will give you a 20% discount on the price of Zeiss and Goerz lenses.

7 June 1906
...we will send you by this same mail the lists of 45 X 107 stereoviews that we have and that we can provide you at the price of 1 franc each. In the event of an order, please indicate the numbers of the views and the title of the series to which they belong. You will be given the usual discount of 25% on the price of these views.

21 April 1909
We would like to point out that in our opinion the haze indicated does not come from the Vérascope. The part hidden by the edge of the plate holder itself contains haze.

30 April 1909
Please kindly ask your customers to put their Vérascope in the bag so that the central viewfinder is turned towards the side of the lock. We hope that in this way the reported fault will disappear.


  • Le Grand écho du Nord de la France, 28 March 1894 (via Gallica)