3 November 2020

Photographie Vulgarisatrice Stereo Camera

Photographie Vulgarisatrice Stereo Camera - Black & White Photography and Stereoscopy Blog

A beautiful and rare French folding camera for 9 x 18cm glass plate negatives, developed by Photographie Vulgarisatrice.

Photographie Vulgarisatrice was founded in 1886 and located at 6 and 8 Rue des Petites-Écuries in Paris. The last trace that I found dates from 1914. Vulgarisatrice means Popularizer or Promoter. The company's goal was to make photography accessible to amateurs with simple and affordable cameras. It developed a series of wooden folding cameras with a single lens with the trademark L'Incroyable (The Amazing). In addition to its cameras, it offered a wide range of photography accessories, lenses and tools for developing negatives.

Photographie Vulgarisatrice Stereo Camera

The company published a monthly photography magazine called Le Vulgarisateur de la Photographie. It was published for the first time on 15 May 1892 and continued until 1910. Once a year it organized a photography contest for its subscribers. Customers and subscribers could take photography classes for free. It may be clear that this company did a lot to popularize photography.

Photographie Vulgarisatrice catalog from 1903
Photographie Vulgarisatrice catalog from 1903

Compared to its mono cameras, the company had only few stereo cameras in its product portfolio. This is remarkable given the enormous popularity of stereo photography in France from the 1890s to the 1920s. The 1893 catalog contains one stereo camera and the 1905 catalog contains three cameras. None of the models in these catalogs supported the popular 45 x 107mm format that was introduced by Jules Richard and revived stereo photography in France.

Photographie Vulgarisatrice Stereo Camera

The camera in this post is therefore quit rare and appears in the catalogs of 1893 and 1903 as Nº 402 - Chambre stéréoscopique en noyer ciré. The camera was suitable for 9 x 18cm glass plate negatives. It has two achromatic F8 lenses with aperture settings up to f/64. The lenses don't have a serial number or the name of a manufacturer, so I assume the lenses are also made by Photographie Vulgarisatrice.

Photographie Vulgarisatrice Stereo Camera

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