André Ruiter Stereoscopy

Planox Stéréoscope Magnétique

January 6, 2020
Planox Stéréoscope Magnétique - B&W photographer and collector of antique photographica
My collection contains a Planox Stéréoscope Magnétique table stereoscope for viewing 6x13 glass stereoviews. Special about this stereoscope is that it uses a magnetic pickup mechanism to load the stereoviews.

A. Plocq

The Planox stereoscopes were built by Etablissements A. Plocq from Paris. The company was founded in 1895 by Alexandre Plocq and was located on Rue de Center, Les Lilas. They built both hand-held and table stereoscopes for 45x107, 6x13 and 7x13 glass stereoviews.

Planox Stéréoscope Magnétique

Planox Stéréoscope Magnétique

The design of this stereoscope dates from the mid 1920s when the interest in stereoscopy was steadily decreasing. The stereoscope has a characteristic design with a oblique backside that contains the opaque glass window that illuminates the slides. The front panel contains a copper plate in Art Nouveau style with Planox Stéréoscope Magnétique.

Planox Stéréoscope Magnétique

The eyepieces can be focused and the distance between the two eyepieces is adjustable. The set distance is visible on a copper plate in millimeters. The eyepieces can easily be removed for cleaning.

The front panel can be opened to place the slide-tray with stereoviews. A brief users instruction is visible on the inside. A slide-tray can contain 20 glass stereoviews. The Planox can also be used to view autochromes. Because of their thickness, a special slide-tray is needed that can store 10 autochrome slides.

By pushing the operating lever down, a new stereoview is loaded. Most table stereoscopes, like the Hemdé, use a mechanism that lifts the glass slide from below and places it in front of the eyepieces. The Planox lifts the stereoviews from above by using a magnetic pickup. Every stereoview should be provided with a little metal strip on top. The intention is to leave these strips, because changing them is cumbersome and could easily scratch the glass.

A slide index on the right side of the device shows which stereoview is displayed. If the operating lever is in down position and by turing the little knob 90 degrees clockwise, the slide-tray can be moved to every position.

Planox on a storage cabinet
Planox on a storage cabinet from the collection of Pascal Martiné
©Pascal Martiné


  • Stereoscopes: the first one hundred years, Paul Wing, 1996
  • Stéréoscope perfectionné, Patent database