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The Great War in Stereoviews

American Stereoviews

Underwood & Underwood pioneered the sale of boxed stereograph sets to homes, businesses, and libraries. In 1892, B. Lloyd Singley, a salesman for Underwood & Underwood during his time as a student at Allegheny College, began to operate the Keystone View Company out of his house in Meadville, PA. There was intense competition between Keystone and Underwood & Underwood not only for sales, but also to recruit college students as salesmen each year. The two companies were the main purveyors of military stereoviews in the USA; both produced exclusively paper stereoviews, although Keystone also made glass magic lantern slides from halves of the stereo images. A smaller company, Presko Binocular Co. of Chicago, produced paper stereoviews during the war. After the war, W. E. Troutman, Inc., Reading, PA, produced a set of 300 paper stereoviews, and Fisherview, Pittsburgh, PA, sold a set of 72 glass views.

During the war, the Committee on Public Information maintained strict control over publication of war-related matter, including stereoviews. The government produced thousands of stereoviews for distribution to the public at cost. The propaganda effort was equally reflected in the stereoviews produced by private manufacturers.

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