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Brentano’s/Over There Group Title Bars
There are distinct types within the group of glass stereographs associated with Brentano’s, and Over There Review, Inc., an American retailer. They are arbitrarily designated Types I, II, and III.
Stereoviews of this type have wide, clear centers that were typical of the small format camera. The distinctive rectangular cutouts were artifacts from the camera, although medium format views often showed similar cutouts. Most views of this type also have narrow black bars at top and/or bottom that probably reflect the part of the plate that was not exposed through the lens. The varied positions of the bars and sizes of cutouts indicate these features were due to plate placement within the camera, not reproduction equipment. All Type I views were 45x107. Sometimes views of this type were altered into other types. A range of examples is shown below.
Titles and numbers were written on bottom and top in different styles, reflecting individual writers. If no bars were present, the information was placed directly on the images. If bars were present, writers usually tried to fit the description into that space. At least three or four different writers appear to have been involved.
This type had characteristic 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-digit numbers, but not all were numbered. Series names, e.g., Artois, Verdun, and Allemand, were often applied as well.
|No bars; description placed
directly upon images.
3071 Bombarde Région des Monts
Trench Mortar Shells Region of the Mountains (Champagne)
|Description fits within bottom
4023 Cathédrale de Reims
|Number is within the bar, but the
writer could not fit the text in.
23252 Retraite vers Dormans
Retreat towards Dormans
|Bar at top, description fit into
4027 Marne 1914 Cadavres de Zouaves
Marne 1914 Bodies of the Zouaves
This image would not have been cleared for wartime publication.
Bars top and bottom used for description.
23249 Igny-le-Jard L'Évacuation
Igny-le-Jard The Evacuation
|Left top bar and right bottom bar
23609 Régiment Hindou
The second type has handwritten titles in the clear center. They may or may not have cutouts and often have traces of the black lines at top and/or bottom. Alterations to the image and handwritten descriptions made many Type I stereoviews into Type II. Minor differences in penmanship and wording evident in otherwise identical views show that each view was titled by hand.
|Black bars top, traces of
cutouts, and remnants of title and number beneath whiteout mark this
slide as originally a Type I.
Explosion d'un 420 à Nieuport
Explosion of a 420 (shell) at Nieuport
|The top view (223) has a handwritten
title in center and appears to be a Type II, but it has traces of
bars at bottom. The bottom view (167) is Type I; it shows the same
guard mount, but the soldiers are at Present Arms instead of
Shoulder Arms. This shows that 223 was cropped to
eliminate the bars and cutouts typical of Type I. Other examples of
such cropping are known.
223 Berlin 1914 Rèleve de la garde
Berlin 1914 Relief of the guard
167 Berlin La rèleve de la garde
Berlin Relief of the guard
Handwritten titles in the center of 6x13 slides were always oriented vertically, since the center space was much narrower.
Ste Marie à Py tranchée conquise
Ste Marie à Py Conquered trench
|Handwritten titles were often written
vertically on 45x107 slides as well, especially when the title
contained a long word.
Un américain au fortin de Beausejour
An American at the small fort of Beausejour
The third type had a printed center title bar, probably to save handwriting the title on each slide. There are numerous title bar styles, which fall into the four principal varieties below. Title bars were used on both medium and small slide formats.
Handwritten title bar with or without a number. The variety of styles shows the bars were written by different people.
Several different 3-, 4-, and 5-digit number series were used, probably indicating different photographers. Some had letter prefixes.
The 8xxx series cannot be confused with LSU 8xxx series title bars, which consistently have a different appearance. The block printing in the examples below are typical.
|Neatly lettered with the number preceded by a “No.”|
||Black-on-white machine font with an “A” or “S” prefix.|
Light-on-dark machine font, usually upper and lower case, various prefixes including “S”. These bars are seen on both 6x13 and 45x107 formats, but are more characteristic of the former. When used on 45x107 slides, clear areas on either side of the title bar were usually created.
These title bars tend to be exceptionally dark, so the images at left were enhanced.
Below is an example of one image known in all three types. Presumably it started life as Type I, then was cropped to have a clear center with handwritten title (II), and finally had a title bar added (III). While it cannot be proven with currently available information, it is likely that this example shows evolution and that title bars are characteristic of later slides, with typed font title bars being the latest. The image numbers in title bars may reflect original sources of the images. This example is one of a mini-series of six images of the battle for Courcelles; all the views are common and reflect the full variation of titling.
|Pleine Attaque Courcelles 1918
Main Attack Courcelles 1918
|Un episode de la prise de Courcelles en 1918
An episode from the price of Courcelles in 1918
|3903 Prise de Courcelles Juin 1918
Price of Courcelles June 1918
A group of almost 900 Brentano's 45x107mm stereoviews had the distribution of label types shown below. This distribution is typical of large groups of views from this manufacturer.
Distribution of Types
|Total slides (inc. duplicates):||881|
|Type I:||331 (37.5%)|
|—Info mainly at bottom:||280 (84.5% of group)|
|—Info mainly at top:||45 (13.5% of group)|
|—Type I cut down to Type II:||6 (2% of group|
|Type II:||443 (50%)|
|Type III:||104 (12%)|
|—O3a:||70 (67% of group)|
|—O3b:||6 ( 6% of group)|
|—O3c:||11 (11% of group)|
|—O3d:||17 (16% of group)|
|No Title:||3 (00.5%)|
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