La Stéréoscopie Universelle (LSU)


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Company profile

La Stéréoscopie Universelle (LSU) was a trademark of Rolland et Cie, founded by Paul Rolland[1]. The company was located at Boulevard Saint-Martin 51 in Paris. It was one of the largest manufacturers of glass and paper card stereoviews.

War stereoview portfolio

LSU manufactured paper card stereoviews and glass stereoviews in the 45x107mm and 6x13cm formats.

Estimated amount of war stereoviews

c.3000 titles

Stereoview characteristics

The backbone is formed by the stereoviews with numbers from the 8000 and 9000 series. The first numbers of the 8000 series were published during the war and were subject to censorship[2]. The numbers and titles are written in capitals on a black background. None of the slides have the abbreviation LSU. This might be because the trademark La Stéréoscopie Universelle was introduced by Rolland in the 1920s.

8853 - La Soupe près Craonne - 
6x13cm glass stereoview published by LSU
8853 – La Soupe près Craonne
6x13cm glass stereoview published by LSU

The stereoviews from the 2000 series have the abbreviation LSU. The style of printing is less consistent. Many descriptions are stylishly designed and italicised. The “L” of “L.S.U. sometimes underlines the other letters. Titles can be written in black on a white background or in white on a black background.

LSU 2304 – Argonne canon de 240 sur voie ferres
6x13cm glass stereoview published by LSU

Smaller series with other number ranges are less consistent in style. Many have the abbreviation LSU. The publisher produced special series with specific themes for specific customers. It also manufactured the stereoviews for the Service des Ventes de l’U.N.C. (SDV).

Known Stereographers

Alfred Charbonnier

If you’re aware of any stereo photograhers, please contact us.

Known artefacts

In the Great War in 3D archive:

  • Cardboard box for 45x107mm glass stereoviews
  • Invoice for 60 45x107mm stereoviews and a stereoscope from 7 December 1938
  • Catalog with an overview of battlefields and campaigns

References

  1. Société en nom collectief Rolland et Cie (La Stéréoscopie Universelle), Archives commerciales de la France, 11 March 1925, p.510 – via gallica.bnf.fr
  2. Photo-Plait Catalogue Général 1918-1919, p.147