Contact UsPrice & ConditionCare & CleaningBook Sales

The Great War in Stereoviews


Fisher Scientific Materials Company of Pittsburgh, PA, founded by 20-year old Chester G. Fisher in 1902, sold laboratory supplies to the Army during World War I. Fisher was tasked to equip a research laboratory to identify German gas weapons. The company exists today as Fisher Scientific. In the early Twenties, the company produced a set of 72 medium-format glass stereographs. All images were authorized by the French War Department and were obtained from French manufacturers Paris Stéréo and STL. The plates have a characteristic layout of a black center bar with logo and sequence number and a black bottom bar with the title.

W-B-5 In front line trenches at Souain, France.

Fisherview images are not in the standard French medium format, which is a glass plate 59-60mm x 129-130mm with a 6mm title bar at center. The Fisherview plate is 62-63mm x 126-127mm. The 6mm center strip was used for the company logo and a 12mm strip was created at the bottom for the number and title. The viewing area of a Fisherview plate is 6050mm2, or about 81% of  the area of a standard French medium format view (7440mm2).

Production of photographic equipment was out of character for Fisher. The company does not have archives today that explain the reason for it. A possible explanation may be that Chester Fisher’s artistic bent led him to acquire rights to a batch of Great War stereo images when given the opportunity during his war work. He became a prominent art collector specializing in paintings related to alchemy and chemistry, building an extensive collection eventually donated to the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia.

Fisherview plates were sold in boxes of 12 plates for the "Fisherview," a crude stereoviewer of two wooden boxes with the lenses in one and the image holder in the other; the inner box slides in-and-out to get the correct focus. The World War set was accompanied by a Catalog of Plates describing each view in much the same manner as the text on the reverse of Keystone stereoviews. The catalog mentions additional sets, all related to the war. They include the London Peace March, the return of American troops to New York, and the bombardment of Rheims.

Title List    Images

Copyright © 2007 Great War Photos. All rights reserved