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Stereo photography was a popular pastime in the Great War period, and companies in most of the warring nations sold stereoviews. This web site describes the manufacturers of photographic stereoviews and explains identification of the stereoviews. With few exceptions, lithographic stereoviews are not included.
World War I sets remained popular for many years after the war ended. In the United States, the most commonly encountered World War I stereographs were produced by four principal companies: Keystone, Underwood & Underwood, and W. E. Troutman of this country, and Realistic Travels of England. Other English-language stereograph sets were produced by Underwood & Underwood's English subsidiary and by Rose Stereoviews of Australia. Another English company, Nightingale, made battlefield scenes taken a year or so after the war. Of all the producing nations, the French not surprisingly appear to have been the most prolific, with several major companies mass-producing both glass and paper stereographs. One major German company, Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (NPG), manufactured a variety of views for Germany and Austria-Hungary. While Keystone views are the most common in this country, not all Keystone cards are common. Indeed some views are quite scarce, particularly in very fine condition.
Keystone was the largest and most long-lived producer, making extensive purchases from Underwood & Underwood and European companies. The company was the subject of a book, The Great War Through Keystone Stereographs, available through Book Sales on this site. World War-related celebrations and memorials continued to be staples of Keystone stereograph sets for years after the war, but the book is concerned only with those sets about the war itself. Individual chapters describe the development of Keystone's World War sets in more detail than this web site.
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Copyright for the photos has long since lapsed, and you may copy and use them freely, giving this site as the source. The text of this site is, except where footnoted, the product of original research and is copyrighted. Brief excerpts may be used when credit is given. For other uses, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The site is arranged by nationality of the various manufacturers. It also includes some studies of privately-made stereoviews that constitute uncommon records of some little-known aspects of the war.
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