SET OF THIRTEEN WORLD WAR I STEREO VIEWERS, American, 1919, by Charles T. Buell & Co. Each fixed-focus viewer is 4-1/2″ x 4-3/8″ x 2″ (11 x 11 x 5 cm) overall, with its rectangular varnished wood box, turned and blackened wood eyepiece surrounds, ground glass window, original insertable glass stereo view, brass latch, and printed descriptive card tacked atop. The views show scenes of loss in the trenches and fields of France, cemeteries there, etc. The descriptions are exceedingly patriotic. Condition is generally good, with signs of active use. This unusual set was undoubtedly made for viewing in the classroom or in public displays.
Charles T. Buell & Co. is recorded in Newark, Ohio, in the early 20th century, and is listed as U.S. copyright holder of numerous images. By the late 1940’s the firm claimed to have been builders of “Walk-Thru Shows,” for 23 years, sold with their interchangeable frames, viewing boxes, and scenes, and with themes such as “What our Boys saw in Paris,” and “Famous Prisons, Convicts and Torture Chambers of the World.”
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David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.