Stereoviews were already sold during the war, but the supply was limited and censorship allowed the population to see only what the French Ministry of War approved. After censorship ended, the range of photos was expanded with photos that the soldiers took from the front. They sold their negatives or the rights to commercials publishers. The real horrors of the war now became visible and the depth effect of stereo photography enhanced the experience. The stereoviews became very popular. Sellers advertised with 30.000 stereoviews in the 1920s.
The stereoviews were offered on paper and glass, but entirely in the French tradition, it were the glass slides in the formats 45x107mm and 6x13cm that were most popular. Éditions Artistiques Stéréoscopiques states on the cover of their catalog:
We do not accept orders for paper card stereoviews. Glass alone delivers the essential transparency to experience the illusion of reality.
The slides were sold in series of 10 or 12 pieces and were packed in cardboard boxes. Each series had a theme related to a specific battle or campaign. It was also possible to buy them individually, based on titles in a catalog. There were catalogs with overviews of all battles and the related place names so the buyer could see where the photo was taken based on the description on the glass slide. Éditions Stéréoscopiques – G. Ferret writes in his catalog:
As painful as the war period has been, you owe it to yourself and your descendants to keep the memory alive. These images, due to their impressive realism, will remain the only testimony of value for future generations.
The Photo-Plait catalog of 1918-1919 includes 14 series with 12 stereo glass slides. They can be bought per series or separately. The individual numbers and titles are listed and the images are published by publisher La Stéréoscopie Universelle. A 45x107mm glass slide costs 0,95 francs and a 6x13cm slide costs 1,20. The same catalog also offers slides with themes not related to the war. These are for sale for 0,85 and 1,00 respectively. The images from the war were popular and the sellers could ask a higher price.
Prices have increased In the Photo-Plait catalog of 1919. A 45x107mm glass slide now costs 1,15 francs and a 6x13cm image costs 1,50 francs. The entire collection can be purchased for 1.150 and 1.450 francs respectively. The images with other non-war themes have also become more expensive, but the price increase is less strong here.