Brentano’s started in 1853 as August Brentano’s kiosk in New York. It opened its first store in 1883 and the first foreign branch followed in 1887 in Paris.
Brentano’s Paris was located at Avenue de l’Opera 37 and was specialised in English-language publications. It sold glass stereoviews of the First World War in the 45 x 107mm and 6 x 13cm format and a limited number of paper card stereoviews. It offered a large number of images of the American Expeditionary Forces in France.
The stereoviews were sold in cardboard boxes bearing Brentano’s name. These boxes also showed up in the United States and the images were sold there by Over There Review and STERECO. The same images appear with different numbers, descriptions and styles. Bob Boyd of the Great War in 3D concluded that Brentano’s Paris might be a publisher and wholesaler for other sellers and classified the different style types.
Recent research has led to new insights and now it seems unlikely that Brentano’s was a publisher and wholesaler. There are no known sources that confirm this role of the company. Brentano’s probably sold the stereoviews in their bookshop and because of their connections in New York, they were also distributed there. There is more evidence that the images were supplied by publisher Stéréo-Éditions F. Meiller or by an affiliated collective of publishers who printed their own stereoviews from a shared pool of negatives.
Brentano’s Paris closed its doors in 2009 but was bought and reopened in 2010. It doesn’t have archives from the wartime period anymore, so the exact role of the company will remain unknown. While it’s unlikely that Brentano’s was a publisher and wholesaler of stereoviews, the war stereoviews associated with it are still categorised as “Brentano’s”.
- Brentano’s – via en.wikipedia.org
- Boyd, Bob. Brentano’s/Over There Group, 2007 – via greatwarin3d.org
- Ruiter, André. Stéréo-Éditions F. Meiller, 2022
- Ference, Ian. Glass slide manufacturers, The Western Front Association, 2021, p.42
See also: blogposts about Brentano’s