Stéréo-Éditions was a trademark of Jules Fernand Meiller (7 March 1891 – 14 September 1971). His company was located at Boulevard Lamoureux 71 and there was a store at Rue Gracieuse 39 in Paris. It was a prominent manufacturer, seller and wholesaler of stereoviews with scenes from the First World War. There is evidence that Meiller might be the wholesaler that distributed the stereoviews that are known as “Brentano’s”.
Meiller served during the First World War in the French army. He started selling stereoviews after the war and his company became a major player in the stereoview market in France. A report of the Exposition de Photographie, which took place from 15 February to 1 March 1925:
This stand was undoubtedly the one that drew the most attention. This is because Maison Meiller had collected a collection of striking war photographs in warm tones on Lumière-Jougla plates. They are not staged images, but war events experienced on the spot and captured with striking accuracy… the choice of an unrivalled collection and disturbing by reality, forced the success of this stand… their value is measured by the number of visitors that crowded behind the stereoscopes.
The company sold 45x107mm and 6x13cm glass stereoviews and paper card stereoviews. The stereoviews were Stéréo-Éditions branded and sold in their own cardboard boxes.
Stéréo-Éditions and Brentano’s
The stereoviews with war scenes that can be categorised as “Brentano’s” are characterised by the same images appearing with different numbers and styles. They are linked to the Brentano’s bookshop in Paris, which was believed to be a wholesaler of the images. There are reasons to believe that Meiller was the wholesaler of Brentano’s images:
- The views that Stéréo-Éditions sold can be linked to Brentano’s due to the presence of Stéréo-Éditions logos on the images and a Brentano’s-image appears on a catalog of Meiller.
- Stéréo-Éditions advertised until the early 1930s with 30.000 to 50.000 stereoview titles of war scenes. It claims that the images are their property, in other words the company owned the rights. These huge numbers far exceed the numbers of the other prominent manufacturer, Rolland of La Stéréoscope Universelle and emphasise the scale of the enterprise. Maybe Meiller acquired the collections of smaller publishers, which explains the diversity of styles and numbers.
- The Brentano’s collection contains many stereoviews with images of the American Expeditionary Forces in France and the slides were also marketed in the United States. In an advertisement Stéréo-Éditions claims: only collection of its kind authorized by the American Legion. It also advertises in The New York Herald in search for sellers in the United States.
- Meiller runned the Comptoir or Service Général de Vente which was located at Rue Caulaincourt 14 in Paris. This part of the company sold glass stereoviews in wooden cases and stereoscopes through sales agents who received commission. If desired, the products could be purchased on installment basis. It confirms the versatility of the company and perhaps that the Brentano’s bookstore was one of the sellers in their distribution network.
- Stéréo-Éditions, Annuaire du commerce Didot-Bottin, January 1928 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Death certificate summary via geanet.org
- Établissements “Stéréo-Éditions” (invoice), 21 September 1927
- Jules Fernand Meiller, Registres matricules du recrutement (1887-1921) – via archives.paris.fr
- Ruiter, André. Brentano’s Paris, 2022
- Éditions Stéréoscopiques, L’Informateur de la photographie, January 1925 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Collection André Ruiter, object number 90
- Stéréo-Éditions, L’instantané, January 1932 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Stéréo-Éditions (catalog), F. Meiller
- Stéréo-Éditions – La guerre en stéréoscopie (catalog) F. Meiller
- Ruiter, André. La Stéréoscopie Universelle, 2022
- Capital wanted – Stéréo-Éditions, The New York Herald, 25 September 1926 – via gallica.bnf.fr
- Stéréo-Éditions – Comptoir Général de Vente (catalog), F. Meiller
- Grosse maison demande réprésentants, L’Ouest-Éclair, 27 November 1926 – via gallica.bnf.fr