A Nineteenth Century Stereoptic Glass Slide Viewer

French, 19th c.; private collection

Made in Paris, this intricate optical device was the window through which the family peered at their collection of over 400 glass slides of their forbears on vacation in France.

However, wear had taken its toll; every time a new glass slide slid into the viewing frame, it cracked.

We disassembled the mechanism, found the defects, rebuilt the worn brass and steel parts, cleaned the slides and restored their wooden tray frames. We cleaned the casework, its custom brass hardware, the lenses in their Bakelite frames, and calibrated the mechanism. Underneath the hardware that had protected the hidden finish from a century and a half of ultraviolet degradation we discovered the case’s undegraded color and applied a reversible matched varnish to the rest of the case.

Before: Taxiphote stereoscopic glass slide viewer mechanism

Taxiphote mechanism removed from case

Taxiphote; closeup view of mechanism’s main ratchet gear

Taxiphote complete

Taxiphote complete with face open to receive slide drawers