The Pattberg Brothers Stereoscopes
Brothers Lewis (1841-1895), Hilarius (1847) and Philip (1851) operated a business at Jersey City Heights, New Jersey. The business was listed as Lewis Pattberg & Bro. In a 1870 city directory they were listed at 561 & 563 Broadway. In 1890 they listed a business address at 550 Broadway, New York City. They produced and sold a variety of fancy goods such as velvet and metal picture frames, hand held mirrors, glove and handkerchief boxes, albums and stereoscopes. They exhibited at the Paris Expo in 1878 and at the Columbian Expo in 1893 where they won two medals for their display. They were also listed as a novelty manufacturer and producer of home games.
The Pattbergs produced a variety of stereoscopes all using metal parts. Their first stereoscope patent #214789 was issued April 29, 1879 to Hilarius for a stereographoscope. A stereographoscope usually has an accompanying magnifying glass for viewing postcards. Magnifying glasses are usually missing. Hoods were always made of paper and covered in plush velvet and satin lined and may be found in blue, purple, red, plum or gold colors. Hoods have seldom survived the test of time. Many have been replaced with wood hoods from other viewers and covered with velvet. Metal parts are always nickel plated. The third photo shows one of the viewers in its storage position. Note the differences in the card holders on these two stereoscopes.
Patent #243964 was issued July 5, 1881 to Lewis for a stereoscope, Three variations are shown below. Note the spring clip on the card holder that held the view securely no matter what size it was. The last viewer has a extra arm that made eye relief easier. This model does not have the spring clip but has a clip in the center instead. It could also be used as a stereographoscope.
A rare viewer with tube adjustment and a special card holder used for CDV's and stereoviews.
Patent #283,997 was issued August 28, 1883 to Charles A. Gartner of Jersey City, N.J. Gartner was a 22 year old machinist and likely a Pattberg employee. The patent was not assigned to Pattberg. This stereoscope is very elaborate and rarely found. The main feature was the use of a stack of views. The rounded hoop on the card holder helped to insert the last viewed card in the rear of the stack. There are variations of the card holder arrangement.
The last patent for a stereoscope #318302 was issued to Gustav (Augustav) Schneck on May 19, 1885 and assigned to Lewis Pattberg. Gustav lived in Jersey City, was 34 years old and listed his occupation as a metal spinner. Metal spinning was an art where a metal disk was hand formed on a rotating machine into a useable shape, ie; a stereoscope base. It is likely that Schneck was a Pattberg employee. Schneck viewers are not common and will be found in a variety of colors. Two different variations of the stand are known. The viewer contains a vernier adjustment for focal distance. Note the holder at the slide end for a magnifying glass.
© 2006 - Del Phillips