The Lestrade viewers (made in France)

At the beginning of the sixties, the two leaders on the French market became “Lestrade” and “View Master”.

Lestrade is a french brand, whereas “View Master” is American. If the two systems are incompatible technically, they are rather complementar one of the other, since their catalogues are not redundant.

catalogue catalogue
The Lestrade catalogues in 1965 and 1973

Currently, the two systems still exist. Lestrade is installed at Vic de Bigorre (and in the passing, does not answer the E-mails!). The system uses views arranged in parallel on the edges of a rectangular cardboard. The transition of a view is done by displacement of the plate vertically.

Bakelite viewer


Viewer Simplex

It is the basic model. The viewer is made out  of a plastic of only one colour. This viewer will evolve a little during its existence. The materials will change a little and its packaging will adapt to the graphics modes.

Models light blue and ivory

More recent models green and red (Seventies). There are no more apparent screws of this side.

Suprex viewer

It is about the Luxe model. It is rather rare to find it on the secondhand trades. It is possible to adjust sharpness while making slide the two eyepieces. The cursor allowing this adjustment is between and above the two eyepieces. The lever which advances the card of views finds behind the viewer and falls under the fingers of the right hand. The eyepiece are out of a plastic of a colour different from that moreover of the viewer. I do not know if there exist various colours.

Other Lestrade accessories

The catalogue of 1973 presents several accessories intended for the watching or the projection of slides 24 x 36 or 4 x 4 (because at that time, Lestrade sells pockets of 4 or 6 slides 24 x 36 and pockets of 4 slides 4 x 4), but it presents also the Projex intended to project into mono, some views of the Lestrade cards. A Kit intended to the children, called “Cineramondex” gathers a projector and a screen.

Lestrade Lestrade

Projector Projex and Cineramondex (extract catalogue 1973)

Diaporex viewer for slides