Lancaster was founded as a spectacle maker and optician in 1835 and
later became involved in photographic goods around 1876 or a few years
earlier. In 1882, Lancaster introduced three series of dry-plate field
cameras, the Le Merveilleux, Le Meritore, and Instantograph -- there
were also stereo versions of each. The Instantograph was the most
advanced of the three camera series while the Le Merveilleux was the
Primarily a front focusing design constructed of highly polished mahogany
and brass trim, the Stereo Instantograph is a wider version of the popular
single lens model. As noted in a c1891 Stereo Instantograph Reference,
the camera was offered in 6-3/4 x 3-1/4 and 7-1/4 x 4-1/2 inch formats.
It also featured a rising front and swing back.
The camera shown is a fine example of Model 421 (6-3/4 x 3-1/4 inch
format) with matched Lancaster Instantaneous stereo lenses and very
rare blue leather bellows. (Note: The larger size is Model 422.)
It is complete with a non-removable inner septum, stereo plate holder
and hard to find brass mounted stereo lens caps (which may have acted
as a simple shutter). Lancaster did also offer a stereoscopic shutter.