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William Loyd (patentee)
Daguerreotype storage box with a Loyd stereoviewer
1856, 16 April (Patent #14,670)
Storage, with viewer
Private collection of George and Susan Whiteley IV
(George Whiteley, 14 May 2020) An interesting self-contained packaging concept for stereo daguerreotypes and early glass views came in the form of the Loyd stereoviewer. William Loyd patented this design on April 16th, 1856 (Patent #14,670). Loyd worked closely with noted pioneer daguerreians and photographers Frederick and William Langenheim in Philadelphia. Frederick Langenheim witnessed and signed Loyd's patent submission. The viewer was a Morocco-leather box with an interior of velvet-covered, wooden slots that could be ordered with a full complement of of stereo views, or without. The primitive focus was achieved by moving a single stereo view closer to, or further away in the slots from the lenses. The lid had a decorative foil panel inside, when lifted, reflected light into the box for viewing stereo daguerreotypes. The rear had a flip down door where the logo is embossed that revealed a ground-glass panel so glass views could be seen with the lid closed. It was the only such American viewer with this design and served as a storage box for one's collection of views. Soon after, in 1857, Alexander Beckers patented his rotary stereoviewer that held views on a rotating belt contained in a fine wood cabinet which rendered Loyd's viewer obsolete. As a result not many of Loyd's viewers were produced and are extremely rare today.