Otto Schönstein did not set out to be forever remembered as the guy who gave Heinrich Hoffmann a platform for propaganda. Things turned out that way after his first folio, featuring images of Venice, was given two thumbs down from Goebbels. The Ministry of Propaganda basically gave Schönstein a choice: give Hoffmann a 51% stake in the company, or shut down. Of course, he was not blameless; he accepted (rather than shut down) and helped produce some remarkable Nazi propaganda books. But as soon as the war was over, he shifted back to his original focus – printing beautiful stereoviews to be viewed with his Raumbildbetrachter. One such set was a co-production entitled Tiere aus aller Welt.
Most of Raumbild-Verlag Otto Schönstein’s post-war books still dealt with Germanic themes, or in some cases (e.g. Lernt Helfen) with education. Views along the Rhine, baroque castles, the city of Nürnberg, and tiny folios like Winter in Oberbayern were Schönstein’s bread and butter. He could have made a great deal more profit selling wartime outtakes from Hoffmann, but he didn’t. (His son Johannes did in 1960). Meanwhile, when the presses were silent, he found other ways to make money – including contract printing for other clients.
Tiere aus aller Welt (Animals from All Over the World)
Today’s set is a co-production, as is evident from the verso text:
Which roughly translates as:
This original photograph results in a three-dimensional – three-dimensional – image under the stereograph viewer like in the three-dimensional film (3-D film)
Series: Animals from all over the world
Stereograph no. 1
The largest land animal, the clever elephant
Editor: Bilder-und Werbedienst GmbH, (22a) Uerdingen am Rhein
In cooperation with the
Raumbild-Verlag Otto Schönstein
Ask for our picture point tickets when shopping
Roughly being the key word; as someone with only a tiny bit of German, I rely a great deal on Google Translate. In any case, this was a co-production with Bilder-und Werbedienst – whoever they were! Google proved useless for turning up anything on the company besides… this set. I know there is a second set of these; I have not yet located a copy. But after over 24 hours of talks at the incredible NSA 3D-Con, doing scanning and research for a number of associates, and most importantly receiving the Boyd/Jordan Collection (and creating the Boyd/Jordan/Ference Collection), I’m tired. It’s time to kick back, relax, and look at some really well-taken and beautifully printed animal stereoviews. Because if there’s one thing Otto Schönstein knew, it was how to print lovely, high-silver cards. Yes, they were probably created for children – but aren’t stereography nerds all big kids at heart? So drop the pretense, and enjoy Tiere aus aller Welt!