On a recent trip to my parent's house, I was digging around in their cupboards and I came across a crumpled old brown paper bag. Crumpled old brown paper bags are like a red rag to a bull to me, so I zeroed in on this to find out what was within. This is what I found:
The Patheorama is a 35mm film viewer. You load the film across the viewing window, close the lid, hold it up to your eye and wind the film manually using a wheel located on the backside of the viewer. The images appear through the window one at a time, black and white but tinted. The films are all French, one of Paris, another of Norway, Switzerland, a cartoon and the Riviera.
I don't recall seeing this device when I was young, which might have been a good thing as the old film is very delicate and brittle. The images are murky through the scratched lens, faded and elusive. I love them! Here are some delicately coloured scenes of Paris and the Riviera, near Antibes and Villefranche, I think:
I asked my mother about the viewer and she told me that her father had been given it by a friend who had returned from the continent during the first world war. It makes me happy to think that I can still rummage around in my parents cupboards and find new treasures, just like I did when I was a kid!