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Hugo de wijs:

'Wie niet waagt, wie niet wint!', literally: 'Who doesn't dare, doesn't win', or in short: 'No guts, no glory'. That was the motto Hugo lived by.


Inspired by his ingenuity, creativity, entre-preneurship and a lot of perseverance Hugo took risks in many moments of his life. He stood open for new ideas and by experimen-ting and some professional advice he tried to execute them. However crazy or difficult they might seem. Sometimes even against the laws of physics, like his steady faith in the perpetuum mobile that he made up.

Hugo was born on August 24th 1933 during the crisis. During the war the family lived close to the military airport Soesterberg that took heavy bombardments in 1942.


Life was hard in those years and he had to do his bit helping on the land, and chopping wood after school, but Hugo did not mind. After the war the family moved to a country house where, stimulated by their father, there was lots of room for Hugo and his brother to experiment with all kinds of mechanical contraptions, motors, etc.

As a young adult, in the fifties, Hugo wanted to see more of the world. He made many journeys on moped and motorbike through Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa (photo Morocco), and the USA (photo USA) following his childhood dream of becoming a famous explorer. Batavus, a Dutch manufacturer of mopeds, noted Hugo's first journeys and especially that he drove one of their mopeds. As a publicity stunt the company requested him to make more journeys to promote their new model. An offer that Hugo accepted without a thought. This resulted in a number of historical moped tours that are still referenced in moped magazines.


During his last grand tour around the Mediterranean Sea (winter of 1959-1960) Hugo received, in Egypt, a request by telex from his father, to make not only mono pictures, but also 3D pictures. Hugo's father regularly gave presentations with slide-shows for societies and other groups on various topics, and he had taken up the idea to make 3D presentations combined with 5 channel stereophonic sound (more or less a predecessor of surround sound that, for that time, was spectacular).


Back at home in the Netherlands Hugo was set to work to realize a large part of the technical equipment needed for this (photo equipment). In the sixties and seventies Hugo must have done over a 1000 stereo projec-tions with his equipment.

In the early sixties Hugo came up with the plan to place coin-operated 3D viewers with stereo pictures at touristic locations. No one else did this and he did not have much money to finance this enterprise. He started anyhow and in the end he had about 80 viewers at roadside locations and another 100 that he rented out. The roadside viewers were taken home once a year to clean and restore them and place them back good as new. And in summer every two weeks he drove along all viewers to collect the earnings. His wife and children helped counting the coins. Over a period of 25 years the coin-operated viewers were a steady source of income; well foresighted by Hugo.


In 1970 the forerunner of the Nederlandse Vereninging voor Stereofotografie (NVvS, Dutch Society for Stereophotography, established in 1973) started. From that start Hugo was in charge of the stereoprojection for over 30 years with his own-build high quality, multifunctional and bright stereoprojectors.


As a recognized expert he commented on the slides of the members. And although it was meant as constructive, his judgement was not always appreciated. Over the years his criticisms became milder and finally ended when the club changed to digital projection around 2005. Advancing technology and standardization resulted in Hugo storing his projectors and other interesting stereo equipment in his private museum.

In 1975 the NVvS organized an International Stereoscopic Congress Union in Wageningen, The Netherlands. It was at this congress that the ISU was founded and it therefore counts as the first ISU World Congress.


Of course Hugo was involved as well to take care of the projection. Also, at the next congress in France, the ISU relied heavily on Hugo and his versatile projector. This projector was a technical feat. It could handle the many different formats of slides, and switching between formats was relatively quickly taking into account that it required changing the slide holder, lenses and condensers.


At later congresses in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK Hugo was also in charge of the projection. Participants of the many ISU World Congresses that followed will remem-ber Hugo's presence at the trade fairs (photo Gmunden) where he promoted his stereo-scopic equipment and sold all kinds of stereophotographic necessities.

In the meantime Hugo continued building tabletop and handheld viewers with which he became known worldwide, and that, in a time without internet. He accumulated a large network with diverse contacts from amateur 3D photographers to renowned scientists, that he supported in photo-graphing their work in 3D and presenting it at conferences. A number of them he could count amongst his friends for many years.


But Hugo did not get it for free. He made long days and often worked in the evenings and weekends (photo workshop). But he did not mind: his work was his hobby.

As token of appreciation for his efforts, in 1992 the NVvS awarded Hugo the Honorary Membership. And in 2001 he received the Deutsche Raumbildpreis for best 3D specialist from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Stereoskopie.

Of all the plans he had, Hugo executed some with more, others with less, success. He seized every opportunity to experience some-thing special.


That is how he fulfilled his dreams and gained a reputation in the 3D community in The Netherlands, and worldwide, where his name is synonymous with high quality and reliability.

All this has also been made possible by Greet, his wife, with whom he shared 50 years of joys and sorrows (photo Hugo & Greet). She knew, as no other, that Hugo loved his freedom and gave him all these years the space to do all the things that he has done. She supported him in all his activities. She managed Hugo's business, accompanied him to trade fairs (photo fotografica beurs) and congresses, and during photoshoots she carried his bags.


Together they visited and enjoyed the most beautiful places in The Netherlands, be it a paper-mill in Groningen, all the lighthouses along the Dutch coast or secluded nature reserves in Zeeland. And at home she helped framing the stereopairs; thousands in all those years.

To his son Jeroen Hugo has passed on the reputation of the name De Wijs, as solid as one could wish for. Jeroen loved working with Hugo, even though in his view his father's ideas and commercial approach became a bit outdated over the years.


Jeroen, who had taken over part of the business with his own company already 16 years earlier, was the one who took his father and the company into the digital era.


He still took Hugo on interesting assign-ments such as photographing the nuclear power plant in Borselle. Jeroen will not only miss his father but also an inspiring and respected colleague.

Hugo's last business related trip was in November 2015. At that moment Hugo was already aware of his illness and the expected course of the disease. Jeroen and Karin took him to the opening of the exhibition 'De wereld van Mesdag in Stereofotografie' (The world of Mesdag in stereophotography) at the Panorama Mesdag museum in The Hague for which Jeroen had supplied the tabletop viewers and duplicates of the stereocards. A visitor who looked in the viewer became very excited and she said to Hugo who happened to stand near her: "You really must see this. This is beautiful!", at which Hugo responded proudly and with a big smile: "Yes, I know… We made those, and have done so for many years."

This is a combination of contributions by Karin Smith-de Wijs (wife of Jeroen de Wijs, spoken at the funeral) and Job van de Groep.

Hugo de Wijs. Notice the wonderful colle
Hugo de Wijs. Notice the wonderful collection of stereo viewers. Photo by Peter Schnehagen
1962 Reisverhalen  Morokko Heinkelscoote
1962 Reisverhalen  Morokko Heinkelscooter Hugo de Wijs
1957 USA bromfietsreis Saltlake  dessert
1957 USA bromfietsreis Saltlake desert Utah bromfiets record
 by Hugo de Wijs
1973 HdW-8 projectie apparatuur  met aut
1973 HdW-8 projectie apparatuur  met auto stereo no 8
1975 Hugo de Wijs at ISU Wageningen Neth
1975 Hugo de Wijs at International Stereoscopic Union Congress Wageningen, Netherlands by Charlie Piper
1969 HdW-1 projectie apparatuur  install
1969 HdW-1 projectie apparatuur installatie stereo CLUBBLAD no1
Hugo and Greet de wijs laughing.jpg
1987 ISU Interlaken, Switerland - Hugo and Greet de Wijs laughing by Robert Bloomberg
1979 HdW-6 projectie apparatuur stereof
1979 HdW-6 projectie apparatuur stereof cor CLUBBLAD seriebouw no 6
1983 Hugo de Wijs, Jewel Smaus, Pat Whit
1983 Hugo de Wijs, Jewel Smaus, Pat Whitehouse and Jack Williams at ISU in Buxton, UK by Lou Smaus
1983 ISU Buxton Abram Klooswijk viewing
1983 ISU Buxton Abram Klooswijk viewing in Hugo de wijs viewer by David Starkman
1985 HdW-7 Projectoren  Superprojector o
1985 HdW-7 Projectoren  Superprojector open stereo cor CLUBBLAD no 7
Hugo de Wijs by Job van de Groep
1987 ISU Interlaken David Burder and Hug
1987 International Stereoscopic Union Interlaken, Switzerland David Burder and Hugo de Wijs by Susan Pinsky
1989 ISU Germany Frankfurt June brunch H
1989 ISU Germany Frankfurt June brunch Hugo de Wijs,
John and Pat Milnes by David Starkman
Van StadsHOF naar CultuurTUIN 03 Hugo de
Van StadsHOF naar CultuurTUIN 03 Hugo de Wijs and Mayor of Vianen by Job van de Groep
1993 ISU Eastbourne Sept Hugo dewijs and
1993 ISU Eastbourne, UK Sept Hugo de Wijs and Werner Weiser at auction preview June by Susan Pinsky
Greet and Hugo de Wijs at Fotograficabeu
Greet and Hugo de Wijs at Fotograficabeurs 4 by Job van de Groep
1993 ISU Eastbourne Sept Brian Paggett,
1993 ISU Eastbourne, UK Sept Brian Paggett, Hugo deWijs and Werner Weiser at auction preview June by Susan Pinsky
1993 ISU Eastbourne Sept Hugo deWijs in
1993 ISU Eastbourne Sept Hugo deWijs in front plus Shab Levy and Diane Ruhlin at banquet June by Susan Pinsky
1993 ISU Eastbourne Jerome and Hugo de Wijs at trade show Sept
by David Starkman
1978 ISU York UK Paul Wing Jr and Hugo d
1978_09_11 ISU York UK Paul Wing Jr and Hugo de Wijs 
by Charlie Piper
1971 HdW-3 projectie apparatuur  grote s
1971 HdW-3 projectie apparatuur  grote stereo CLUBBLAD no 3

Dear 3D friends all over the World,

With great sadness in our heart I have to give notice of the fact that my father Hugo de Wijs passed away at the age of 82 years last Monday at 18:25 after a short period of fighting against cancer.


The disease symptoms did manifest in August 2015 and professionals concluded in October that the situation was too far developed to solve.

Because of the fact that my father was one of the founders of the Dutch 3D society and the ISU as well, it felt like the obligation to inform the world of his death.  

Enclosed I send you copies of the funeral card and a translation as well. (see above)

During the funeral, an old fashioned 3D analogue slide show will be given with his projector of the 1970.

Regarding the business of my father 'Hugo de Wijs v.o.f.' it has been unsubscribed (unincorporated) as company in December 2015. It was founded around 1962 but had an official company subscription in 1968.

I am running the company 'de Wijs apparatenbouw' already for 16 years as a separate company and designed 3D viewers and systems from 1991.


With this note I hope to clarify the situation and avoid misunderstandings.

As heritage of my fathers company I take care of his archive and devices he made and designed.

 Thank you for your attention.

Jeroen de Wijs

The Nederlandse Vereniging voor Stereofotografie shall honor his memory.
The board:

It is with sadness that we announce that after an illness of several months on Monday April 4, 2015 our honorary member Hugo de Wijs passed away at the age of 82 years.

Hugo was a pillar under the community of stereophotographers in The Netherlands and abroad.


From the meeting in 1972 at which it was decided to found the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Stereofotografie (NVvS), for about thirty years Hugo took care of the projection at the national club meetings and the ISU-Congresses that were organized by the NVvS. As token of appreciation for his efforts, in 1992 the NVvS awarded Hugo the honorary membership.


Hugo made use of self-built stereoprojectors. These were renowned for their optical quality, brightness, and the possibility to handle a large variety of slide formats.

After he stopped with the stereoprojection Hugo was always present at the national meetings with a stand where the members could purchase all kind of necessities such as slide-mounts, masks, polarized glasses, etc.

Also outside the NVvS Hugo was a highly appreciated stereophotographer. He made stereophotos for museums, scientific institutes and government institutions and arranged exhibitions with stereophotos and projections at scientific and other confer-ences. Renowned are the 'De Wijs' viewers with stereoslides that Hugo designed and which have been exported worldwide. For many years he himself exploited these viewers at touristic locations.

Hugo de Wijs is arguably one of the few among us whom history will record as a truly significant force in late 20th century stereography.


He is notably a builder of stereoscopes of many styles: hand-held; tabletop; floor models; every conceivable format, with every conceivable amenity.


His Viewmaster viewer ($500 at the ISU in Rolduc; $560 at the NSA in Bellevue, WA) is a knockout that has to be experienced to be believed.


I suspect they will achieve classic status, as has his others. His scopes are simply matchless, hand-wrought, gems of beautiful mechanical ingenuity, that cost a fortune and I assume, last forever.


Commentary by Marilyn Morton.

Hugo de Wijs flat-Colorized - Copy.jpg
1956 Hugo de Wijs bromfietsreis naar Baghdad en North Amerika 
by Job van de Groep
1957 Jan New York 36 Vanaf de vrachtboot
1983 ISU Buxton UK Marten Niermeyers, Hu
1983 ISU Buxton UK Marten Niermeyers, Hugo de Wijs
and David Starkman Sept by Charlie Piper
1983 Hugo de Wijs SSX from Ron Labbe by
1983 ISU Buxton UK Hugo de Wijs SSX  from Ron Labbe collection
by Paul Wing
1975 HdW-4 projectie apparatuur  stereo.
1975 HdW-4 projectie apparatuur  stereo. cor CLUBBLAD no 4
1989 Paul Wing at Hugo de Wijs with his
1987 Paul Wing at Hugo de Wijs with his family SSX
from Ron Labbe
1999 NSA Green Bay WI July Hugo de Wijs
1999 NSA Green Bay WI July Hugo de Wijs and Jon Golden
by David Starkman
2000 York, UK Stereo Society Hugo de Wij
2000 York, UK Stereo Society convention Hugo de Wijs,
Susan Pinsky and Greet de Wijs by David Starkman
2003 A03 H Hugo in werkplaats Vianen SBS
2003 A03 H Hugo in werkplaats Vianen SBS
2003 Besancon ISU Bill Moll, Jerome and
2003 ISU Besancon, France - Bill Moll, Jerome and
Hugo de Wijs with Al Sieg May by Susan Pinsky
1993 ISU Eastbourne Sept Harold Whitehou
1993 ISU Eastbourne Sept Harold Whitehouse and Hugo de Wijs
by Susan Pinsky
2003 ISU Besancon Jeroen and Hugo de Wijs talking to
Takashi Sekitani by Susan Pinsky
2003 ISU Bescason Susan Pinsky about to
2003 ISU Bescason Susan Pinsky about to shoot Hugo de Wijs May by David Starkman
ISU 16 Hugo de Wijs trade show.jpg
2009 ISU Gmunden, Austria Hugo de Wijs trade show 
by Job van de Groep
Ron Labbe Marilyn Morton Bob Bloomberg a
1987 ISU Switzerland Ron Labbe, Marilyn Morton, Bob Bloomberg and Hugo de Wijs by Susan Pinsky 
Beleef Vianen in 3D Opening (Job) 28 384
2010 Beleef Vianen in 3D Opening 28 by Job van de Groep
2010 Kerstdiner Vrijwilligers Museum 43
2010 Hugo and Jeroen de Wijs Christman dinner Kerstdiner Vrijwilligers Municipal Museum by Job van de Groep
2013 ISU Ljubljana Nederlandse delegatie
2013 ISU Ljubljana, Slovenia Nederlandse delegatie 
by Job van de Groep
De Wijs - Labbe - Hugo and Jeroen deWijs
Hugo and Jeroen deWijs 1 by Ron Labbe
Fotografie vroeger nu en straks 2 Hugo d
Fotografie vroeger nu en straks 2 Hugo de Wijs viewers 
by Job van de Groep
1957 Jan New York 36 Vanaf de vrachtboot American Archer kijkt Hugo de Wijs naar het vrijheidsbeeld 
by Job van de Groep
kaiser panorama antique drawing.jpg
Click on this PDF
to read the 2007 
Stereo World article
by Hugo de Wijs on "Saving a Kaiser Panorama" 
1993 ISU Eastbourne Rolf Eipper looking into Hugo de Wijs viewer Sept by David Starkman
ISU Farewell diner 21 Hugo de Wijs and o
ISU Farewell diner 21 Hugo de Wijs and others 
by Job van de Groep
2014 Hugo de wijs diamontage.jpg
2014 Hugo de Wijs diamontage
2003 ISU Besancon May Kaiser Panorama of
2003 ISU Besancon May Kaiser Panorama
restored by Hugo de Wijs by Susan Pinsky
2008 Jan-Feb Moped Bromfietsmagazine-treat-with Hugo de Wijs on cover
To learn more, and see 3-D images of early 3-D equipment and
Hugo de Wijs's business progression go to:
To see currently available high quality 3-D equipment made by Jeroen de Wijs
go to:
Collection 3D Hugo de Wijs
1987 ISU Switzerland David Burder, Hugo
1987 ISU Interlaken, Switzerland David Burder, Hugo de Wijs,
Sue and Bernie Makinson by Susan Pinsky
1987 ISU Interlaken Switzerland David Bu
2009 Hugo De Wijs, maestro holandés de la imagen estereoscópica by Sebastian Caceres
2001 NSA Buffalo NY July Stereo viewers for sale by Hugo de Wijs
by Susan Pinsky
Coin activated sequential stereo slide viewer made by Hugo de Wijs
1987 ISU Interlaken Switzerland David Burder, Pat Whitehouse and Hugo de Wijs by Susan Pinsky
2011 Hugo de Wijs 3D collection by Ron L
2011 Hugo de Wijs 3D collection by Ron Labbe
Cat by Hugo de Wijs.jpg
Cat by Hugo de Wijs
1955 Father and mother with 23 year old son Hugo de Wijs on a holiday visit in Heiligenblut and the Boer der Ernst - Leaipix 2x1
1999 Lindau ISU Lake Constance outing 3D
1957 Hugo de Wijs poseerd zijn bromfiets voor een boerderij in midden Mexico
by Job van de Groep
Please Note - all photos will enlarge bo
Box 6x4 your 3D images are welcome box with bars.jpg
1957 Hugo de Wijs poseerd zijn bromfiets

Hugo de Wijs

3-D Photographer, Entrepreneur, and Master Craftsman of 3-D Viewers,

3-D Projectors and 3-D Macro Lenses

Hugo de Wijs happy with his cameras.jpg

Aug 24, 1933 - April 4, 2015

82 years old
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