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The Linex is a short-lived stereo camera introduced circa 1953 by the Linex Corporation, a subsidiary of the Lionel Corporation — a company far better known as manufacturer of model railroad sets[1].

The Linex is stoutly built, primarily of cast metal, and has rather limited controls. There is a single "snapshot" shutter speed; and the twin achromat lenses are fixed focus, with 6 feet as the closest recommended subject distance. Exposure may be adjusted between "normal" and "bright" conditions using a front selector lever, which switches the lens aperture between roughly f/6 and f/8[2].

The Linex was supplied new as a complete kit which included a battery-operated stereo viewer, a plaid carrying case, and, a starter cartridge of film in a mailer box to return it for processing[3]. The proprietary film cartridges were a drop-in rectangular stick shape, with an integral dark slide, loaded with enough unperforated 16mm color-transparency film to permit exposing 8 stereo pairs. The image size is slightly larger than that used in the View-Master camera. Rather than a conventional advance lever, a clear plastic pull-strip protrudes from the end of the cartridge, perforated with index holes which ensure the correct frame spacing (however cocking the shutter is a separate operation). Gustavson states that Ansco was the supplier of the Linex transparency film; but that the oddball proprietary format likely held back sales of the camera, leading to its 1956 discontinuation.


  1. See the article Lionel Corporation at Wikipedia.
  2. There are some discrepancies between the apertures and shutter speed reported by Gustavson versus those listed in the specifications linked below.
  3. See for example these photos posted by Collectors Weekly user "Henry".


  • Gustavson, Todd. 500 Cameras: 170 Years of Photographic Innovation. New York, Sterling Signature, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4027-8086-8 (softcover). Page 372.
  • McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). Page 627.