The View Master classic is a trademark name of a special-size line of stereoscopes and the accompanying “reels.” They are thin carton discs with stereoscopic 3-D pairs of small film transparent images developed by Sawyer’s.Four years after the Kodachrome color film’s invention, small quality photographic color images were used. The View-Master system was introduced in 1939. The original View-Master was from the New York World Fair in 1939. The first list of reels from View-Master, most of which were supposed to be appealing to people of all ages, dominated tourist attractions and travel views.
The View-Master dated back to the end of the 1930s and was first designed by William Gruber and Harold Graves in Portland, Oregon. It’s a long history. Graves has seen the potential of Gruber’s camera rig that he has developed to take stereo images, President of Sawyers Photographic Services. The pair allied, and in 1938 came the View-Master classic into existence.
At the outset, View-Master was intended as an educational facility, designed primarily for adults. Still, as time progressed, its appeal spread soon to other areas, with child entertainment being among the most notable. The US Military was a strong supporter of the View-Master and commissioned specific sets of reels to detect and identify aircraft by artillery. In 1951 Sawyers purchased the Tru-Vue Company and secured significant rights to show Disney celebrities on their reels.
Types of View-Masters:
A 1984 Talking View-Master manufactured by GAF: This View-Master had a better speech clarity than its other products. However, its operation was still a challenge for many. If you insert a reel, it sounds beep before you align the reel to the first image. It used to play the record once the process was completed automatically. A beep sound was an indicator of advancement to the next reel after the end of the commentary. After the soundtrack finished, a message was passed on to the user for removing the slide.
A Tyco Interacting Master Tyco: This View-Master was made of ‘AA batteries’ by TYCO in 1997. It functions by inserting a cartridge. A continuous reel of film is rotated inside the View-Master, and a microchip played the record or caption.
Marketing of View-Master
The marketing of the View-Master was via postcard, greeting card, and photo-finishing of Ed Mayer. The company was called Sawyer’s Service, Inc., which later on became Sawyer’s, Inc. The relationship contributed to View-Masters and reeled retail sales. In 1940, a patent was granted on the display system on what became the Model A viewer. The View-Master took charge of the postcard company at Sawyer’s in a short time.
The View-Master has given a view beyond a world for generations of children. The View-Master classic was more than a toy. It was a gateway for people who couldn’t afford a tv back then in 1939. The classic View master shows larger and clearer pictures than ever before, with the same nostalgic style as the view master you used to play. One could experience a world far away in the comfort of their home and that was its magic!