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02-28-2022, 03:27 PM - 1 Like   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote

The Model B was launched in 1944 during WWII. The Model A was made of Tenite, a plastic that was/is very prone to warping. Since the US military was a major customer for training purposes, production during WWII continued. The clamshell hinge was redesigned, but the Model B is similar to the Model A as it was mainly a material upgrade to Bakelite. It was made until 1946-47, when the all new Model C was launched.

That's a wonderful piece of history, I never knew there were so many of them and that they spanned so many decades. If only I had kept mine that I had as a kid.

I am confused though by your production dates. I thought the Model A was produced from 1928-1931, the Model B was produced in 1932, and the Model C was produced in the UK from 1934-1937.
😉

02-28-2022, 03:38 PM   #32
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If folks don't get the joke, I'll explain later

Thanks,
Ismael
03-03-2022, 01:20 PM - 1 Like   #33
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I came across this bit of View-Master history at Pacific Rim Camera:

https://www.pacificrimcamera.com/rl/rlSawyersMisc.htm

- Craig
03-04-2022, 01:46 PM   #34
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GAF View Master Bicentennial Model G, Small Window variant

Hello,

In 1966 the Sawyers company, makers of View Master, was sold to GAF. The Model G continued to be the main viewer, now branded GAF View Master. For the 1976 US Bicentennial celebration, a red, white and blue Model G viewer was released. I suspect it was produced for a longer period as it was popular, but I have no data to back this up. Just my opinion. The Model G was made until 1977 but it seems there were some limited runs after it was replaced with the Model L that year. At some point towards the end of its production run, it was redesigned to smaller diffuser windows.

Abandoned and left for dead, I rescued this for the whopping sum of 50 cents (it was actually $1 for 2 viewers. the other will have its own thread later).

Slightly dirty but looks good from the front


But the back:




It is smooth to the touch. It is not loose dirt.

Look at the diffuser windows


Before it was fully disassembled the diffuser windows were cleaned.


I started polishing. Not sure if you can tell a hint of progress in this picture



Everything went back together with no drama. Presenting my "new" Bicentennial Model G small window variant







How does it work? Probably the smoothest viewer in my collection. The smaller window has no effect on the viewing experience. Still very bright.



Hope you like it!

Thanks,
Ismael

03-04-2022, 03:54 PM - 1 Like   #35
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Amazing again.
03-04-2022, 06:25 PM - 1 Like   #36
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Excellent work Ismael. I sure am getting an education on viewfinders.
03-05-2022, 01:43 PM   #37
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Bicentennial Model G, large window

Hello again,

As I mentioned in the previous post, I got 2 viewers for $1, both bicentennial color schemes.
Here is the second:
It came in this box claiming it was original but I have never seen this type of box for the GAF era viewers.




It was in better shape than the other one, but still needed some love.
You can see that while it has an updated diffuser window holder, it still uses brass tabs. These brass tabs were eliminated in the small window version and incorporated into the holder plastic piece.


After some love:




Niagara falls again! It has become the official test reel


While they look identical from the front...


the backs are different


Evolution of the Model G

Sawyer's original Model G, GAF Model G and smaller window Model G.




There is one final version where the rotating plate was plastic, similar to the later Model L.

While we are at it, a fellow photographer and good friend is blaming me for getting him back into film photography and View Masters. Huh?! Me?! Nahh...
He found some old reels and got hooked again. He needs a viewer so I got this Model L. Took it apart and serviced it. There was a piece of paper that had lodged in front of one of the lenses. Some scratches here and there but works perfectly fine and bright now. I'll give it to him in the next few days, as a birthday present regardless of his birthday.



By the way, if you want a viewer to enjoy old reels, I recommend the later all plastic ones like this Model L. Earlier models with metal plates and brass tabs are not as gentle on the reels and may put some extra wear on them.

Thanks,
Ismael

03-07-2022, 12:14 PM - 1 Like   #38
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Hello,

Stereo-photography is almost as old as photography itself. While View Master became the most popular 3D viewing system, it was not the first nor the only one.
In the early 1930's, almost a decade before View Master, the Tru Vue company launched an Art Deco styled stereo viewer made of bakelite plastic and a metal back. The 1933 Century of Progress Expo in Chicago helped launch its popularity. It used 35mm film strips containing 14 monochrome stereo images with captions. A sliding lever advanced the film to the next image.
This initial model had a glossy metal back plate with the TRU-VUE logo stamped. Bright screws were used. In 1933 and 1934 there were special back plates made for the Century of Progress Expos as well as a Fred Harvey Company edition. This company ran concessions in the Grand Canyon and sold them as souvenirs.
In 1935, along with changes in packaging, they started using dark colored screws, instead of bright shiny metal.
From 1936 until 1939 the metal plate had a matt crackle like finish and the viewer had a patent number. Earlier models said "Patents applied for"
In 1939, the "streamlined" design philosophy was the new trend, displacing the Art Deco style of the 30's. The viewer was redesigned and was to remain in production until 1951 (with color scheme variations) when Tru-Vue was acquired by Sawyers, the makers of View Master. Sawyers replaced it with the vertical card model seen elsewhere in this thread.
Tru-vue was View Master's main competitor and by the late 1940's they were both selling over a million film strips and reels each.


My specimen:
I was not really looking for this. But a strike of luck (or destiny) directed me to an inadequately and vaguely described auction, that I ended up winning for less than $2


It is a tired viewer, missing a screw but looks otherwise complete with the box and a bunch of film strips. Only two of the strips are complete but that's another story.

Lenses are really dirty


Otherwise complete but tired




It was carefully taken apart


The lenses were really dirty. I first thought to clean them in place, but I had to eventually take them out for proper cleaning.


Diffusers were repaired the best I could. For the missing screw, I was able to find a similar one in stainless steel but it has a spherical shiny head. I filed it down slightly to better resemble the original and mixed my own paint to match. Not 100% correct but very close and will probably won't be noticed.


After some TLC:






Nice, big and bright


The film runs from left to right thru it







Everything was cleaned up, including the box. Robert W Kellogg Company was a catalog/mail order business in Massachusetts.


Bottom of the box


The images are big and bright with a caption under each one. Monochrome (sepia-ish tone) 3D images are really something different, especially for those of us who 3D meant Kodachrome and View Master.

Hope you approve.

Thanks,
Ismael
03-07-2022, 12:20 PM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
Everything was cleaned up, including the box. Robert W Kellogg Company was a catalog/mail order business in Massachusetts.
Another masterpiece restoration job! Nice 'product' photos, too.

Do you think you could place your name on their mailing list?

Thanks for the interesting post.

- Craig
03-07-2022, 02:14 PM - 1 Like   #40
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I love seeing these, and your posts are also so informative. Many thanks for taking the time to document and explain your efforts. I appreciate it.

K.
03-07-2022, 06:22 PM - 1 Like   #41
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That is my favorite one yet. Maybe I should keep that '37 Buick and sit one on the dash.
03-29-2022, 07:44 PM   #42
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A very unique gift

A very unique gift

Hello,

My 2 sisters' birthdays are only a few weeks apart. (Different years of course )
I wanted to give them something different. Thanks to a company called image3D.com I was able to make a special birthday "View Master like" reel. I ordered with their Happy Birthday viewer. These are not called "View Masters" for copyright reasons, but the reels can be used in any View-Master and their viewer works with any View Master reel. I confirmed before shipping to them.
I made a special reel (2d images only) with pictures of us 3 from 1978, 1983, 1986, 2003, 2012, 2019 and 2020. You can add text to the images. I added the years at the bottom and interestingly, when they are created they are slightly shifted left and right view so even if they are 2D photos, the text pops out in 3D! Neat!

Very hard to photograph. It really looks great. That center image is the 1986 picture. I was about to turn 16, they were 7 and 8.





So we did a fun Zoom call and they both unboxed it at the same time. While in Texas, Boston and Puerto Rico, we had a special time together for a few minutes today at lunch time during busy work schedules. Love them beyond words. They loved it! (and cried)


I really liked the experience with this company.

Thanks,
Ismael
03-30-2022, 04:34 AM - 1 Like   #43
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I've been tempted to do a Viewmaster-compatible reel of my family.
I'm glad it worked out so well.

If only there were a way to get 3D photos
PENTAX Stereo Adapter 49mm and 52mm reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

I'm not great at using the stereo adapter... It really wants a full frame camera with a 40-50mm lens...
I tried it with my K-01 and a 35mm lens but didn't have great results. The K1 is OK, but there's a lot of fiddling required.

-Eric
03-30-2022, 09:17 AM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I've been tempted to do a Viewmaster-compatible reel of my family.
I'm glad it worked out so well.

If only there were a way to get 3D photos
PENTAX Stereo Adapter 49mm and 52mm reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

I'm not great at using the stereo adapter... It really wants a full frame camera with a 40-50mm lens...
I tried it with my K-01 and a 35mm lens but didn't have great results. The K1 is OK, but there's a lot of fiddling required.

-Eric
I just use slide film and scan them... Might take a little fiddling to get them into Viewmaster format, however...


stereo Virginia par Kris Lockyear, on ipernity
10-26-2022, 11:18 AM - 1 Like   #45
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X-posted from: Late 19th Century Stereoscope: Virtual reality from 125 years ago - PentaxForums.com

Hello,

Copyrighted text from my own research

Here is a very brief, condensed and high level summary of almost 200 years of history:

Stereoscopy, the art and science of 3D visualization, is often said to be as old as photography itself. In fact, it is actually older. A few years before Daguerre announced his photographic process in the late 1830s, English scientist Sir Charles Wheatstone worked in a device with 45 degrees angled mirrors and drawings to study the depth perception of binocular vision in humans, demonstrating how each eye sees a slightly different angle of the same object and the brain combines that to create the perception of depth. Around the same period, David Brewster worked with adding lenses to a simple wooden stereoscope invented earlier for a similar effect of producing the sense of depth into drawings. Both Wheatstone and Brewster had a controversial rivalry as to who invented the "lenticular" stereoscope. To this day, the controversy is still the subject of studies by historians and experts. From what I have researched, experts agree Wheatstone did it first, but Brewster is credited with the practical application and popularization of stereoscopy as a media. This lenticular device made for a more convenient and easier process of stereoscopy. Different variations appeared but all following the same base concept: A pair of images of a subject from a slightly different angle and a device to isolate what each eye sees. Combined with the invention of photography, stereoscopy became massively popular in the mid 19th Century and quickly spreading all over the world. Early on, the device itself was referred to as "stereoscope" and the pair of images was called "a stereograph".
Around 1860, American Doctor Oliver Wendell Homes, who was also a passionate photography hobbyist, developed a simpler and more economical device that brought stereoscopy to the general public masses. He did not patent it but instead published it to the general public. This device became known as the Holmes-style stereoscope and became very popular up to the early 20th century. Different companies produced Holmes-type devices and the popularity of the industry grew tremendously with thousands of stereographs available. Throughout the years, several refinements were introduced and patented.
Brothers Bert and Elmer Underwood founded the Underwood and Underwood company in Kansas in the early 1880s. They started selling and distributing stereoscopes and stereographs. The company grew and moved to New York around 1891. They became very successful and eventually started producing their own products, becoming one of the largest stereograph publishers in the world. They also manufactured their own versions of the Holmes style stereoscope. By the dawn of the 20th century, they were printing over 25,000 stereographs per day. By the early 1920s the company had diversified to other markets and stopped the stereography business. It is estimated they had produced over 40,000 titles of stereographs.
Companies like Tru-Vue and later View Master continued to innovate in the field. Eventually View-Master dominated the entertainment aspect of the stereoscopy market throughout the 20th century along dozens of smaller players.
The popularity of stereoscopy as entertainment waned down in the late 20th and early 21st centuries but continues to be vital today in the industrial and medical fields. New technological advances like digital 3D movies and Virtual Reality are making a comeback in the entertainment industry. Today's Virtual Reality is the evolution of the concept, but it is still based on Wheatstone's principles from 1838.

My specimen:
Like millions of others, I was introduced to stereoscopy by the View Master in my childhood during the 1970s. In recent years I've been interested in the history of the topic and the evolution of the devices themselves.
This particular unit caught my attention and I ended up buying it online VERY cheap. It is an Holmes-type Underwood and Underwood stereoscope with an original Underwood and Underwood card from 1897. Very popular and common at the turn of the 20th century. The viewer is made from non magnetic lightweight metal (pewter? tin? aluminum?) and wood. Keep reading for a manufacturing date estimate below.









There is some information hidden underneath here.



The unit is in fair condition, but the card holder is unlike any other I've ever seen. I restored, or more accurately, refreshed the unit while researching this card holder. I have concluded that this is not original, but rather a replacement. Most likely a one off. The wood used in this holder is kind of similar to the base unit. I wonder if this was made with parts from the original card holder. Maybe the original holder broke or something and this was created to salvage it. Who knows? If only it could talk! Brass was hand formed to hold the card. Whoever did this, did a rather fine job as it looks quite convincing at first. I wonder if more of these holders exist, but I haven't found any other yet in my mostly online research.




Admit it, you would be disappointed without this picture


125 years old screws. Can you tell which one has already been restored and which one is still untouched?


Since I'm not really sure what metal this is, I'll carefully test cleanup in this area first


The end result:




I love shiny brass


Lenses are astonishingly perfect!


From a time where quality and beauty were important




Now for the manufacturing date research:

Patented June 14th 1881!!!
Now this doesn't mean it is from that date. We can only conclude it was after.

By the way, since I'm not normal I dived into the US Patent Office public web site and found over 800 patents granted that day. Went one by one and found THE one:

This patent is basically for the folding handle.

Continuing with the date research:

WARRANTED
UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD
MANUFACTURERS
NEW YORK
PATENT APPLIED FOR

We know they moved to New York in 1891. So this unit was made after that move. More important: "PATENT APPLIED FOR". In June 1901 they received a patent for this stereoscope. I have found units with updated engraving that says "Patented June 11 1901"
This means this was made before that date. Now we have a 10 year window: This unit was made between 1891 and 1901. I'd call it 1896 +/- 5
This unit is between 121 and 131 years old at the moment of this writing! (Oct, 2022)

And a final picture of it been escorted by 2 Great-Great-Great Grandsons:
Blue View Master Model L and purple Fisher Price Virtual View Master, one of the last variations.


By the way, the image looks GREAT!


I hope you enjoy and approve.

Thanks,
Ismael
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