; Fig. E: (Opposite) This 1950s View-Master magazine
ad shows Mom, Dad, Buddy, and Sis all diggin’ 3D.
; Fig. F: Make your own 3D reels with the V-M film punch.
; Fig. G: View the anaglyph in Figure G using red/green
filter 3D glasses. Remember: right eye = red.
; Fig. H: You can see Figure H in 3D by “free viewing.”
Hold the page at arm’s length and cross your eyes. Relax
your focus and adjust your gaze so that you see 3 boxes.
The center, overlapped image will “pop” into 3D as you
focus on the black camera in the middle.
Traveling with the V-M camera is great
fun and a real conversation starter among
fellow travelers and other photographers. The
camera’s unique sliding “guillotine” shutter
makes a distinctive “pishhhhhht-click” sound
with each picture you take and gets plenty of
attention, wanted or not. I’ve gotten curious
looks and been asked about my unusual
camera on trips abroad. Qu’est-ce que c’est
cette caméra? ¿Qué clase de cámara es ésa?
I just pantomime holding up an imaginary
V-M viewer while make the “flicking the lever”
gesture, and I get smiles and nods back.
Once an all-ages, all-family product, today
the View-Master brand continues only as a
preschool toy. Making your own 3D V-M reels
is getting harder and harder. Vintage V-M
cameras, projectors, and accessories can
pretty much only be found on eBay (and at
collector prices!), and Kodachrome is now
just a colorful song lyric. The empty V-M reels
aren’t made anymore either: the manufacturer’s 60-year-old dies, used to punch out the
reels, have gone dull and been abandoned.
Bob Knetzger is an inventor/designer with 30 years’
experience making all kinds of toys and other fun stuff.
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