I bought a View-Master and a large box of reels a year ago at a Vintage auction, and I finally took the time to go thru them. I forgot how much fun it was! I like the 3D effect as well as how vibrant the colours are…The ViewMaster was born in 1938 in Portland, Oregon. The two creators were William Gruber and Harold Graves. It was originally targeted at adult education, but it quickly became a success with children. Even the military purchased large quantities of View-Master, and created some reels to educate their troops about aircraft identification during World War II.
In 1966 View-Master was purchased by GAF (General Aniline & Film Corporation), a company focused on film processing and cameras. In 1981 the company was sold and renamed View-Master International Group (VMI). The View-Master is now under the umbrella of Mattel after few sales and acquisitions in the 80’s and 90’s.
As it turn out, Mattel has recently introduced the modern version of the View-Master, adding Virtual Reality (VR) to the equation. The snap-on plastic goggles, which are compatible with Google’s Cardboard VR platform have been popular enough that there are the first VR accessory to appear at Apple retail stores.
Everything old is new again…Did you have a ViewMaster growing up? Do you still have it? If you do, share it with your family and go thru those old travel reels!