View-Master

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In 1939, a new instrument for displaying photographs was introduced to the world. Viewing black and white stereographic images had been around for decades, but inventor William Gruber and his partners found a unique way to utilize a newly introduced color slide film process called Kodachrome.

 

Mounting 7 pairs of pictures on a single disk, allowing two slides to be viewed simultaneously, one with each eye, created the illusion of three-dimensional depth perception. They called it the View-Master and rolled it out at the Worlds Fair in New York. It became an instant sensation. During World War two the US military purchased over one hundred thousands View masters and over six million reels to assist with personnel training.


Over the following decades more than 1.5 billion image reels ranging from the Grand Canyon to scenes from Disneyland and popular TV shows have been viewed through the view master. Making it one of the most popular items ever invented. It was inducted into the National Toy hall of fame in 1999.

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