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#a223 :: Sawyer View-Master

September 24, 2008

ENLARGEIn the 50s multimedia realm of celluloid filmstrips and magnetic tape, prostate this was, ed arguably, order the iPhone of its day.

You could get “reels” of stereo photos or cartoons on virtually any subject – 8 shots each – and completely immerse yourself in 3-D imagery – even sometimes with a soundtrack.

Sawyer’s View-Master put images of the world in your pocket, hours of time-eating enjoyment at your fingertips with the most simple-minded of technologies:
Pull the lever, advance the reel, read the little caption in the viewfinder, pull the lever again.

With a heat-molded chunk of Bakelite surrounding two cheap convex lenses, a leaf shutter and a couple of springs, you could tour the world and galaxies beyond.

These vintage reels show, respectively – a view of Elvis’ pink Cadillac from Graceland, “the horned ceratosaurus – a cruel carnivore (his favorite meal was the plant-eating stegosaurus!”) and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet (“The gunment surprise Roger and kidnap Dr. Dale!”).


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