Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Some 3D Viewmaster nostalgia from 1960s America

Here’s a bit of nostalgia from M J Wright…

Matthew Wright

Does anybody remember the Viewmaster, that higher-tech version of the Victorian-age stereoscope? It was invented in the late 1930s by Wilhelm Gruber and Harold Graves to use 16mm Kodakchrome film and flourished for decades, initially allowing vicarious travel, later carrying a wider range of story reels for kids.

I remember them well. We had one, and a lot of reels. Here’s a picture of some of them.

I have to explain the selection. The 1960s set the space age exploding across the world. Every kid wanted to be an astronaut – well, I had ambitions of being an astronomer, actually. Space was cool. Space was neat. It was the future. I was five. And although we lived in import-restricted 1960s New Zealand, my mother had a penfriend in Minneapolis who was able to source and send some of the Viewmaster titles that just couldn’t be got in New Zealand. Hence…

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