In the early 1940s, a device that allowed you to see 3D images of Disney characters was introduced to the American public. You may have also viewed more scenic images such as the Grand Canyon if you were at a gift shop while traveling. This classic device is known as the View-Master and a childhood toy for many.
Originally called “stereo images,” the 3D pictures were embedded on a paper disk, or reel, that would rotate with a click. The colors of the images were bright and the characters would come to life before your eyes. The first View-Masters showed scenic images and were alternatives to the postcard. In 1951, the inventors of the View-Master began producing disks that featured Disney Characters. When Disneyland first opened, more disks showing pictures of the theme park were created.
The View-Master became so popular that the company that invented it, Sawyer’s, introduced the View-Master Personal line. This kit included a camera that allowed users create their own disks. Many models of the View-Master were produced including the Model D, Stereomatic 500, Model E and Model F. Model E was the most modernized View-Master followed by the battery-operated Model F. The Model F featured an internal light powered by batteries that would illuminate the images.
After the 1960s, the View-Master continued to be a popular toy among children as more and more animated characters showed up on disks. Today, you can find View-Master disks of not only Disney characters but also of popular television shows such as Clifford and SpongeBob Squarepants. There are also many different viewers available.
The View-Masters created before the 1960s are true classics that brought the world of Disney and animation to life for children everywhere. Finding vintage View-Master disks is enjoyable and exciting. Children of today can have the opportunity to see the original Disney images as well.
This was a device that almost every child had or had the chance to look through one. There was nothing like seeing eye-popping images and recognizable characters. There was a sense of anticipation when you would have a new disk to insert and look through the View-Master to see which images would pop up.