There have been several types of
talking View-Master. The three shown below are the Gaf and Tyco variants.
The earlier model of GAF Talking
View-Master was produced between 1970 and 1981. It ran off 2 'C' size
cells. It used special reels which had a transparent plastic record attached. When the user placed
the reel in the machine, the reel was advanced to view number one, next the users
pressed the small white button, (visible in the right-hand photograph),
this synchronises the record to the appropriate frame on the reel. As
the reel was
advanced for viewing, the user pressed the 'sound bar' which engaged the
needle on the record. Sound quality was scratchy and left an awful lot to be desired.
Listen to two examples of talking
reels by clicking
the links below (MP3 Format), or use right-hand click and select "Save
Target As" to listen using your MP3 player. Approximately 10 to 20
seconds of speech accompanies each picture. These viewers are
notoriously unreliable and give unpredictable performance.
A look inside the talking View-Master show above. The
round speaker cone amplifies the vibrations from the record on the back of
the reel as it rotates. These vibrations are transmitted to the speaker
cone via the rod and spring assembly show below passing diagonally across
the plastic speaker.
Another talking View-Master, similar to the model above
except that this one is lit internally and so has no clear rear window.
Also, notice the volume control on the lower right-hand side of the
viewer. The unlit talking viewer shown above had no way to control the
click here to see
inside the Lighted Talking View-Master
A Talking View-Master Reel used in
the viewer pictured above.
A 1984 Talking View-Master
manufactured by GAF
The speech was much clearer than the earlier
version, however, the mechanism can still be problematical. When you
initially insert a reel a bleep sounds continuously until you align the reel to picture one.
Once you do this the record will start to play automatically. As
the commentary ends for each picture a beep sounds as a cue to advance the
reel. Once the soundtrack has finished a message requests the user to
remove the slide.
to see 1984 Talking View-Master Instructions
A Tyco View-Master Talking Viewer
This View-Master was made by TYCO in
1997 and operates from 'AA' size batteries. It works by inserting a
cartridge. When the advance lever is operated a continuous reel of film is
moved around inside and a microchip in the viewer plays a pre-recorded
caption or sound effect Shown standing behind this viewer is a spare
'reel', The Lost World'.
The GAF Talking View-Master
pictured at the top of this page was supplied in the presentation tub
shown on the left below.