Monoscopic Viewers



Whilst strictly speaking outside the scope of this web site, a few words should be said about  the many types of monoscopic devices that pass under the misleading heading of View-Master viewers. The only thing they share in common with the View-Master concept is the fact that a view can be seen when looking through the lens of a purpose built device. It demonstrates how the concept of viewing photographs using such devices has developed a wider meaning than just the original stereoscopic format. They are easy to find and come in many different formats and are often used as an effective advertising medium.

Pathegrams Cine Vue Viewer from 1939


The Pathegrams Cine Vue viewer was manufactured from bakelite in New York, USA in the late 1930's. It takes a small roll of film, consisting of 23 frames. This is laid out in comic book format and is wound forward one frame at a time as the story unfolds. At the time that this particular viewer was made there were 36 films available for purchase . It has a Patent number of 1999133 moulded into the casing.

Sawyers Mini Story Card Viewer

This small monoscopic viewer was manufactured by Sawyers in the early 1960's and measures 65mm x 32mm.

The Story Card viewing cards are similar in construction to  Tru-Vue cards and also consist of seven views each. Also like the TueVue cards, the film used was not of as high a standard as used for View-Master reels resulting in the colours dulling as the years progress, ultimately leading to a monochrome picture with a magenta tinge.

Some subjects covered by the cards are children's stories and geographic scenes.

A West German monoscopic viewer depicting cowboy scenes. This viewer is believed to date back to the late 1960's

A set of viewers given away with Kellogg's cereal. This format makes a cheap and effective promotional aid. These particular viewers came from France from the 1990's

Made to look like a movie camera, this Star Wars item was produced in Japan and came with a bag of small white boiled sweets. It was sold as a viewer in it's own right and not specifically to promote the Star Wars films.

McDonald's  have often used View-Master type products to promote their business. Below is an example sharing a very similar concept to the Mickey Mouse viewer (click here to see more examples of McDonald's viewers ), although this one just has a set of monoscopic slides which can be viewed by rotating a thumb-wheel at the base of Ronald's head. 

Each part has a function, the head is a viewer, the body is an air puffer, the trousers are a pull-apart set of binoculars, the feet are a rubber stamp and finally, the stand .

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