Thursday, July 30, 2015

Vintage Main Street Viewmaster Scans

A long time ago, I thought I would try to scan a whole bunch of vintage Disneyland Viewmaster reels, or at least the most interesting frames from those reels. I made it through most (but not all) of my Main Street packets before I started to go crazy! So... that project is on the back burner until further notice. 

But I still have some scans that might be fun for you to look at; that way you don't have to spend the time (years) and money (lots!) that I spent acquiring my collection. First, here's a nice overview of some of the different kinds of packet covers. 

At the top are the extremely rare single-reel and two-reel packs. 

The next row shows a common "S-3" (third Sawyer style) packet; then there is a scarce "D" packet - these were only sold inside the park, and have different views compared to the S-3s; and then there is an "S4" packet, with an attractive full-cover image. The "E-Ticket" magazine referred to these as "parchment packs" because of what looks like a little strip of parchment in the upper right.

In the third row, we start with a rare "swing out" packet, that was supposedly only test-marketed in a few places in the US. GAF acquired Viewmaster (and became the official film of Disneyland), as we can see on the middle packet. Note the addition of Primeval World. And third is a later GAF packet. There are some other minor variants, but these are the basics.

Let's get to the images! I love this one, showing a horseless carriage heading down Main Street. I don't think I've ever noticed the drivers of these cars wearing dusters and driving caps like this fellow. The Sunkist Citrus House is just behind them. Mmmm, lemonade popsicles!

Eat your heart out, Fellini. What in heaven's name is supposed to be going on in this photo? 

Here's a nice shot of Town Square, with good foreground elements to help give that 3-D effect when you are looking through your vintage viewer (I can almost smell the Bakelite!). Good old Vesey Walker leads the Disneyland band at the base of the flag pole.

If you enjoyed these, perhaps I will share more!


Nanook said...


What a great assortment of reels.

And as to that 3rd image, my first thought was the rare marriage ceremony of Chip 'n Dale. But on closer inspection it appears more likely all the costume characters are about to begin dancing the Virginia reel-!

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I could use a good strong cup of Bakelite this morning. To the View-Master cupboard and my S4 reel set!

Thanks for some fun images this morning, Major!

K. Martinez said...

Sinister pigs and subversive rodents. Gotta love 'em!

I really like the Sunkist Citrus House image. Even the Horseless Carriages' colors are all citrus-y. While I have about half the packets you show here, there are several I was unaware of and haven't seen before.

So do you have all the 16-page booklets all minty and fresh? I love those. Great Viewmaster images! Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

I hope I still have my old Viewmaster. I can't remember what reels we had, Washington DC I think, but don't recall any Disneyland.

These are really fine, Major. Thank you. I'd love to see more, especially from other parts of the Park. Not that there's anything wrong with Main Street, that is...


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, somehow I don’t think that the Virginia Reel is the answer to whatever weirdness is going on in that photo! It leaves too many unanswered (and unanswerable) questions. I love the picture for its very weirdness.

Chuck, there is nothing like a strong cup of hot Bakelite in the morning.

K. Martinez, I do have all of the booklets; in fact, I was so crazed as a collector that I would try to get a sealed pack and an open pack (so that I could actually look at it). I’m starting to think about getting rid of any duplicates, of which there are more than a few.

JG, I have two boxes full of other, non-Disneyland packets. Some of them are really fun - I am sure I have a Washington DC pack. I tried to get early versions of all 50 states, along with World’s Fair packets, favorite cities (Los Angeles, Chicago), foreign countries, and some of the TV show packs from the 60’s and 70’s. It’s amazing how HEAVY those boxes are.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, they aren't getting ready to do the Virginia reel.....they're getting ready to do the View Master reel. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

TokyoMagic! said...

I love/loved View Master. I have a bunch of packets from childhood including all of the Disneyland "lands" from that second to last series in your pic. I also bought all of the DL packs from that last series when I was a teenager. My childhood packs also include Universal Studios, Knott's, Japanese Village, and many of the Disney stories. I like how View Master would retell the Disney stories with three dimensional sets and would make me think of the Emporium window displays at Disneyland.....and also the Rank and Bass specials, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!

K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, Those Rankin-Bass holiday specials were and still are cool. I remember seeing them when they first premiered on television back in the 1960's.

Melissa said...

I think they're giving the Big Bad Wolf a good Christian burial.

Nanook said...

@ TokyoMagic!

The View Master reel. Indeed-!!

Unknown said...

More, more!

Melissa said...

Bow to your partner, don't be a heel,
And swing her around in the View-Master Reel!
Now promenade.
Swing your partner, don't say nope,
Gaze into her eyes in stereoscope,
Then promenade.
Cross that line with a right and left through,
Looks like one picture but it's really two,
Now promenade!
Clap your hands like a drunken seal,
You're a-doin' the View-Master Reel!
Now promenade.
I said promenade, you jerks!

TokyoMagic! said...

Melissa, I really hope that you do something like this for a living and that you are paid for your talents......seriously!!! :-)

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Yes - seriously-!!

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, OUCH.

TokyoMagic! again, I have been a Viewmaster fan since I was a kid. I ordered a group of Disneyland packets using the order form, and I sent CASH. The packets arrived! I still have Universal Studios, Japanese Village, Movieland Wax Museum, Knott’s, Busch Gardens, Santa’s Village, and so many more. Like you, I particularly like the packs that used beautiful little dioramas - the craftsmanship was amazing.

K. Martinez, some of those Rankin-Bass things are pretty terrible. I saw one a few years ago that was new to me… something about a Christmas donkey. It was hard to sit through, but the person I was with had loved it since childhood.

Melissa, finally, an explanation that makes sense!

Nanook, you started it.

Unknown, there will be more…

Melissa, I don’t know how you resisted the urge to use “do-si-do”, but it is admirable.

TokyoMagic!, what I really want is for a way for ME to make money off of Melissa’s talents!

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm just now noticing a planter box in front of the door of Sunkist Citrus House. I'm guessing there was another doorway. Didn't that business occupy two exterior facades? Also, isn't that horseless carriage Walt's car? Was there more than one of those type of cars? And when did the current Horseless Carriage cars get introduced? It's almost 24 hours after Major P. posted this and now I bring up these questions??? I hope someone can answer the car questions.

nick said...

Al of them!!