Friday, March 22, 2013

Personal Viewmasters of Disneyland

Some friends of mine asked me to help them scan some of their personal Viewmaster reels, dating back to the mid-1950's. It turned out to be well over 100 reels! It took me over a year (because of my late-night ninja duties), but when I was done they said that I was welcome to share any of the photos on my blog. 

From 1960 comes this nice late-afternoon view of the Monorail as it shooshes over the lagoon. That's right, it shooshes. 

Wow, she is having tons of fun on King Arthur's Carrousel! I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I like the old horses that were many different colors, rather than today's parade of all-white steeds.

Now a view of the Carrousel from above; the shadows have gone very dark, but it looks like it was pretty busy that day.

Stay tuned for more personal Viewmaster photos!


Nanook said...

I, too, am a big fan of 'a horse of a different color'. Now if you can only train them to "shoosh".

And, hey - to all you gals out there, just what do you call those rather high-waisted 'pants' our very happy steed-riding gal is sporting-?

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

So, these are like, somebody's snapshots that were made into Viewmaster reels? Or are they storebought Viewmaster reels from someone's personal collection?

Irene said...

I was wondering the same thing as Melissa. I've never heard of the term personal view master reels. If it is their own photos, I never knew you could have something like that done!

K. Martinez said...

The first pic is one of my favorite views of the monorail. I loved waiting in line for the Matterhorn Bobsleds and watching the Monorail shoosh over the Submarine Lagoon on that sweeping curve. Shoosh!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I am going to have to leave it to somebody else to answer the mystery of the high-waisted pants.

Melissa, you needed a special camera (in this case, a Viewmaster camera) that took 2 photos at once (both slightly different to mimic the view seen by each eye). After the film was developed, you cut the individual "chips" out with a special cutter, and mounted them in the reels so that they look almost just like store-bought reels. Your own personal color 3-D pictures!

Irene, now you know!

K. Martinez, I also love that view, though I have become jaded over the years and it takes somebody else to point out how great it is.

stu29573 said...

You can still get Viewmaster cameras on Ebay, but be ready to cough up at least a couple of hundred bucks! Apparently, since the effect isn't something I think modern cameras can replicate exactly, they are still quite popular... I know I would like to have one!

Melissa said...

Wow, you learn something new every day!

Nanook said...

The most popular "stereo" still camera was the Realist, available from about 1947-1971. It utilized standard 35mm (135) film, but each image occupied only 5-perforations, rather than the standard 8. In addition to specialized mounting apparatus required to deal with the unique way each image (left & right eye) was 'recorded' to the film, a Realist stereo projector, slide viewers, and of course, polarized glasses were available. Hmmm, it's beginning to sound a bit too familiar.

Nancy said...

So cool about the Viewmaster camera. Had not heard of that either. I am glad to see these, tho.

The horses are so colorful (not that I dont enjoy the current ones), and another picture with the beautiful blue of the sky reflecting on the water. So pretty! I always love a Monorail, cant see too much of 'em!

Chuck said...

ViewMaster sold a two-lens, 3D projector, the SteroMatic 500, in the 50's and maybe into the early 60's. When projected onto a silver screen and viewed with polarized glasses, you had a 3D picture that the whole family could enjoy at once.

There were two different versions of the lens - a 3" focal length and a 2.25" focal length. The shorter focal length is much rarer but throws a larger, brighter picture and can be placed much closer to the screen, which is a plus if you're projecting in a normal-sized home.

My StereoMatic 500 is one of my most prized possessions, and even though we don't have the equipment for shooting and making personal reels, it's still a lot of fun to pull out my collection and my kids' collection of commercial reels for a great family evening.