Remember the View-Master? If not, look at http://www.image3d.com/. I had one as a child and spent many hours with it. When my children were young, I managed to find a new one and gave it to them as a gift and they also used it for hours. However, View-Masters were scarce by the time I had children. I had some difficulty in finding one. Now, View-Masters are easy to purchase on the Web and also may be found in some toy stores (see http://goo.gl/xSh3b). Even better, you can now create your own Viewmaster disks (or "reels") that will work in all View-Masters, old and new alike.
Invented in 1938 by William Gruber, a piano tuner by trade and a stereo photographer by hobby, the View-Master was introduced in Portland, Oregon in 1939. However, it wasn't until the following year at the 1940 New York World's Fair that the world began to pay attention.
View-Master devices are now sold by Fisher-Price.
You can create your own View-Master reel by going to the Image3D website, uploading the photos you want to View-Master-ize, then create one or more disks online. You can optionally add captions to the photos. The physical reels will then be created and mailed to you.
A video tutorial of the process is available at http://image3d.com/celebrate/build-a-reel/how-to
Almost all the original View-Masters disks contained photos in 3D. In fact, the new View-Masters also can display in 3D. However, in order to display in 3D, the picture must be taken with a 3D camera, something that isn't very common today. Regular two-dimensional photos will remain in 2D when viewed through the device (although any text added to them will appear in 3D). It is possible to create reels of fully-three-dimensional pictures, but users need to start with photos that were taken in 3D in the first place.
To learn more, go to http://www.image3d.com/celebrate
A complete Image3D set containing a viewer and one reel of seven photos will set you back US$24.95, while a reel only costs $21.95 - additional copies of that same reel cost less. The company is also big on corporate orders, if you're looking for wacky give-aways to promote your business.
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