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Rogers Historical Museum  


Donation of the Month

View-Master
2007.57.129
Donor: Forrest Bland Estate

Traveling around the world isn’t something everyone can afford to do, but everyone wants to know about the people and places beyond their front door.  Those who do get to travel across the country or across the ocean want to remember the places they visit.  This is where the souvenir postcard comes in; these great and cheap images can be picked up anywhere and mailed home or kept as reminders of the trip.  Unfortunately, these images are flat unlike the stereoviews that became popular in the 1830s. 

Stereoviews are created by taking two photographic images with a camera on a tripod.  Each image is slightly different, creating the illusion, when viewed together using a stereoscope, of a 3D image.  In reality you are viewing the photographic image as you would an item standing before you.  Most stereoviews were images of far away places and contained information on the back, allowing the viewer an educational exotic escape. 


This View-Master model used a C-battery to create its own internal light, c. 1958 & a disk of scenic images of New York.

By the 1930s two men working independently and then together introduced a new way to view stereoviews.  Harold Graves and Wilhelm Gruber, using two Kodak Bantam Specials on a tripod and Kodachrome 16mm color film, began taking and marketing stereoviews of Carlsbad Caverns and the Grand Canyon through Sawyers Photo Services.  These scenic views were much like the original stereoviews, for education as well as for travel memories.  However, they were unlike the original stereoviews, being placed on a wheel that fitted into a specific viewer called a ViewMaster. 

Introduced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair as an alternative to postcards, the production and sale of the wheels and the ViewMaster out sold every other line of photographic service at Sawyers.  By 1951 the ViewMaster had bought out its only rival Tru-Vue and gained the licensing rights to Walt Disney images.  With a new line of images of Disneyland and children themed stereoviews, the popularity of the product continued to grow. 

However, by the end of the 1960s its popularity was falling and Sawyer was purchased by General Aniline & Film, who created more stereoviews of children’s images, turning the ViewMaster into more of a toy than an educational tool.  It was again sold in 1989 to Tyco Toy Inc. and placed in a subsidiary line of Fisher-Price, which reinforced its dwindling popularity and its use as a toy. 

 Today, the ViewMaster is still part of the Fisher-Price line, but they have lost out to portable dvd players and other devices that keep kids occupied.  The ease, not necessarily the cost, of travel has allowed families to see more places than those who originally viewed the images of Carlsbad Cavern and the Grand Canyon.  These two changes have brought about a new generation of children who did not grow up with the ViewMaster, which is too bad because it was a great invention that allowed the viewer to be transported to exotic places without leaving the couch.

 

More Donations of the Month

Arts & Crafts
Charles Summey Painting
Elsie Sterling Drawings & Photo
Erwin A. Doege pastel
M.E. Oliver’s Strange Scenes in the Ozarks
Roy Harris Carved Wagon
Rogersopoly
Seed Art

War Eagle Store

Household Goods
Andersons Grade A Egg Scale
Applegate Apothecary Bottle
Benton County Wine Bottles
Candles
Circa 1923 Eureka Vacuum Cleaner
First M.E. Church, North souvenir plate, circa 1910
Gasoline powered iron
Grape Press
John Edwards china
Open Salts
Red Wing Crock, 1910s
Rogers Fairgrounds Souvenir
Cut Glass Dresser Box
Marshmallow Toaster
Fairy Lamps
Bubble Up Soda Bottles
Farmers Produce Co. Feed Sack
Butter Molds
Hand Painted China
Flow Blue China
Ritz Christmas Lites
Soap
Stove Top Steamer
Sunbeam Dairy Milk Bottle & Photo

Paper Ephemera, Books, & Photos
Advertising Folding Table
Blueprints
Camp Joyzelle Booklet
Callison-Lough Funeral Home Sketch
1943 Benton County Nursery Company Catalog
Apple Blossom Festival Postcard Booklet, April 1927
B.P.O.E. photo, 1960
Christmas Carols Songbook
Civil War Clothing Ledger
“Coin” Harvey family letters
Edsel Ford Poetry Books
Frisco Railroad Pass
Gold mine photos
Lime Works Stock Certificate
Louise Thaden Note
Menu from the Orchard Room
Cumberland Presbyterian Ladies Cook Book
Rogers Public School catalog, 1892-3
Elizabeth Miller Autograph Books
Discharge Papers
New Year Postcard
Political Campaign Buttons
Women's Study Club Program
Howard Fowler Photographs
Railroad Automatic Car Identification
1933 World's Fair Objects
Tobacco Tax Receipts
Valentines cards
Vandover & Sons Livery Stable Photograph
Printing Blocks
World War II Photos

Toys
Billiken Doll
Russ Troll Doll
Schoenhut Circus Toys
Steiff Teddy Bear
Horse Drawn Wagon
Lone Ranger Atomic Bomb Ring
J.D. Kestner Doll
Winter Sled

Textiles, Clothing, & Clothing Accessories
Confederate Officer’s Artillery Frock Coat?
Apple Blossom Festival Crown
Bicorn Hat
Blackburn Preaching Shirt
Christmas Stocking
Friendship Quilt
Garrett family coverlet, 1860s
Hatpins
Help One Another Club Quilt
Loom
Mary Van Winkle Steele’s Traveling Dress
McClain Family Crazy Quilt
Norman Tailor System dress pattern
Pillbox Hat
Hannah Lumm Dress
Whig Rose Quilt
Celluloid Items
Hair Work Jewelry
Evening Gown
Mesh Hand Bags
Teddy
World War I Uniform
1906 Wedding Gown
Majorette Uniform & Spirit Ribbons

Furniture

1860s Green & Sager Bedstead
Henry Tribble’s Speaker Cabinet
Tom Morgan’s Desk & Chair
W.H. Jewett Piano
Adding Machine Stand
Apple Cider Press
Colonial Revival Dining Room Chair
B.F. Gleason Cooling Table
Grundig Majestic radio

Kroger Shelves

Other
Barbed Wire Samples
Betty Blake’s Composition Stick
Carry A. Nation Hatchet Brooch
Cash Register
Fiddle
Harris Baking Co. Souvenir
“Coin” Harvey Death Mask
KAMO Shovel
Erwin Funk’s Newspaper Convention Badges
Diamond Jubilee Badges
Tracy Lockhart’s Peddler Basket
Van Winkle Lumber
Surveyor's Compass
Remington Revolver
John Deere Corn Sheller
Rogers High School Dedication Stone
Permanent Wave Machine
City of Rogers License Plate
Chaplain's Field Kit
WWI Army helmet & print

Civil War Re-enactor Items
ViewMaster
Lever Action Winchester Model 1892
Silica mining bucket
 

 


 


 

 


 

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