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atticbrowser
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Coin operated stereo viewers

Postby atticbrowser » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:55 am

I am new to the site so please let me know if any of this is regarded as 'off topic.' I am a stereoscopic photographer as well as having a small collection of coin op machines. So coin op stereo machines are an obvious interest. I'm sure the early wooden cased machines are all well known by members and I see that the Oliver Whales stereo viewer has been discussed several times on here. One interesting little niche in the field though, that may have had less attention, is where a manufacturer has taken a commercial stereoscopic viewer and built it in to a coin operated viewer. I'm attaching below photographs of such machines that I own, tried to own, or have owned at one time.
The first appears to be French and uses a model E Brown Bakelite Viewmaster viewer.
Untitled-3.jpg
The next came from Holland (from memory) and is another machine built around a Model E Viewmaster viewer. This has an interesting timing mechanism that appears to use a sort of test tube filled with mercury!
Untitled-6.jpg
Untitled-7.jpg
This next is called the Hollywood View-a-Scope. This utilises a black Bakelite Tru Vue viewer. Tru Vue was an early competitor to Viewmaster. Unlike the Viewmaster viewer that used flat reels with 7 stereo pairs, Tru Vue stereo images were printed on 35mm film in a long continuous strip. So you got many more pictures on a Tru Vue strip. The operator could change the strip and there is a small label above the lenses marked 'now showing.' The idea was that you tore off the end of the Tru Vue filmstrip box that had the title printed on and inserted that so that punters could see what was on offer. I am told that the (rare) strip 'Sally Rand's fan dance' was a popular one with customers.
Untitled-2.jpg
Here is another photo of a Hollywood View- a -Scope, this one is not mine. Next to it you can see another coin op viewer the Camera Chief. I'm not certain which model of viewer this uses. It may be a later Tru Vue or a StoriView viewer.
viewascope 1.jpg
This last picture is an oddity. It is a machine I came across on holiday in Swededen about 15 years ago. The manufacturer has again used a Viewmaster viewer to create a coin op machine. This appears to be the more modern Model J viewer that was on sale until the late 1990's.
Untitled-4.jpg
I'd be very interested in comments, corrections and further examples. I do have some other coin-op stereo viewers but they are not made from commercial viewers.

john t peterson
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby john t peterson » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:32 pm

Welcome to Pennymachines, Atticbrowser. Thank you for posting a most interesting article with great pictures. Your interests will be well attended here. !!CHEERS!!

J Peterson
Viewing you from America

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woody
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby woody » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:10 pm

Impressive - thanks for sharing your knowledge. I enjoyed reading your post.

youngerap
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby youngerap » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:23 pm

atticbrowser wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:55 am
.... I am told that the (rare) strip 'Sally Rand's fan dance' was a popular one with customers.
Welcome to the site and thank you for the interesting article. Can't imagine why this was popular (BP, look away!):


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coppinpr
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby coppinpr » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:44 pm

Sally Rand certainly comes from a different era, one where old men like us were easily pleased. She was VERY highly paid and this reel would have cost quite a bit to get the rights to, which hints at how popular it would have been. In 1933 she was the number one star of the Chicago World's Fair and a major on stage box office success with her fan dance. She made at least six movies (two as the lead star) and she never even performed nude. She wore a body stocking, !!HAPPY!! Unfortunately, she carried on performing long after she should have retired and the body stocking and fans were, by that time, covering a multitude of sins. If you're interested BP, you can still buy "Sally Rand Dance Fans" to this day. :o

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badpenny
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby badpenny » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:47 pm

......... I know I've already got one.

liquorbox
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby liquorbox » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:24 pm

I hope she got paid well so she could afford some new clothes.
You can see right through those! :lol:

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coppinpr
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby coppinpr » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:32 pm

......... I know I've already got one.
does that mean you would only need one to hide what you have :o

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atticbrowser
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby atticbrowser » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:59 pm

Thank you for the warm welcome to the group. I was sorry not to be able to identify the commercial viewer used in the Camera Chief coin-op machine that appeared in my first post. A little research has confirmed that it is a 'Colorscope' viewer. As I mentioned, this is not one of the machines in my collection so I was very interested to find a US listing of one for sale that shows the internal arrangements. It appears that they took the flat Colorscope viewcard, with its 9 stereo pairs and bent it around a drum that was rotated one frame at a time by the small lever. The pictures below show the internal mechanisms as well as a picture of an original Colorscope viewer, around which it was built.
Vintage-Rare-1940-Coin-Operated-Asco-Camera-Chief-_57.jpg
Vintage-Rare-1940-Coin-Operated-Asco-Camera-Chief-_59.jpg
Vintage-Rare-1940-Coin-Operated-Asco-Camera-Chief-_60.jpg
Vintage-Rare-1940-Coin-Operated-Asco-Camera-Chief-_62.jpg
colorscope_red_both_s.jpg
colorscope_box_s.jpg
I also thought it might be helpful to add these photos of the Viewmaster Model E viewer and the Tru Vue viewer used in making the other machines I showed. I guess there may be some members of the group not old enough to remember what a Bakelite Viewmaster viewer looks like.
c882229c-e425-4b76-976c-a54dff74d628.jpg
...and this is the Tru Vue model used in the Hollywood View-A-Scope
truview_back.jpg
truview_back.jpg (12.59 KiB) Viewed 1986 times

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bob
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Re: Modern coin operated stereo viewers

Postby bob » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:40 am

Thank you Atticbrowser for your most interesting and informative posting.
There is also an Australian coin op stereo viewer using the Viewmaster system. It looks like a landmine and was made to be wall mounted. This was made after World War 2 by two men (Messrs Fraser and Hosking) who had served in the RAAF (Australian air force) as instrument makers. Quite ingeniously they used Bosch motor car windscreen wiper mechanisms to drive the Viewmaster mechanism, as these motors had enormous "torque" for their size, could run for hours without over heating and were available cheaply from motor wreckers. The moving parts were beautifully machined from brass as can be seen from the photo of the mechanism. Fraser returned to his prewar profession as a jeweler with a number of suburban Jewellery Shops. Percy Hosking, a most interesting eccentric man, who became a good friend, went on to invent a table top juke box with a turntable mechanism turning a number of records above one another with the tone arm being moved to the record of choice by the user and then lowered onto the record on the insertion of a coin. He also invented and manufactured an improved trampoline bounce material as well as a bicycle for disabled people. I doubt that the stereoscope was a great success as Fraser and Hosking disapproved of girly pictures and only had scenic views which they bought from the Viewmaster company. The jukebox which was, (unknown to Hosking), similar to a prewar American jukebox concept, did not work very well and never went into production. Percy Hosking gave me one of the stereo viewers which I restored and Gameswat obtained from me some years ago. He gave one of the remaining two prototype jukeboxes to the Melbourne Museum.
Hosking & Fraser Jukebox mech.jpg
Hosking & Fraser Jukebox.jpg
Hosking and Fraser Sterescopic Viewer Mechanism011.jpg
Hosking and Fraser Sterescopic Viewer010.jpg
Last edited by bob on Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.


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