Talking View-Master (1970 – 1981)

The Talking View-Master was a variant of the standard View-Master that as well as containing stereoscopic images, also contained accompanying sound for each frame.

Three different types of Talking View-Masters were produced, the first being introduced in 1970 by the GAF company, and this used a small transparent phonograph disc attached to the back of the View-Master reel. As the reel was advanced for viewing, the user pressed the ‘sound bar’ which engaged a needle on the record and amplified the sound through a speaker cone (the batteries were only used to spin the record). Sound quality was poor and on the basic model there was no way to control the volume. Additionally, although the phonograph disc was transparent, it did still reduce the quality of the images to some extent.

As well as cartoons, scenic and educational sets of Talking View-Master reels were produced.

The original version of the Talking View-Master was discontinued in 1981, and a new version released in 1984 (the Talking View-Master Electronic 3-D Viewer) which attempted to increase sound quality, and had the reel and phonograph disc separate. The final version, the Talking View-Master 3-D of 1997, did away with reels and used an endless loop of film in a cartridge that also contained a sound chip.

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