BS3 Packet Style - Made in Brussels, Belgium

circa 1955-1957

The S3 style marked the beginning of Sawyer's commitment to the 3-reel packet format as the backbone of their View-Master marketing and production program - click here for the S3 story

The central element of the S3 design was a large square window with rounded corners, representing an image as seen through a View-Master viewer. Two- or three-color line drawings, like those in previous packet styles, filled this "window" in the earliest S3 packets, which collectors designate "S3D." The use of drawn illustration in the S3 style was short-lived; full-color photographic images soon replaced line art on packet covers to produce what is known today as the standard S3 variant. The Belgian plant followed the Portland design and we call these Belgian-made S3 packets BS3 and the drawn illustration ones, BS3D. There was always a flap on the back top and bottom.

BS3D

BS3D front BS3D back
front back

At first, BS3 packets contained 3 single reels with their reel numbers, in their orignal sleeves and many with their multi-language inserts.

Belgian-made packet paper was thin and did not wear well, so today it is difficult to find packets in pristine condition. The variety of BS3 titles is limited since the Belgian plant quickly moved on to the numbered BS4 design.

A variety of subjects were produced in the BS3 style:
-Fairy Tales
-Stories
-Events
-Adventure
-Scenics

The Vacationland Series made in Portland featured tourist sites in the US. The Vacationland Series made in Brussels featured tourist sites in Europe..

Of interest is the Souvenir of Brussels packet below, the round red circle indicates that the subject is Foreign Travelogue and not Vacationland. One would think that the scenic packet of Brussels, home to View-Master, would be a Vacationland Series as found on packets of Germany and France. This choice of Foreign over Vacationland would indicate that this packet was intended for export to the US market.


BS3 - Single Reels

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

In contrast, the Grand Canyon I packet below was intended for the local European market. The round orange circle indicates that the subject is Foreign Travelogue and not the local designation of Vacationland. The reels 26, 27 and 30 were made in Brussels..

BS3 - Single Reels - GRAD CANYON

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

The Belgian plant added another dimension to the 3 Reel Packet - they issued 3 reel packs in different languages in order to appeal to the European market. At first, there were only a handful of languages, in future years, many others were added.

BS3 - Italian - Single Reels

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

Later, reels in a BS3 packet were assigned a shared number with -A, -B, or -C suffixes appended to differentiate them from one another. Example below are reels 1565-A,B, and C and 1432-A,B, and C.

BS3 - German -A,B,C Reels

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

 

BS3 - A,B,C Reels

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

Another sample of BS3 A,B, and C reels with a design variation for the packet front.

BS3 - A,B,C Reels

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

BS3 front layout was uniform from packet to packet and consisted of the left-aligned picture window surrounded:

S3 packet selection (45k)

With the S3 packets, there was a clear indication that the packet could be sent through the mail. Sawyer's designed the back of the packet envelope for mailing, with "Hand Stamp" and "Do Not Bend" postal cautions and areas reserved for address, return address, and postage stamp. This is not the case for the BS3 packets.

BS3 back layouts varied. The words, Reel Packet Contents seems to be a standard with Three View-Master Reels frequently found printed below. The reels numbers were printed on the backs in varying fonts. As you look over the packet backs, you will see this variety. Sawyer's Europe S.A. Brussels Printed in Belgium lets you know where the packet and reels were made.

 

The African travel packets were designated Foreign Travelogue - Africa.


BS3 - Single Reels

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

Sometimes, both Portland and Brussels issued the same topic, each factory making their own reels.

BS3 - A,B,C Reels

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

 

BS3 - Movies

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

 

BS3 - Movies

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

 

But with anything View-Master, there are exceptions. The Snow White packet is witness to this. The BS3 packets have a variety of back designs. The one below is similar to the split back S3 version made in Portland. The BS3 variation below does not conform to the design formula of the BS3 packets above. The model E viewer has moved to the upper left-hand corner and there is no slogan at the bottom and no art décoratif View-Master logo.

BS3 - Variation

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

 

BS3 - Back Variation

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

 

 

BS3 -Lourdes C reels

BS3 front BS3 back
front back

 



Home

Single Reels
1-250 · 251-500 · 501-1000 · 1001-1499 · 1500-1999 · 2000-5870

Single Reel Variants
HL/Gold Foil · HL/Blue Ring · HL/Buff · HL/White · Typeset

3 Reel Packets
Unnumbered Packets
A001-A499 · A500-A999 · B001-B499 · B500-BB999 · C001-C324 · C325-C999 · D001-Z999


3-Reel Packet Variants
S1 · S2 · S3 · S4 · SU · S5 · SX · S6 · GU · G1/G2 · G3-G6 · V1/V2
BS3 · BS4  · BS5  · BS6  · BG1  · BG3  · BG4 · BG5 · Blisterpack


Blister Packs
Alphabetic Prefix · Numeric Blisterpacks · Single Reel Blisterpacks


Miscellanea
Commercial Reels · Military Training Reels · Non-Stereo Reels · Reel Pack Reels · Talking View-Master

© 2013
The View-Master Ultimate Reel List created by Keith Baird.
Maintained by 3DStereo.com Inc.
View-Master® is a subsidiary of Fisher-Price® Incorporated.