sample typeset reel

circa 1946-present


The (today) familiar View-Master reel finally emerged in 1946. Text was typeset rather than hand-lettered, labelling was linear rather than concentric, and reels were manufactured from white stock on both front and back.

Consistent with the labelling practice on hand-lettered reels, the earliest typeset reels had no position numbers; sometime between 1946 and 1950 position numbers became standard on all reels.

(During the transition from hand-lettered to typeset reel production, Sawyer's used a mechanically-guided LeRoy hand-lettering device. The typography of LeRoy reels had the look of set type but were lettered by hand; in a sense, they were a hybrid of the two reel styles. LeRoy reels were produced briefly, perhaps only in 1946, and are not well documented today.)

The earliest typeset reels, like all previous designs, were manufactured in the United States and carried the statement "SAWYER'S Inc., Portland Ore., Made in U.S.A." left of the center hole:

"Sawyer's" reel Sawyers typeset reel detail

When production commenced in Europe in 1953 and in Australia in 1958, reel indicia were revised to distinguish U.S., Belgian, or Australian provenance:

U.S.-made reel U.S. typeset reel detail
Belgian-made reel Belgian typeset reel detail
Australian-made reel Belgian typeset reel detail


Though Belgian-manufacture reels were issued in multiple languages, many also were produced in one language and accompanied by multilingual caption inserts:

multilingual caption insert



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© 2009
The View-Master Ultimate Reel List created by Keith Baird.
Maintained by 3DStereo.com Inc.
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