This well engineered stereo camera
was manufactured in the 1950's for Sawyers by Stereocraft Engineering
Co., to enable anyone to be able to create their own View-Master reels,
known as Personal Reels. The film was loaded into the camera and each
exposure would produce two images. The film was then developed, but not
cut in the way that conventional film would be. The individual halves of
each stereo pair had to be cut precisely using a special film cutter.
These cut-outs, known as 'chips' would them be inserted into pockets in
the special Personal Reels' using a film insertion tool.
The camera has a unique feature that
allows double the amount of pictures to be taken on each film. Once the
film has be fully exposed one way the A/B knob on the front of the
camera is rotated. The lenses are then internally repositioned from the
lower half of the film to the upper half. The film is them wound
backwards on each exposure to the point where it has been fully exposed
in both directions and can be removed from the camera for processing.
Looking through the viewfinder
reveals a tiny liquid filled glass tube containing an air bubble. This
bubble must be in the centre to ensure the camera is absolutely level
before an exposure is made.
These cameras were available in black
and tan versions. Very early cameras has silver tops. Accessories that
could be purchased included a set of close-up lenses and a flash unit.