Types of Damage suffered
by View-Master Reels
View-Master reels last well and
are fairly hardy, especially considering some are over 60 years old.
There are some common faults to look out for, the most common, and the
curse of View-Master collectors, is know as
'bubbling'. This is where
the two halves of the reel have swollen internally, creating blips on
the surface. This is caused by poor storage in damp conditions.
reel has been viewed many times it can develop a
viewing ring, this is caused
because the tag on the internal advance mechanism inside the viewer is
metal (on early viewers) and this rubs on the reel as it returns to it's
'rest' position. If you have reels you like to view often, consider
using a newer viewer, such as the Model L, which has
a plastic advance plate.
Damage can also be sustained by using a worn or malfunctioning viewer.
This can lead to slide windows getting
creased in the reel.
Older Model A and Model B
clamshell type viewers had a spigot on which the centre of the reel
rotated. If the reel was put on there carelessly, this could damage the
centre hole and possibly tear
Dust can accumulate on the images
and this can generally be removed using a photographic puffer brush or
by very lightly using a clean, dry microfibre cloth, but this must be
done very gently.
Mould can grow on images and this
is very difficult to remove as it damages the photographic emulsion. If
this has happened it is unlikely that it can be repaired, although you
can purchase photographic emulsion cleaner if you do wish to try. The
mould may be caused by contamination, such as grease from finger marks
or spittle and then not storing the reels in a dry, protective
Another thing that can go wrong
with reels is that the glue holding the two halves of the reel can fail.
This results in
out and ultimately the halves separating completely.
Repair of these reels is very difficult and realigning the images
accurately is almost impossible