Vistascreen Style Stereo Viewers (inc Weetabix)
 

 

VISTASCREEN
and varients

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Vistascreen viewers were made at the beginning of the 1960's by The Vistascreen Company Ltd. (16 Soho Square, London). They were manufactured in either red or ivory coloured plastic and folded down for compact storage. They were priced at 1/6d (7.5p in today's money)

Generally the degree of 3D vision obtained from these viewers was good. Pictures were supplied in booklets, each containing 10 different views (Cost approx 2 shillings and sixpence 12.5p in today's money).

Weetabix (Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northants) also made a promotional version and gave away slides with it's breakfast cereal. It was exactly the same as the standard viewer with the exception that it had the Weetabix name embossed in gold on the viewers reverse. Vistascreen items are becoming increasingly collectible and prices have seen a significant rise over the past two years.

A Vistascreen Viewer

The lenses on these viewers are good quality and are superior to any of the 'clones' shown below.



An English Weetabix Vistascreen Viewer.

Two Pictures. On the left a Vistascreen Photograph and on the right a Weetabix free picture

Vistascreen commercially produced pictures had a glossy, photographic finish and were of a much higher quality than the slides given away by Weetabix, which were made from printed card. All these slides are prone to curling (which is quite normal), however, that doesn't prevent them being viewed and doesn't detract from their value.

You can see more about various Weetabix promotional offers at cerealoffers.com

    

The front and back view of a Weetabix Slide. the commercial slides were blank on the reverse side.

    

A Vistascreen booklet with 10 viewing cards

A Lipton Tea Viewer from Australia.

Once again using the Vistascreen format of viewer, however, this one differs in that the lenses are circular. The quality of the lenses is very poor with large distortion of the image as a result.

Below is an Australian True-To-Life View-A-Scope.

This was used to promote the Australian equivalent of Weetabix, know an Weet-Bix. The lenses on this viewer are far inferior to the Vistascreen viewers shown above, causing ripple distortion to the image being viewed.

The words on this True-To-Life card read:
"To see this stereo card with thrilling three-dimensional realism, get a True-to-Life View-a-scope from your grocer today! Price 2/6 or send 3/- Postal Note to the Sanitarium Office in your State."

The Sanitarium Health Food Company also offered a 'swaps' service on a 2 for 1 basis. Cards were given away in the breakfast cereal packets


Rare Vistascreen clones

This dates from around 1960. This viewer is a far eastern copy (Hong Kong) of a Vistascreen viewer. It is made out of brittle plastic and has 'Empire Made' printed on the side of the box. The quality of  both the viewer and slides is much lower than the Vistascreen originals. The set came with 6 sets of story cards, each set comprising of ten drawn and coloured slides. The pictures used were copied from a USA toy viewer system of the same era.

The clone below was made in Hong Kong for the USA market. It is almost identical to the viewer on the left other than the drawing of the girl has been altered and the viewer has been blister packed, presumably because that was more acceptable to the intended market. It is priced at $2.98. On the bottom of the packaging it is marked, "Made in Hong Kong" Expressly for Justen Products, Chicargo. Ill 60654



A scan of one of the slides. The 3D effect works well but the drawing quality is fairly simplistic.

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