View-Master Talking Model - ViewMaster has something to say!




There have been several types of talking View-Master. The three shown below are the Gaf and Tyco variants.

The earlier model of GAF Talking View-Master was produced between 1970 and 1981. It ran off 2 'C' size cells. It used special reels which had a transparent plastic record attached. When the user placed the reel in the machine, the reel was advanced to view number one, next the users pressed the small white button, (visible in the right-hand photograph), this synchronises the record to the appropriate frame on the reel. As the reel was advanced for viewing, the user pressed the 'sound bar' which engaged the needle on the record. Sound quality was scratchy and left an awful lot to be desired.

Download two examples of a talking reel by downloading the mp3 files below by using right-hand click and select "Save Target As" then listen to them using your MP3 player (direct click on the links won't work). Approximately 10 to 20 seconds of speech accompanies each picture. These viewers are notoriously unreliable and give unpredictable performance.

Sound Clip 1      Sound Clip 2

A look inside the talking View-Master show above. The round speaker cone amplifies the vibrations from the record on the back of the reel as it rotates. These vibrations are transmitted to the speaker cone via the rod and spring assembly show below passing diagonally across the plastic speaker.

Another talking View-Master, similar to the model above except that this one is lit internally and so has no clear rear window. Also, notice the volume control  on the lower right-hand side of the viewer. The unlit talking viewer shown above had no way to control the volume.

click here to see inside the Lighted Talking View-Master

A Talking View-Master Reel used in the viewer pictured above.

A 1984 Talking View-Master manufactured by GAF

The speech was much clearer than the earlier version, however, the mechanism can still be problematical. When you initially insert a reel a bleep sounds continuously until you align the reel to picture one. Once you do this the record will start to play automatically. As the commentary ends for each picture a beep sounds as a cue to advance the reel. Once the soundtrack has finished a message requests the user to remove the slide.

click here to see 1984 Talking View-Master Instructions

A Tyco View-Master Talking Viewer

This View-Master was made by TYCO in 1997 and operates from 'AA' size batteries. It works by inserting a cartridge. When the advance lever is operated a continuous reel of film is moved around inside and a microchip in the viewer plays a pre-recorded caption or sound effect  Shown standing behind this viewer is a spare 'reel', The Lost World'.

The GAF Talking View-Master pictured at the top of this page was supplied in the presentation tub shown on the left below.


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