Summer Vacation With a Vintage View

Vintage srt & Advertising illustration 1950s man and housewife

Vintage Ad 1951 TWA

The summer vacation has long been an American tradition, but not all destinations are created equal.

While the 1% are off on their luxurious destination vacations, for many Americans who continue to see their income decline, the prospect of an end of summer vacation dims along with it.

The continuing economic slump has meant another summer of staycations for many middle class Americans.

So what’s a struggling family to do for fun this summer?

What if you could experience the thrilling wonders of Yosemite, the cool mountains of the Alps, the majesty of the Grand Canyon along with hundreds of other thrilling locations, teeming with adventure and beauty all from the comfort of your living room couch.

If you’re the happy owner of a genuine View-Master, the world’s your oyster… at least it could be if this was the 1950s. and ‘60s.

The View-Masters enthusiastic ads promised the  stay-at-home-vacationer a  travel experience like you never encountered.

It was down right thrilling!

 Hold me, Thrill me

Vintage ad viewmanster picture of 1950s family vacation

 “You’ll thrill to marvelous views with View-Masters famous 3D view,” the ads  gushed.

 “You’ll know why folks everywhere name View-Master Tops in Travel. These Come-to-Life stereo pictures will thrill a family.”

“All the family will enjoy pictures of famous American scenes, exotic faraway lands, exciting children’s stories in the amazing depth of three dimensions. Viewmaster stereo color pictures are so real you’ll feel as if you are actually a part of the scene. Each low cost View Master reel contains 7  stereo Kodachrome scenes.”

The ads further promised to take family and friends on entertaining educational stereoscopic tours of the world famous wonderland with true to life color 3 D view master pictures”. Whether to seashore, the mountains or a historical site  they would be your guide.

Yes, you’ll smile with satisfaction at the money you save, you’ll smile with pleasure as you relax in your Laz-E-Boy recliner as you travel the globe.

 A Rainy Day Suburban Savior

vintage illustration boy & girl with viewmaster

View-Master saved many a rainy day for me growing up in the 1960s.

Stuck inside my home in a non air-conditioned house during a stormy summer, could be a recipe for disaster for a 6-year-old.

While my older brother could be content to stay put with his transistor radio and lose himself  in the top 40 world of “Music radio …77 WABC…the place to be…hit time of bop shoo  op a bop bop”, I was  the more restless spirit. After amusing  myself with the hand- me- down Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs, remnants from my brothers  old Davy Crockett days,  I developed a case of wanderlust.

My brother may have been satisfied merely listening to Ricky Nelson croon on about being a travelin’ man…. I wanted to be one.


Vintage Viewmaster Ads 1948 Boy and girl illustration

Now with the help of my trusty View-Master  I could travel to the farthest corner of the earth or at least Carlsbad Caverns, Muir Woods, or the Hoover Dam.

If I never found out “who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong? “it was fine by me.

Seeing the world in vivid  colorful 3D was almost like being there.

Holding the black speckled Bakelite View-Master, I’d carefully insert the circular cardboard discs with the individual tiny picture windows  into the top of the viewer,  waiting to heart the click letting me know it was in its correct position.

I was ready to be transported.

The View-Master dangled the promise to take me on thrilling  3D adventure and it was true to its word. Whether down old Mexico way, or walking the sands of Waikiki,  I would make a lot of stops all over the world.

“You’re in the threshold of glorious new vacation thrill when you enter the world of the View-Master—- no passport required.”

You’ll never even miss that costly destination vacation.

 Copyright (©) 20015 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved -Excerpt From Defrosting The Cold War:Fallout From My Nuclear Family


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