Tucked away in a basement cabinet at my folks place I found my mom's old View-Master from the early fifties. I remember we had the red plastic ones when I was a kid - my first time working with film reels (sorta). I never actually used this one, but I'm pretty sure my older brother must have as there were reels from several decades.
The collection of reels included everything from The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh to Queen Elizabeth II's coronation ceremony. I always loved storybooks on my View-Master, especially the ones where the scenes had been constructed like stop motion animations. When you added the 3D element, it was a really neat visual toy that made you want to explore as many reels as possible.
This vintage View-Master (Model C) was made out of metal and was manufactured between 1946 and 1955. In contrast to the plastic ones of my childhood, this ones metal shutter felt far more mechanical.
Reels of historical events or world wonders like Niagara Falls were particularly interesting to find. I saw Niagara Falls over a decade ago in 2000, and I always find it fascinating to compare how much things have changed, or how you remember something and then see it differently.
Some of the View-Master reels were showing their age and were a bit fragile, but much like the coins I collect, I actually prefer stuff like this when it's clear that it's had a history. Especially when it's involving my family.