Collector Mary Ann Sell Featured in Associated Press News
Ann Sell, author of two View-Master® books, was recently
featured in an Associated Press news story written by Lisa
Cornwell. The article about her collection of 40,000 reels
and other 3-D rarities was sent by AP to newspapers and radio
and television stations around the world.
View-Master® Collection Recalls
Walking into Mary Ann Sell's basement for many adults is like
returning to childhood when, with a click of their trusty
View-Master®. they could gaze wondrously at images of
cartoon and TV heroes through the magic of 3-D.
Lining the basement walls in Sell's suburban Cincinnati home
are huge, glass-fronted display cases and file cabinets filled
with 500 viewers dating back to 1939 and 40,000 carefully
catalogued 3-D reels spanning nearly seven decades.
"Just seeing the viewers and reels brings back so many
memories for people," said Sell, whose enthusiasm is
contagious. "There's something so special about 3-D compared
with a flat photo, TV or movie image. With 3-D you feel as
though you are really there."
More than 1.5 billion View-Master® reels have been issued
since organ maker and piano tuner William Gruber invented
the system in 1938. It was introduced at the 1939 New York
World's Fair and featured as a popular Christmas gift. The
Christmas theme continues today with the recently released
first View-Master® version of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
About 25 different models of viewers have been produced over
the years, some with lights and even sound. Brightly colored
viewers in animal shapes also are now available.
Friends, family, other collectors and people just interested
in View-Master® and 3-D often tour Sell's impressive display.
"Mary Ann has by far the most extensive View-Master®
collection, better than mine, said collector Sheldon Aronowitz,
59, of Teaneck, N.J., who has 50,000 reels and about 1,000
viewers. "She has so many different types and it's so
well-organized that nobody else comes close in quality."
Fisher-Price Inc., the Mattel Inc. subsidiary that now manufactures
View-Master®, even turned to Sell for older reels needed
for a 65th anniversary special edition in 2004.
Many of the viewers and reels are familiar to baby boomers.
The reels, small disks about five inches in diameter with
transparencies ringed around the edge, slip into the top of
binocular-like viewers. Pulling a small lever rotates the
disk to advance the pictures.
"Each reel contains seven stereo pairs of images, one
for each eye, that create the 3-D effect when looking through
the viewer," Sell said. "And every reel fits every
The first reels aimed mostly at adults featured scenic images
from around the world, and the scenic reels were the ones
that first fascinated Sell at age five when her mother let
her check out a View-Master® and reels from the library.
"You could renew the viewer and check out new reels
every week," Sell, 56, said. "I traveled the world
She was 11 when she got her first View-Master®, which
she still has.
"I'd get reels for birthdays, Christmases and other
special occasions," Sell said.
Eventually fairytales like Little Red Riding Hood
and Thumbelina and Disney characters like Donald
Duck were added. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, reels
also featured popular Saturday morning cartoon characters
and TV stars like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. More TV shows
like the The Munsters, and Laverne and Shirley
emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. The focus since the 1980s
primarily has been children's TV shows and movies.
About 100 scenic titles are still sold at sites like national
parks, but today's core consumers are mostly 3- to 5-year-old
children, Fisher-Price spokeswoman Juliette Reashor said.
Adult collectors must rely mostly on flea markets, the Internet,
antique shows and garage sales for the older items.
Members of the National Stereoscopic Association and International
Stereoscopic Union estimate about 2,000 to 3,000 serious collectors
worldwide and thousands with View-Master®s in other memorabilia
Sell started collecting in 1983 with a $1 purchase of a box
of reels at a flea market. Her husband questioned the purchase,
but soon became a fan and now has his own 3-D camera collection.
"It just pulls you in, and the more you see the more
you fall in love with it," said Wolfgang Sell, 58, who
was born in Germany and never had a View-Master® as a
The Sells, who have written two books on View-Master®
and are widely acknowledged as experts even bought a larger
house to accommodate their collections.
"I don't think anyone else has as many one-of-a-kind
items or as much knowledge," said collector Eddie Bowers,
39, of Dallas.
The early reels sold for as little as 35 cents with viewers
priced around $1.50, but collecting has become more expensive.
Rare items can now cost hundreds of dollars.
Fans believe the View-Master® will survive even amid
increasingly sophisticated technology.
"The hook of 3-D is that it's so realistic," Mary
Ann Sell said. "Nothing else makes you feel so much a
part of what you are viewing."
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Displays and Applications Conference Update
Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference is January
28 through 30 in San Jose, California.
A quick reminder of the dates:
Sunday, January 27 - Short Course "Stereoscopic Display
Monday, Janaury 28 - Papers, 3-D Theatre, Stereoscopic Displays
and Applications Conference Dinner
Tuesday, January 29 - Papers, Phantogram Exhibit, Demo Session
Wednesday, January 30 - Papers, Discussion Forum, Keynote,
The program for the 2008 SD&A conference is now available
from the conference web site at www.stereoscopic.org/2008.
If you haven't attended the conference before, you may wish
to visit the site to read reviews and see photographs from
the 1996 through 2007 conferences. The conference has a large
collection of technical paper presentations on a wide range
of stereoscopic imaging topics.
This year's demonstration session will be held 5:30
p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday January 29 in Exhibit Hall 1.
Demonstrators currently include:
- Philips Research, NEC LCD Technologies, European Space
- Meant to be Seen 3D, Lightspeed Design, Waseda University
- NICT (Japan), University of Durham (UK), ETRI (Korea)
- University of Tsukuba (Japan), Kanagawa Institute of Technology
- Bandai Namco Games (Japan)
- and more
The demonstration session is a valuable opportunity to see
real stereoscopic 3-D displays live and in your face. Paid
registration is necessary to attend the Demonstration Session.
Entry to the demonstration is included in all Electronic Imaging
symposium registrations. A demonstration session only pass
is also available for $100 if you not already registered to
attend the symposium.
3-D Theatre Session
At 5:20 p.m/ on Monday, January 28 is the two hour
3-D Theatre Session. The aim of this session is to illustrate
how 3-D video is being used and produced around the world.
Here are just some of the 3-D titles to be screened:
- 3-D Skydiving (Dzignlight Studios)
- Fly me to the Moon (Nwave)
- Bugs (SK Films)
- Super Sonogong (Digital Magic Entertainment, Korea)
- Trial (Stereoscape, Finland)
- The Little Match Girl (Stereopia, Korea)
Judges for the 3-D Theatre session this year will be Samuel
Zhou from IMAX Corporation and Enrique Criado from Enxebre
This year's conference includes technical paper sessions
- Stereoscopic Image Quality and Image Processing
- Volumetric Displays, Stereoscopic Human Factors
- Multiview 3-D Content, Autostereoscopic Displays
- Medical Applications of Stereoscopy
- Stereoscopic Display Applications
- Integral 3-D Imaging
- A special double session on Digital 3-D Stereoscopic Entertainment
It is hard to pick papers to highlight in this message from
the extensive list of interesting topics, but one paper is
"Beowulf 3-D: a case study" by Rob Engle from Sony
Stereoscopic Projection Facilities
As in past years there will be a wide range of stereoscopic
3-D projection methods on show during the conference.
- Polarised stereoscopic projection on the two conference
rear-screen stereoscopic projection systems
- Stereoscopic video (up to Full HD resolution)
- Stereoscopic stills and much much more
Circular Polarised 3-D glasses will be provided to the audience,
The informal conference dinner will be on the Monday night
after the 3-D Theatre session.
3-D Phantogram Exhibition
Phantograms are an enchanting combination of art and science
producing images that look as though they are part of the
real space in front of
you. A large display of 3-D Phantograms will be held in the
main concourse of the convention center, organised by phantogram
The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference
discussion forum is always an entertaining, lively and though
provoking session. This year Lenny Lipton from REAL D will
host a panel to discuss the topic "What's so great about
Stereoscopic Displays, anyway?".
On the Panel are:
- Sue R. Barry, Professor of Cell Biology, Mount Holyoke
College ("Stereo Sue" from the Oliver Sacks article
in The New Yorker
- Christopher W. Tyler, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
(Inventor of the Autostereogram - Single Image Random Dot
- Bernice E. Rogowitz, IBM Corp. (Co-Chair of the Human
Vision and Electronic Imaging conference)
- Chris Chinnock, Insight Media
This year our keynote presenter is Larry Hornbeck
from Texas Instruments. His keynote presentation is titled
"Stereoscopic and Volumetric 3-D Displays Based on DLP
Technology" and will include a discussion of various
3-D display devices ranging from 3-D cinema to 3-D HDTVs suitable
for the home.
The "Stereoscopic Display Application Issues" short
course is scheduled for Sunday Jan 27, before the conference
proper starts. This is a full day course. Please note that
separate registration is necessary to attend this course.
The best technical presentations to make use of the
available stereoscopic projection systems will again be rewarded
this year with a
number of prizes.
The 2008 SD&A conference committee is made up of Andrew
Woods, Nick Holliman, John Merritt, Neil Dodgson, Gregg Favalora,
Nic Holliman, Janusz Konrad, Shojiro Nagata, Steven Smith,
Vivian Walworth and Mike Weissman.
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SG-1 Lenticular DVD Boxset
SG-1, the entire series DVD boxset is a massive 54-disk DVD
collection featuring a cool lenticular 3-D metal storage case
of the stargate.
The set contains all 214 episodes of all 10
seasons and all special features in a compact DVD case with
Stargate SG-1 stars: Amanda Tapping, Michael
Shanks, Christopher Judge and Richard Dean Anderson.
Inside the Stargate:
Disc 1- 5: Stargate SG-1 Season 1
Disc 6-10: Stargate SG-1 Season 2
Disc 11-15: Stargate SG-1 Season 3
Disc 16-20: Stargate SG-1 Season 4
Disc 21-25: Stargate SG-1 Season 5
Disc 26-30: Stargate SG-1 Season 6
Disc 31-35: Stargate SG-1 Season 7
Disc 36-40: Stargate SG-1 Season 8
Disc 41-45: Stargate SG-1 Season 9
Disc 46-50: Stargate SG-1 Season 10
Disc 51: Bonus Disc 1
Ark of Truth Promo
"Stargate SG-1: The Lowdown (SG-1 Season 7)"
From Stargate to Atlantis: The Lowdown (SG-1 Season 8 and
Atlantis Season 1)
Behind the Stargate: Secrets Revealed (SG-1 Season 8 and Atlantis
Disc 52: Bonus Disc 2
"Sci Fi Inside: Stargate SG-1's 200th Episode (SG-1 Season
"Behind the Mythology of Stargate SG-1 (SG-1 Seasons
Stargate SG-1: True Science
Disc 53: Bonus Disc 3
Timeline to the Future
Part 1: Legacy of the Gate
Part II: Secrets of the Gate
Part III: Beyond the Gate
SG-1 Video Diary: Teryl Rothery
"Stargate SG-1 Season 5: Gateway to Adventure "
Stargate SG-1: The 100th Episode
SG-1 Video Diary: Don S. Davis
"SG-1 Directors Series: Smoke and Mirrors"
SG-1 Directors Series: The Changeling
SG-1 Directors Series: Memento
SG-1 Directors Series: Prophecy
SG-1 Video Diary: Richard Dean Anderson Paradise Lost"
Disc 54: Bonus Disc 4
SG-1 Directors Series: Revisions
SG-1 Directors Series: Heroes
SG-1 Directors Series: Resurrection
"Behind the Scenes: Journey Inside Lost City"
The Storyboard Process
"Bra'tac vs. Ronan: Designing the Fight"
Stargate Magic: Inside the Lab
Richard Dean Anderson: "My Life as a Mime"
"Beyond the Gate: A Convention Experience with Amanda
"Beyond the Gate: A Convention Experience with Michael
SG-1 Directors Series: Threads
Profile On: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
The Last Day of Teal'c
SG-1 Directors Series: Moebius
"Stargate SG-1 Alliance: The Making of The Video Game"
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Speed Racer Lenticular
3-D Movie Poster
Here is your first look at Speed Racer, the latest
lenticular movie poster gracing theatres. The one-sheet size
poster features the helmet under his arm popping outwards
toward you and the Mach One car in the background, also in
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Home Pre-Consortium Meeting to be held Feb. 5 at Universal
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008, a meeting to discuss the need for,
and the potential activities of, a 3-D Home Consortium will
be hosted and organized by Insight Media and the U.S. Display
Consortium. The meeting will be used to describe the structure
and mission of the proposed consortium, to hear from key supporters
and to solicit input for other players in the industry. The
meeting is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Universal
City in Universal City, CA.
The 3-D Home Consortium is an industry-led organization dedicated
to bringing stereoscopic 3-D products, content and services
into consumer's homes. Its purpose is to:
- Champion stereoscopic 3-D technology for consumer applications
from the theater to the home.
- Educate and train industry personnel in best of class
3-D techniques and methods.
- Promote 3-D adoption via conferences, exhibits, road
shows, webinars, training and marketing.
- Interface with relevant standards bodies and keep members
- Provide market research, user surveys, news and other
- Provide a forum to enhance communication and speed commercialization
and adoption of 3-D hardware, software and content.
Membership dues will be tiered to encourage many companies
to be able to participate.
Preliminary meeting agenda:
- Explanation of proposed 3D Home Consortium mission and
- The market opportunity and hurdles (IM).
- The needs of Hollywood with Sony Dreamworks Buzz Hayes.
- The needs of TV makers with David Naranjo from Mitsubishi
and Pete Lude from Sony.
- The needs of gamers.
- Professional 3-D.
- Hardware/Software needs with Chris Yewdall from DDD,
Nicholas Rothier from Sensio and Eric Funke from Philips.
- The need for standards.
- Discussion of mission statement.
- Discussion of consortium structure.
- Discussion of membership features and benefits.
- Discussion of next steps.
RSVP to U.S. Display Consortium, Heidi Hoffman, email@example.com,
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has inspired many pop culture images over the years. Here
is one of the recent ones we found by UK music duo Hexstatic.
Master-View was released on Oct. 11, 2004.
For Master-View, Hexstatic continued to innovate
by creating 3-D anaglyph videos for six of the tracks on the
DVD portion of the CD/DVD combo release. The single Salvador,
which features footage of people dancing in the streets of
Salvador, Brazil, was voted Best Music Video for 2004 at the
Portobello Film Festival.
The CD came packaged with 3-D glasses.
One of the anaglyphic videos features what look
like images from a Living Stereo film from the late 1950s
or early 1960s. The video is available online here.
Songs on the CD include:
- Extra Life
- Chase Me
- Perfect Bird (Hexstatic Vs. Guitar Vader)
- Distorted Minds
- That Track
- Toys Are Us
- Extra tracks on ZENCD92 CD + DVD Extra Life (2-D video)
- Chase Me (2-D video)
- Telemetron (2-D video)
- L-Virata (2-D video)
- Perfect Bird (2-D video)
- Perfect Bird (Astroboy version) (2-D video)
- Salvador (2-D video)
- Living Stereo (2-D video)
- Distorted Minds (2-D video)
- That Track (2-D video)
- Toys Are Us (2-D video)
- Pulse (2-D video)
- Telemetron (3-D video)
- Salvador (3-D video)
- Living Stereo (3-D video)
- Distorted Minds (3-D video)
- That Track (3-D video)
- Pulse (3-D video)
- Extra Life (DVD audio)
- Chase Me (DVD audio)
- Telemetron (DVD audio)
- L-Virata (DVD audio)
- Perfect Bird (DVD audio)
- Perfect Bird (Astroboy version) (DVD audio)
- Salvador (DVD audio)
- Living (DVD audio)
- Living Stereo (DVD audio)
- Living Stereo Eclectic Method remix (DVD audio)
- Distorted Minds (DVD audio)
- That Track (DVD audio)
- That Track instrumental (DVD audio)
- Toys Are Us (DVD audio)
- Pulse (video mix) (DVD audio)
- Pulse (CD mix) (DVD audio)
- Master Mix (mix of above 2-D videos)
It is unknown if Fisher-Price granted the group permission
to use the iconic package design and viewer on the CD/DVD
cover art. In 1999, Universal Music and Video Distribution
manufactured and distributed a music CD featuring unauthorized
View-Master® artwork. The CD featured a View-Master®
stereo reel on the cover stylized to look like a CD. On the
back was an image of an adapted View-Master® viewer. The
CD, titled Headliners II, was given away as an incentive
to bring people into Best Buy stores on Black Friday, the
day after Thanksgiving. The cover art is shown below.
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Events at the 3-D Center of Art and Photography
Jan. 3 - Feb. 17, 2008
StereoJets: Travels in the Third Dimension
by Simon Bell
Combining the traditional techniques of stereo photography
with advanced digital printing technology, these images transcend
the normal viewing experience. Large, full color, polarized
prints allow the viewer to see these remarkable images in
all three dimensions.
The photographs have been chosen to reflect Bell’s
wide ranging interests and travel destinations.
“There are limits to what we are capable of seeing
with our standard-issue eyeballs”, says Bell. “By
expanding or contracting the 3rd dimension, stereography gives
us a magic window into our world. We see a flower as a bee
might see it. We see clouds as if we were giants.”
Jan. 3 - Feb. 17, 2008
by Takashi Sekitani
A dog's eye view of Tokyo, in 3-D!
Jan. 3 - Feb. 17, 2008
Cool Miami Hot 3-D
by Various artists
A compilation of work by several artists created for the
2006 National Stereoscopic Association convention by Ron Labbe.
The 3-D Center of Art and Photography is located at 1928
NW Lovejoy in Portland, Oregon. Call (503) 227-6667.
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Symphony Store Offers Free 3-D Glasses
Rainbow Symphony store is offering anyone a free pair of 3-D
glasses. According to their Web site, Rainbow Symphony will
send you one "Free" pair of the paper 3-D glasses
of your choice.
6860 Canby Ave. Suite 120
Resed, CA 91335
1-800-821-5122 or (818) 708-8400
Rainbow Symphony has been supplying quality paper 3-D
glasses and specialty optical products for over 30 years.
Whether you're looking for specific types of 3-D Glasses,
Fireworks Glasses and Rainbow Glasses or Eclipse Shades
- Safe Solar Viewers, Rainbow Symphony has the experience
and expertise to handle your request. Over the years,
Rainbow Symphony has delivered millions and millions
of 3-D glasses to many of the worlds leading companies
and for a wide range of special promotions and events.
Choose from their list of "stock"
3-D Glasses, 3-D Fireworks Glasses or 3-D TV Viewers. If you
want a pair of Eclipse Shades, send $1 with your SASE.
You will have to follow these instructions to ensure delivery:
Send a self addressed stamped envelope "SASE"
($0.41 US) to:
Rainbow Symphony Inc.
6860 Canby Ave. Suite 120
Reseda, CA 91335
Attn: Free 3-D Glasses
Specify the type of paper glasses you are requesting...they
need to know this!
- Anaglyph 3D Glasses - Used for viewing Mars in 3-D, 3-D
comics, 3-D Web sites, 3-D movies, games printing and art.
Red/Blue and Red/Cyan.
- Fireworks Glasses - View fireworks displays, laser light
shows and for the study of light and color.
- 3-D TV Glasses - Gray/Clear Lenses. Not for viewing Mars
- Eclipse Shades™ - ($1) Safe for direct solar viewing
of sun spots and solar eclipses.
Make sure you put the SASE inside the envelope you are sending
or they will have nothing in which to send you the glasses.
To find out more details, visit the Rainbow
Symphony Web site.
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Here are a few 3-D auction results from the past month
A Phantom of the Rue Morgue lenticular sold for $657.25
with six bids. This backlit 3-D lobby display was created
by Warner Brothers for the 1954 horror film starring
Karl Malden, Claude Dauphin and Patricia Medina. Although
movie-going audiences had been treated to the occasional
stereoscopic film, the period from 1952 through 1955
is generally considered the Golden Age of 3-D movies,
with this piece coming from the height of that fondly-remembered
era. This unique and entertaining item has a bit of
delamination in the image, but is otherwise in wonderful
shape. The piece includes a metal light box, which is
attached to the framed image.
An original It Came from Outer Space in 3-Dimension
one-sheet movie poster sold for $2,031.50 with two bids.
The poster measures 27" x 41". Despite the
lurid, sensationalistic title, this film, taken from
a Ray Bradbury story, stands today as one of the most
sophisticated sci-fi movies of the 1950s. When a meteor
crashes, scientist Richard Carlson discovers it is really
an alien spaceship. Proving that, however, is another
matter, and soon he finds that the people of his small
Arizona town are beginning to act oddly... like they
had been taken over! This one sheet has very light fold
wear with small crossfold separations, and a couple
of tape scuffs. It has been mounted on linen and professionally
restored, minimizing its few flaws. Wonderful artwork
that emphasizes the 3-D process makes this a striking
poster. Very Fine+ on Linen.
A Bugs Bunny Lumber Jack-Rabbit one-sheet movie poster
sold for $1,792.50 with three bids. This was Warner
Brothers' only 3-D animated film and was directed by
Chuck Jones. The story has Bugs Bunny matching wits
with the giant Paul Bunyan and his dog, Smidgen. Of
the three animated shorts made in the 3-D process, this
poster has always been the most elusive and rarely seen.
There is one pinpoint cross fold separation, a light
crease on the left border, and very faint bleed-through
from an NSS stamp on the reverse. The cartoon was released
A 1963 Buick Accessories 3-D card sold for $27 with
six bids. The card fits in a Taylor-Marchant Stereo
Viewer. The Taylor-Merchant Viewer is attached to a
specially designed brochure. The six stereo pairs showed
shoppers a 3-D view of accessories available for 1963
Six Coca-Cola View-Master® reels sold for $55.35
with 14 bids. The reels included Christmas Sales, Carton
Rack, At Work, Eat and Drink and Small Food Stores.