|The Art-Deco inspired View-Master 1946 to 1955.|
Not Just a Kid’s ToyHard to imagine today but in the 1940's View-Master was considered adult home-entertainment. The early image reels consisted of travel destinations, architecture and natural wonders. In late 1966 Sawyers was bought-out by GAF and the emphasis crossed over to cartoons, movies and television.
The Model C was constructed from Bakelite and is the first viewer to have a slotted reel loading top. It was produced from 1946-1955 with a retail price of $2.00. Brown versions though rare were produced.
Cleaning these early Bakelite models is often necessary 50+ years can accumulate a lot of mold and dust. Unlike other view-masters the Model C was sealed shut with metal rivets, making internal repairs difficult. If you have the later plastic model click here
- Foam Swabs
- Dawn Dish Soap
- Plastic Pry Tool.
1. Rather than remove the rivets we're using the backdoor method. I prefer to use soft plastic pry bars. These can be made from cutup bank cards or purchased online. The trick is Wide and Thin otherwise you risk damaging the frame. With light upward pressure the frame will pop-out.
|Pry at this exact spot|
2. Remove both back windows and submerge everything in dawn dish soap and water. For extremely dirty view-masters an overnight soak may be necessary. Agitate the soapy water occasionally & rinse thoroughly before moving to the next step. If the rear windows need replacing click here
Make sure to clean the back side of the eyepiece. If using q-tips watch for loose cotton fibers.
If you have any dirt buildup on the outer shell a soft bristle toothbrush works perfectly. Polishing the bakelite is a popular option.
4. It's a pretty simple process. The metal window frames easily snap into place. Once everything is clean make sure to completely dry the view-master before installing the back windows or loading reels. A sunny windowsill , fan or hairdryer can help speed the process.
Its worth mentioning that a dirty reels shouldn't be inserted into cleaned viewers or vice versa. It is highly recommended to clean both. See my reel cleaning tutorial here.