look, see, mini she

ad for Sawyer’s slide viewer

Toronto. Today we can snap a photo on our smartphone and with a touch see the result tout de suite! But it wasn’t always so simple and fast. In the era of 35mm and 2 1/4 square colour slides you sent the film off for processing and then checked the result by projection in a darkened room, or…

…if you were innovative, you could use a table-top or hand-held viewer to admire your work! Easy-peasy. Now where the heck are the batteries. Damn, the light went out. Now wiggle everything and voilĂ ! we can see the slide! Even in a lit room. Some (most) hand held viewers have a built in magnifier to let you view an enlarged image in magnificent detail (and colour). The ad is likely black and white since colour was much more expensive at the time.

My thanks to PHSC member and professional photographer George Dunbar for sending me this nostalgic ad from page 98 of the November 14, 1960 issue of LIFE magazine. While the viewer is marked Sawyer’s, there were a wide variety of different brands widely available mid last century – at least until film and slides ran their course…

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