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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 3D, Miami Beach & Charles Phoenix

Allee Willis Submitted by Allee Willis
May 10th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner
Jealous

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With 3D all the rage today many people forget that the first ubiquitous mass consumer experience with the technology was with View-Masters. Introduced in 1962, one could view seven 3D images as they spun around on a paper disc creating lifelike reality inside the mouse hole of two eyepieces. The earliest View-Masters featured popular tourist attractions like this one of Miami Beach, where I first started buying these.

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When I was young my parents drove to Miami Beach from Detroit twice a year.

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We stayed at the Carlyle Hotel.

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I bought every Viewmaster reel of Miami Beach I could find because the Deco architecture drove me so batty. When I had my first hit record I immediately bought a house that reminded me of Miami Beach.

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A frequent visitor to my house is Charles Phoenix, one of my best friends and Kitschmaster General of vintage slide shows and books featuring insanely on-the-nose location and human examples of living wheels of brie. The last time he came over, Charles gave me a lesson in how to bake one of his signature Cherpumples, a cake with three pies stuffed inside of it. As soon as I get done editing the footage we shot I will post our instructional film.

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Something like the Cherpumple with M&Ms bubbling out of the pepto -bismolian-pink frosting and utensils at rest would make an excellent 3D photo if only we had the right camera.

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Yesterday, I went downtown with Prudence Fenton, Nancye Ferguson and Jim Burns and saw Charles’ first ever all 3D retro slide show.

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We learned a lot about how 3-D photography and View-Masters came into being.

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We saw a lot of families in the 50′s learning how to not only use their View-Masters but make their own 3D reels.

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Of course, you won’t be able to see anything clearly because you don’t have your 3-D glasses on. As opposed to this slide from Charles’ show featuring an attractive threesome with a very clear view of the LA freeway when it was built in 1960 standing less than 10 feet away next to oncoming traffic.

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I hope to have a clear view of the week ahead of me although it could go either way. I could feel like an outsider…

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… or I could choose to see the world in super enhanced, bigger than life 3D.

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Thank you, Charles for an excellent afternoon and thank you View-Master for putting 3-D in the palm of our hands.

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Categories: Allee Posts, Allee Related, Brands, Certifikitsch Winners, Collections, Families, People, Photographs, Places, Travel


Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch

6 Responses to “Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 3D, Miami Beach & Charles Phoenix”

  1. denny denny says:

    This was fantastic on so many levels! *
    I’ve always LOVED my viewmaster but no longer own one. I would get my reels at Woolworths.
    *The picture of Allee at the Carlysle just has me in a spin. We all have these shots and I love the face she is making.
    *I also love how there is a pocket for trash on the apron Allee is wearing.
    *The 3-d group pic is fabulous.
    *What I also love is the guy in the space suit near the pool, now that’s fun!

    • Allee Willis Allee Willis says:

      I knew the photo of me and my mom ‘n dad was taken on the beach but today is the first day I realized it was taken directly in front of the Carlyle. I just compared the edge of the building showing in back of us with the newer photo of the Carlyle and it’s an exact match! I loved that hotel back in the day but haven’t been back since it was restored.

  2. Planet Joan Planet Joan says:

    Ooooh- THE CAKE!!!! It is genius! I am so inspired that I’m going to bake something right now!

  3. Michael Ely Michael Ely says:

    OMG, I want a piece of that cake! It looks so yummy! I want to know how to make one!

    I love my collection of view master 3-D reels. Some of my favorites are 3 reel packets of early Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, The Painted Desert, 1960′s Las Vegas and The Apollo Moon Landing.

  4. funkiernyou funkiernyou says:

    Viewmaster viewers and reels are so much fun! I had one as a kid and really enjoyed it, but, who knows where it went? Then, some time in 2007, while visiting an antique shop, I saw a Viewmaster viewer just like the one Allee is using. I got bit by the Viewmaster bug so bad that I went on a complete collecting binge, thanks to a popular auction site, and now own a decent collection of various models of viewers and reel sets.
    What Allee is holding is a Model C.
    To offer a slight correction, according to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View-Master) “In 1939, Gruber and Graves formed a partnership which led to the retail sales of View-Master viewers and disks. The patent on the viewing device was issued in 1940, on what came to be called the Model A viewer. Within a very short time, the View-Master quickly took over the postcard business at Sawyer’s.”
    I plan to post pics of some of the different viewers and reel sets that I have. Reel sets from popular tourist spots are cool because it shows what different places looked like in the `50′s, 60′s, and 70′s. The funnest though, are the TV shows like Laugh-In, The Partridge Family and Lancelot Link Secret Chimp.

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