Cataloging & Identifying Your Collection

Initially reels did not come in sets of 3 but were single reels within a sleeve like an old 45rpm record that had a hole in the middle in order to read the info on the label. There exist many variations of identical reel numbers: color of label/mount, typeface style, typeface color, sometimes even chips were different (i.e., one of the 7 views might be replaced with a different picture in a later edition). The "completest"-type collector will try and obtain every variation possible, while others may only collect certain types of variations.  
  The most obvious variation is in the color of the reel itself, or reel "MOUNTS". There are WHITE reels, BUFF (tan) reels, BLUE reels, and combinations of these including different inner ring colors of BLUE and GOLD. All together there are generaly 7 major color styles of mounts, per the article entitled Hand Lettered, The First View-Master Reels by Dale Crosby and Scott Kemling  
  B/B-G Blue front, blue back, gold center  
  BR/B Buff front w/blue ring, blue back  
  T/B Buff front, buff back  
  T/T Buff front, buff back  
  T/W Buff front, white back  
  W/T White front, buff back  
  W/W White front, white back  
  There is no simple explanation for the color differences.(NOTE: Scott sells View-Master & Tru-Vue items through Email ( & the US mail, and also has VCTA back-issues of "The ReView" available for purchase at P.O. BOX 24522, EDINA, MN 55424)  
  These variations exist only on the earliest View- Master single reels which were HAND-LETTERED; thus another variation for collectors: HAND-LETTERED reels versus TYPESET reels. Now of course besides collecting just "hand-lettered" reels in general, there are 18 documented hand-lettering styles or "TYPOGRAPHY" to collect as well! These typography style variation numbers were assigned by Roger Nazeley in his book on single reels:  
  1 2 3 4 5 6  
  7 8 9 10 11 12  
  13 14 15 16 17 18  
  1995-2006, Diane Leigh Davison