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Tru-Vue Chicagoland model 3D viewer with package and black&white films Tru-Vue Chicagoland.jpg
Tru-Vue Chicagoland model 3D viewer with package and black&white films
A Tru-Vue viewer and film cards from 1953, by which time the company had relocated to Oregon and become a subsidiary of Sawyer's. Tru-Vue Gift Set - box, viewer and film cards.jpg
A Tru-Vue viewer and film cards from 1953, by which time the company had relocated to Oregon and become a subsidiary of Sawyer's.

Tru-Vue, a subsidiary of Rock Island Bridge and Iron Works, was a manufacturer of stereoscopic filmstrips and corresponding stereoscope viewers, based in Rock Island, Illinois, from 1932–1951 and in Beaverton, Oregon, from 1951 until the late 1960s. [1] The film strips, or film cards, were fed through a slide viewer similar to a View-Master, which was art deco or streamlined in style. The viewers were made of bakelite and available in multiple colors. When held up to light the images appeared in 3D. The films were based on attractive scenery, children's stories, travel, night life, and current events. The company was purchased in 1951 by Sawyer's—the manufacturer of the View-Master—because Tru-Vue had an exclusive contract to make children's filmstrips based on Disney characters. [2] Tru-Vue moved at that time from Rock Island, Illinois, to Beaverton, Oregon, [3] near where Sawyer's had built a new plant, and for a few years was a subsidiary company of Sawyer's. [4] Eventually, it became only a brand name. Both View-Master and Tru-Vue products were manufactured into the 1960s by Sawyer's.


The company is historically significant as a bridge between the stereoscopic cards of the 19th century and the View-Master reels of the mid-20th. [5] Competitors of Tru-Vue included the American company Novelview from the 1930s and the British manufacturer Sightseer from the 1950s. Forgeries of Tru-Vue are also known, including the British True-View from the 1950s that copied the style of viewers, filmstrips, and film boxes, and a True-View viewer made in Hong Kong during the 1950s that copied the shape of a Tru-Vue viewer but accepted opaque cards instead of films.

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  1. "Tru-Vue: Stereo's missing link". Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  2. McCall, William (August 30, 2000). "Passing from View: Mattel to Close Plant that Made View-Masters for Three Decades". The Ledger . Lakeland, Florida. Associated Press. pp. E1, E8. Retrieved 2016-05-31.
  3. "Beaverton Office Opened by Firm" (August 26, 1951). The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), Section 2, p. 8.
  4. "Firm Holds Sales Meet" (July 1, 1956). The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), Section 1, p. 33.
  5. Coopee, Todd. "Tru-Vue Viewers from Tru-Vue Company (1950s)".

Further reading