2018 Update! I see I’m not the only one who loves these viewers – as the fine folks at Roadside America are also fans – here’s a link to their interview with Greg Rising of Tower Optical who make these Binocular Viewers.
And a few more photos I’ve collected over the years!
Viewing the Golden Gate Bridge:
Ocean City Maryland
I love using these viewers whenever I see them, and am a fan of the solid design and almost human face of it. Does anyone know what the history of these things are? I don’t even know their official name to search for it?
UPDATE! My friend Lori says they’re simply called Coin Operated Viewers*! Thanks to her I was able to find out that the ones I love the look of have been made for the last 75 years by the Tower Optical Company of Norwalk Connecticut!
* OR you can call ’em viewfinder, viewing machine, viewing scope, viewing stand, outdoor viewer, tower viewer, scenic viewer, coin-operated binocular viewer, coin-operated viewfinder, coin-operated viewing machine, coin-operated viewing scope, coin-operated viewing stand, coin-operated outdoor viewer, coin-operated tower viewer, coin-operated scenic viewer, non-coin operated binocular viewer, non-coin operated viewfinder, non-coin operated viewing machine, non-coin operated viewing scope, non-coin operated viewing stand, non-coin operated outdoor viewer, non-coin operated tower viewer, non-coin operated scenic viewer, free-use binocular viewer, free-use viewfinder, free-use viewing machine, free-use viewing scope, free-use viewing stand, free-use outdoor viewer, free-use tower viewer, free-use scenic viewer…!