Lincoln Assassination sites via View-Master

One of the great things about being home for the holidays is the chance to engage in some nostalgia. Today, I was looking through some of the old toys that my siblings and I played with as kids. My eyes came across a large container full of old View-Master cards. I found my favorite reels containing images of Mickey Mouse, Muppets, Snoopy, and other childhood characters. After playfully clicking through and looking at the familiar 3D images, I discovered some non-familiar View-Master reels. We probably inherited from my grandparents collection and it’s doubtful that I ever took any interest in these, non character, related reels as a child. Among the different views of national parks and seascapes was a set of three reels entitled the, “Lincoln Heritage Trail”.

Lincoln viewmaster

Though I have not been able to come up with a date for the images or the reels, there were two pictures from the reels that connect to Lincoln’s assassination.

Photo Dec 25, 8 53 21 PM

Ford’s Theatre from the “Lincoln Heritage Trail” View-Master reel

Photo Dec 25, 8 54 23 PM

Petersen House from the “Lincoln Heritage Trail” View-Master reel

I put the other 19 images from the “Lincoln Heritage Trail” View-Master reels up on Roger Norton’s Abraham Lincoln Discussion Symposium. Check them out here.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Lincoln Assassination sites via View-Master

  1. Richard Sloan

    As for date of pictures — I think they were taken in June of 1968, following the death of RFK. (see the flag flown at half-mast!) One lady is in her blouse, with no jacket. Still, it’s a bit hot in D.C in June. for anyone to be wearing a jacket, so I am stumped. U.S. flags are flown at half-mast for 30 days for a Pres., and usually 10 days for any other official. Locally speaking, it varies, and the mayor of D.C. can order flags flown at half-mast anytime he thinks it’s warranted, but I;’m not sure that incls.on Federal buildings! ..

  2. Many thanks for posting these here and on the forum, Dave. I remember having a View-Master (too) many years ago. I spent a little time trying to figure out #17 but then realized it’s the Wills House. I am not sure when the Rea & Derick pharmacy disappeared from the David Wills House.

  3. These are priceless, Dave! I, too have my original View Master (circa late 1950s) – and some reels from childhood – but hang onto these….wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Richard Sloan

    I wondered above if it was taken in June of ’68, after RFK’s murder, but silly me forgot that the theatre was already fully restored by then! The keys are the ord Fairlane (post 1957) and the flag. Not for Hoover late Oct., of ’64(too cold then, as the females in the photo of the Petersen House are in shirtsleeves. But why aren’t the boys and their dad carrying their jackets, instead of wearing them?! ).. I think Winston Churchill died in the winter of ’65. So I wondered if it was for some old senator or Cabinet member. Since John Foster Dulles died in May of ’59, that’s my latest and best guess!

  5. Karen Owen

    These are very interesting. I have a lot of Viewmasters from when I was a kid and used to do travelling with my family. There is a website called that has section called “The View-Master Ultimate Reel List” which is supposed to able to be used to look up more information about the reels if you know the title and/or code number. I tried to look up this Lincoln reel but got errors and virus attack threats. I don’t think the flag at half mast is much of a clue since flags in DC are lowered for a variety of mourning occasions. The last two times I was there the flags were lowered for the crew members of the USS Cole and a congressman.

  6. Karen Owen

    I hadn’t looked at the other photos before posting before. Another suggestion is to ask a Gettysburg expert about when the ground floor of the Wills House was the drug store as pictured.

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