The Lenticular Twist

Until I spotted this vintage image of a girl doing the twist, I’d never really paid much attention to “Lenticulars” — partly because I didn’t know they even had a name. (We just called them “those plastic image things that wink or move when you tilt them.”)

This particular Vari-Vue Lenticular was available for free at Lista (see my review of Listia) and I’m bummed that I missed it — especially as it only cost 202 credits!

The Listia description:

VARI-VUE Lenticular (wiggle) picture. 1957-1958 according to the patent number. Shows 1950’s fashioned black-haired girl dancing the twist. Man can she wiggle! Two smaller dancers also dance in the background. There are 3 small age spots that do not detract much at all. The back side has the wording:
VARI-VUE (R) PAT. NO 2,815,310
Mount Vernon N.Y.-MADE IN U.S.A.

And then I was outbid on this lenticular Beattle Booster button! (Misspelling of Beatles is on the button itself, not my error!)

So as not to miss out again, I decided to search more — and arm myself with some knowledge…

Vari-Vue invented modern lenticular technology, starting with a patent in 1936 which led to the formal incorporation of the Vari-Vue company in 1948 and billboards in 1955. Vari-Vue coined the following terms: “lenticular” to describe their linier lenses, “Winkies” to describe the blinking eyes, and “Magic-Motion” to describe any lenticular image containing motion.

Vari-Vue has an entire site devoted to the history and collecting of lenticular images, from which the following information is also given:

By the late 1940’s, VariVue had become a household name by producing millions of animated and stereographic lenticular images which were
available everywhere. These images included everything from wall hangings, to record album covers, CrackerJack prizes, greeting cards, post cards, political buttons and so much more. By the 1950’s, VariVue’s lenticular images had become a craze and many, if not most famous personalities of the time, wanted to be featured in VariVue advertisements. At the same time, VariVue buttons were used in every political campaign throughout the country and were available everywhere.

…In the 1960’s and early 1970’s, Vari-Vue created a network of Lenticular license holders world wide which greatly increased the recognition of this technology. Vari-Vue has been the world leader in stereo (3D) and animated printing.

They also have a History and Guide Book To Lenticular Technology on CD-Rom.