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It resembled a television set, but had a record player on the top. Records and slides were sold for it in combination. The slide strip, which was a flat plastic key 8 inches long containing a strip of 16mm color film, was inserted into the top of the device. As the record played (typically telling a story), the slide strip, through which the images were projected on the screen, would automatically advance to illustrate it. The mechanism by which the slide advanced was purely mechanical, and was based on the rotation of the turntable, so proper operation required manually spinning it a few revolutions before beginning the presentation.
It also functioned as a standard record player, able to play 16, 33⅓, 45, and 78 RPM records through its built-in speaker.
The Show 'n Tell was also sold as the Show 'n Tell Phono-Viewer by CBS Toys, in the early 1980s, under the brand name "Child Guidance." These devices, which were drastically redesigned from their earlier version, only had two speeds (33⅓ and 45), and could not play full 12" LPs. However, the Phono-Viewer could optionally move the projected image off the built-in screen and onto an outside surface (such as a wall or screen).
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