A tower viewer is a telescope or binoculars permanently mounted on a stalk. The device magnifies objects seen through its lenses, allowing users to see farther and more clearly than they could with the naked eye or with less powerful viewing devices. Tower viewers are typically metallic and most swivel horizontally and vertically (within given axes of rotation) to permit a range of view. The viewing machines are commonly placed in tourist destinations and scenic lookouts for the purpose of viewing attractions and events of interest; they are also used in residential, business, recreational and government locations for the purposes of surveillance and safety monitoring.
Two well-known manufacturers of tower viewers in the United States are Tower Optical Co., Inc. (founded in 1933) and SeeCoast Manufacturing Company, Inc. (founded in 1960). Both firms offer wheelchair-accessible viewer bases that provide easy access to the sighting mechanisms in compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Tower viewer manufacturers located abroad include Hi-Spy Viewing Machines, Inc. (established in 1991) in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.