Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I love toying with kaleidoscopes. The endless combinations never fails to enchant me.

When I began researching kaleidoscopes I discovered that it hasn't been around since DaVinci like I thought. In the early 1800's Scottish inventor Sir David Brewster put together a tube, two mirrors, two translucent discs and two beads for an experiment in light polarization.  Voila! What started as a scientific experiment soon became a popular toy for children of all ages.

The word "kaleidoscope" comes from the Ancient Greek language: kalos ~ beautiful, eidos ~ shapes, and skopeo ~ examine, or to look. In essence, the name means to look at beautiful shapes.

Kaleidoscopes come in all sizes. The largest is 60 feet tall and found at Emerson Place (formerly Catskills Corner). Designed by psychedelic artist Isaac Abrams and his son, Raphael, the kaleidoscope is a converted grain silo. How's that for recycling old buildings? Bravo!

Some kaleidoscopes are little enough to be key rings. According to the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society the smallest kaleidoscopes were created by stained glass artist Stan Goeller and are inside a  miniaturized replica of BKS founder Cozy Baker's home-museum.

No matter the size, the images created by a kaleidoscope never fail to inspire. 

Photo Credit: wikimedia commons

Photo credit: wikimedia commons
Photo Credit: Marshal Rubin

Photo Credit: the Launch Pad

"The Kaleidoscope fascinates us all, and we watch - and wait - sometimes holding our breath, as the patterns of color continue to change with the passage of time." ~  Rebecca Blackwell Drake

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shelly said...

When I was little, it was one of my most favorite toys in my collection.

Ellie said...

Fascinating post. I still have mine packed away somewhere.

Glad to have met you through A to Z.

Ellie Garratt

Alana said...

Again, intriguing! Just signed up to follow you for your more of your fun bits of information. :)

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