History Sir David Brewster began work leading towards invention of the kaleidoscope in 1815 when he was conducting experiments on light polarization. His initial design was a tube with pairs of mirrors at one end, pairs of translucent disks at the other, and beads between the two. Initially intended as a scientific tool, the kaleidoscope was later copied as a toy. Brewster later believed he would make money from this popular invention; however, a fault in his patent application allowed others to copy his invention.
Initially intended as a scientific tool, the kaleidoscope was later copied as a toy. Brewster later believed he would make money from this popular invention; however, a fault in his patent application allowed others to copy his invention.
A Kaleidoscope operates on the principle of multiple reflection, where several mirrors are together.
Modern kaleidoscopes are made of brass tubes, stained glass, wood, steel, gourds or almost any material an artist can use.
The part containing objects to be viewed is called the 'object chamber' or 'object cell'. Object cells may contain almost any material.
Sometimes the object cell is filled with a liquid so the items float and move through the object cell in response to a slight movement from the viewer.
Kinds of kaleidoscopes A pentagonal dodecahedron A hexahedron (cube) A true sphere
A tetrahedron An icosahedron A spiky icosahedron
A torus The next kaleidoscope is named "Saturn's Ring." Another cube
Industry Most kaleidoscopes are mass-produced from inexpensive materials, and intended as children's toys. At the other extreme are handmade pieces that display fine craftsmanship.
Craft galleries often carry a few kaleidoscopes, while other enterprises specialize in them, carrying dozens of different types from different artists and craftspeople.
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