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Writings on History > History of Kaleidoscopes

History

Cozy Baker, Kaleidoscope Artistry, 1999, p 15

Kaleidoscopes are portals of remembrance that open onto the familiar, yet unexpected. Allowing the eye to marvel, the mind to explore, and the heart to leap, these mirrored tubes of magic have developed into a significant new art form. Since its invention by Sir David Brewster in 1816, the kaleidoscope has fulfilled a variety of functions. Universal in its appeal and spanning all age groups, it has served as a toy for children, parlor entertainment for adults, and a design palette for artists, jewelers, architects, and all those involved in the ornamental arts. Since its nineteenth century origin, the kaleidoscope has developed by light-years in design, optics and sheer beauty. While its name alone promises the magic of Aladdin’s lamp or Cinderella’s fairy godmother, it takes more than a magic lamp or wand to transform yesterday’s “Victorian Videos” into modern “Space Age Spectaculars.” First and foremost, it takes the hands and heart of a dedicated artist. Indeed, the artist is the very heart of the kaleidoscope, and kaleidoscope artists are what scopes are all about – an aurora borealis of color.

Cozy Baker, Kaleidoscopes Artistry, 1999, p 15