How did a simple tube with magical pieces inside come to prominence? Reflective symmetry has been around since the construction of the pyramids in ancient Egypt. However, it was actually Sir David Brewster that invented the kaleidoscope in 1816. The subject of kaleidoscope history is an interesting one and considering the popularity of the kaleidoscope, especially during Victorian times, you would probably think that Brewster became a very rich man. Unfortunately, while Brewster did receive credit and acclaim for the invention of the kaleidoscope, the discovery did little for his bank account. When the Scotsman was experimenting with different optical tools and prisms, he unearthed enchanting patterns that emerged when pieces of glass were reflected by mirrors inside a tube-like container. The concept of the kaleidoscope was born. Brewster chose the name from Greek terms that describe exactly what a kaleidoscope does. The Greek word kalos means beautiful while eidos means form and scopos means watcher. Put the words together and you have kaleidoscope; beautiful form watcher. Brewster did receive a patent for his invention in 1817, but when issues emerged from an incorrectly worded patent made it easy for others to copy without much in way of legal recourse.with the early kaleidoscopes, capitalistic businessmen at the time beat the Scotsman to the punch; getting kaleidoscopes made and out to the public in large quantities. Brewster was left in the dust when it came to financial success from his enchanting creation. However, who would have thought kaleidoscopes would still be a source of fascination almost 200 years later? Charles Bush brought the European kaleidoscope craze across the pond to America in the late 1800s. Charles Bush created the popular parlor kaleidoscopes, but he also experimented and designed more intricate ones that incorporated solid and liquid-filled elements.
Kaleidoscopes became very popular during the Victorian age as a parlor diversion. Charles Bush was a very popular United States kaleidoscope maker during the 1870s for his parlor kaleidoscope. He patent his idea in 1873 and to this day collectors search for this particular kaleidoscope. These were made with a round base and a rarer 4 footed version.
Many of the baby boomers remember receiving a toy kaleidoscope as a kid. It was not until the late 1970s that a renaissance in Kaleidoscope artistry began. In 1980 a first exhibition of kaleidoscopes helped fuel the interest in kaleidoscopes as an art form. At KaleidoscopesToYou.com, we keep the history and fascination of the beloved kaleidoscope alive. Browse through our delightful collection of kaleidoscopes. We have a magical array that spans from the artistic collectable to the whimsical parlor kaleidoscope to kaleidoscope jewelry and beyond.