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The Kaleidoscope - An Artistic Picture Created With Mirrors

Updated on November 22, 2015

Mirrors Reflect Your Objects Over and Over


Mine Isn't

If you take three mirrors, like for instance my bathroom vanity. You put the corners of the two outside mirrors together and point the camera inside looking up, you get a very interesting picture of my light bulbs.

Simple. Yet, beautiful.

Not unlike the images that you get when you have a multitude of objects that are being reflected by mirrors inside your kaleidoscope.

The Above


Mine Was a Toy

As I recall, my childhood kaleidoscope was constructed of a tube of heavy cardboard. It had a metal ring around the end and a seam down the side. You could see inside the tube through a small hole in the end.

You could not see all the way through it. Unlike a telescope which presents to you an enlarged image of an object far away, the kaleidoscope presented an image that was inside the tube. The image was created by a barrel like objected mounted on the end of the tube. You turned the barrel and the objects inside the barrel rolled around.

There were mirrors inside of the kaleidoscope. Mirrors that reflected the objects inside of the barrel. Similar to a periscope, which reflects what you are looking at by use of a couple of mirrors. No. This was more interesting. There were several mirrors which reflected the objects in the barrel several times so that they created an artistic shape. Not unlike a snowflake, but confined to the shapes of the objects in the barrel.

Today I Searched

I was actually interested in building one. Obviously it takes a bit of cement to glue your mirrors onto the inside of a tube. Mounting the barrel to the end must take a bit of ingenuity also. A bolt through the end through a hole in the middle of the barrel.

Must not obstruct the mirrors vision of the objects in the barrel.

There is a Society to Join

There is a collection of people who are also interested in the Kaleidoscope. I was on eBay looking for a kaleidoscope to purchase so that my granddaughters could learn about it too. That's when I discovered that there are some very fancy scopes in comparison to my 1960's toy version.

Beautiful scopes. It costs $50 a year to join a society so that you can display the scopes that you have or intend to build. I find that to be a wonderful idea.

See for Yourself on This Video

How About You

Do you remember the Kaleidoscopes that were around in the late 1960's early 1970's?

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      I've always enjoyed these, found them fascinating.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      I've had the opportunity to play with some old school kaleidoscopes.

      Great read!


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