Busy Minds Blog

Crazy for kaleidoscopes

Nov 19, 2021

Crazy for kaleidoscopes

Fun fact: You will never see the same design twice inside a kaleidoscope.

Peer inside and experience the magic of colorful and intricate designs as you turn and shake the kaleidoscope.

How do they work? Two or more mirrors are attached at certain angles inside the tube, and colored beads or other small and colorful objects are placed inside. When light hits those objects, it's reflected in the mirrors, creating those magnificent patterns you see.

Kaleidoscopes were first patented in 1817 by Sir David Brewster, who was experimenting with the way light reflects off mirrors.

When his manufacturer shared the patent with potential suppliers, Brewster's design was copied and sold throughout London and Paris before it ever hit the US market. That's why there are so many versions of kaleidoscopes today!

It became a parlor conversation piece during the Victorian era in America, and rose again to fame after World War II as a popular toy for Baby Boomers.