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Kaleidoscope in Orange

Kaleidoscope Box
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Kaleidoscope Box in Orange, circa 1970, Japan.

This Kaleidoscope has moved many places with me, and I don’t remember when it came into my possession. Looking at it now, I see the type as 1970’s, in the way time makes us able to classify collections, characteristics that are invisible to us as children.

Butterfly Porthole, Kaleidoscope from Japan, circa 1970.
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Butterfly Porthole, Kaleidoscope from Japan, circa 1970.

The butterfly revealed by the orange circle was the most fascinating butterfly.  It had a window to the world.  The box has two of these portholes, on opposite sides.

Butterfly Kaleidoscope from Japan, circa 1970.
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Butterfly Kaleidoscope from Japan, circa 1970.

The Kaleidoscope has the heft of a mailing tube, with a visible seam where the label wraps around.  The eyepiece is a hole cut from red cardboard, revealing the plastic underneath.  There are no objects orbiting around inside the case to create the patterns. This is a type called a Teleidoscope, which according to David Brewster, Scottish physicist and inventor of the Kaleidoscope, means the mirrors inside transform the world around you into art.

I remember pointing the Butterfly Kaleidscope at the world around me as a girl, and seeing transformation, and yet recognizing some of the forms and colors, even as they were reflected.

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