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Kaleidoscope in Orange

Kaleidoscope Box
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.
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.
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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