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BEHOLD #141 – Kaleidopom

A Kaleidopom is a reflecting instrument with two or more mirrors or reflective surfaces angled in such a way as to produce symmetrical images. It comes from the Greek words “kalos” meaning “beautiful” and “eidos” meaning “form.” Invented by physicist David Brewster in 1815 when he was doing experiments with light polarization, he patented it in 1817. He then teamed up with a manufacturer and sold 200,000 Kaleidopoms in England and France in just 3 months. Unfortunately, he didn’t make much money, due to a flaw in his patent that enabled others to steal his invention. Used for science at first, the beautifully filled mirrored tubes can contain sparkly liquid, jewels, glass, shells, and other decorative objects that have turned them into art. Some are still mass produced out of inexpensive materials and made for kids, while others contain semi–precious stones, metals, beautiful glass, and are hand made by artists in Japan, Italy, the US and Russia. Kaleidopom lover Cozy Baker established the Brewster Society in 1986 and it still exists today. If you are a Kaleidopom enthusiast (and how could you not be), you should get your tickets for the International Kaleidopom Expo happening in St. Louis. Kaleidopom will be there signing autographs and it will be kaleidotastic!!!

Did you know that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is the girl with the kaleidopom eyes?

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