Types of Kaleidoscope Object Chambers

Subject: Kaleidoscope Basics: Featuring the Object Case (or thing to be viewed)

Last month we wrote about the body, made of a tube of almost any material, plus the mirrors along the length of the tube, set at an angle to each other. We discussed the number of mirrors and the angle, which determines the symmetry of the pattern and the number of images within that pattern.

The pattern is modified by motion of the objects, caused either by rotating the kaleidoscope or the objects and this will be the focus this month. The objects are sometimes encased in an acrylic cell with or without oil present. Sometimes the object is a wheel of varied colors of glass or plastic pieces. Some of the objects might be within the room itself. Let’s explain this concept first.

The Teleidoscope

A simple teleidoscope is made of a tube, plus mirrors inside the tube. As the teleidoscope is moved by a person, objects in the room itself are mirrored within the tubes by the mirrors inside the tube. If you are in a living room, you might see parts of a chair or sofa inside as part of the symmetry of the pattern inside the tube. Even if you place your hand in front of the teleidoscope, you will see your skin color as a symmetrical pattern inside. So, the teleidoscope has no object cell attached to it as a cell or as a wheel.

We feature several teleidoscopes on our website, https://www.ktoyou.com or https://www.kaleidoscopestoyou.com. One that we have designed along with Big Muddy Woodworks in Arkansas, forming N and J Kaleidoscopes, is shown on this page https://www.kaleidoscopestoyou.com/nj7inlohacrl1.html. There is a video showing how a teleidoscope works, and shows what you can see inside. Be sure to press the arrow to see the video!

Acrylic Cells as the Object Case

As previously mentioned, the acrylic cell may or may not have an oil inside that cell. If it doesn’t have oil, you will hear the sound of things tumbling as you turn the cell to vary the pattern inside. Some people remember the Stevens kaleidoscope making that sound. The Stevens model was made of hard paper, and was a favorite toy of many children. I have sold many of these as vintage kaleidoscopes, but can only show you pictures of such toys at https://www.kaleidoscopestoyou.com/stevens-toy-kaleidoscope-herman-missouri-4.html

There may be oil inside the object case as is our best-selling model, the “Spirit.” One style, “Seashore,” can be seen at https://www.kaleidoscopestoyou.com/spirit-scopes-charcoal-seashore.html. The price point of a “Spirit” kaleidoscope seems to be one that appeals to those seeking graduation gifts, birthday or father’s day gifts. We make the “Spirit” in many colors, so you can choose a favorite color.

Wheeled Kaleidoscopes

Another of the N and J models that we make is shown at N & J’s “Padauk Double Wheel Kaleidoscope.” A seven inch long solid wooden kaleidoscope is one of our most popular inlaid patterns. As one or both wheels are moving, the lovely symmetrical pattern are seen. Be sure to view the video at https://www.kaleidoscopestoyou.com/nj7inlodowhk1.html.

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