Kaleidoscope Old World Toy
- Ages 5 and up
Twist this classic toy with an Old World map look, and experience a vibrant light show. Each turn creates a magical, intricate, and iridescent mosaic that will dazzle and delight. Educational and entertaining, fostering creativity, imagination, and constant fascination.
The kaleidoscope was invented in 1815 as a scientific tool to study light polarization, but it was quickly produced as a toy and became so popular that two hundred thousand kaleidoscopes were sold in London and Paris in just three months. To meet the demand in the United States, inventor Sir David Brewster allowed different manufacturers to produce the toys, including the H. M. Quackenbush, Co., in upstate New York. A fault in Brewster's patent application allowed many others to copy his invention.
The patent act of 1790 established the rules for submitting a patent application. Each application had to be submitted with specifications, a patent drawing, and, if possible, a model of the invention. Eventually, models were no longer required. The National Archives holds nearly three million patent case files from 1836-1956, including many patents related to toys.