Kaleidoscope History - Kaleidoscope Chronology

1781 - Scottish philosopher, writer, scientist and inventor David Brewster is born in Jedburgh (December 11) 

1816 - David Brewster invents the kaleidoscope

1817 - David Brewster patents the kaleidoscope (UK 4136)

1818 - David Brewster publishes "The Kaleidoscope: Its History, Theory, and Construction"

1818 - Earliest known American kaleidoscope is made by Rev. John Prince of Salem, Mass.

1819 - The East India Company brings kaleidoscopes to Japan where they become popular as one of the only foreign imports allowed into the country by the Shogun

1819 - David Brewster publishes "A treatise on the Kaleidoscope"

1825 - Charles G. Bush is born in Colberg, Prussia (June 6) 

1832 - David Brewster is Knighted Sir David Brewster by King William IV.

1847 - Charles Bush immigrates to the United States

1858 - Sir David Brewster publishes "The Kaleidoscope - Its History, Theory, and Construction: With its Application to the Fine and Useful Arts" (second, enlarged edition)

1858 - Sir David Brewster publishes "A treatise on the Kaleidoscope" (revised edition)

1873 - Charles Bush files a patent for "Improvement in Kaleidoscopes" (US 143,271 dated 9/30/1873 reissue dated 11/11/1873).  The improvement includes hermetically sealed liquid-filled ampules.  This becomes a famous date as "November 11, 1873" is stamped on all Bush kaleidoscopes.

1874 - Charles Bush files a patent for "Improvement in Kaleidoscopes" (US 151,005 dated 5/14/1874). The improvement includes adding a color wheel that changes the background for the images.

1874 - Charles Bush files a patent for "Improvement in Object-Boxes for Kaleidoscopes" (US 151,006 dated 5/14/1874). The improvement allows objects in the object box to be changed easily. 

1874 - Charles Bush files a patent for "Improvement in Kaleidoscope-Stands" (US 156,875 dated 11/17/1874). The improvement is for a four-legged stand that can be instantly taken apart for packing and storing. This becomes a famous date as "November 17, 1874" is stamped on the bottom of all Bush kaleidoscope four-leg stands.

1946 - Steven Manufacturing Company is founded

1982 - Smithsonian Magazine publishes an article on kaleidoscopes in their November edition called "The kaleidoscope, magic in a tube, is enjoying revival"

1985 - First kaleidoscope book is published by Cozy Baker called "Through the Kaleidoscope"

1985 - The world's first exhibition of kaleidoscopes is held at Strathmore Hall Arts Center in Bethesda, Maryland

1986 - The Brewster Society is founded

1994 - Carolyn Bennett and Jack Romig publishes the first children's kaleidoscope book called "The Kids' Book of Kaleidoscopes"

1995 -Thomas Bowell publishes the first book on how to make modern kaleidoscopes called "The Kaleidoscope Book: A Spectrum of Spectacular Scopes to Make"

1997 - The Brewster Society of Japan is founded

2005 - Mary Margaret Gibson publishes the first kaleidoscope collector's guide called "The Kaleidoscope Collector's Guide"