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Kaleidoscope

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probably made in Edinburgh

Kaleidoscope
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This telescopic kaleidoscope (pictured here with its red leather case) was designed by David Brewster and retailed around 1820 by I. Ruthven, an Edinburgh entrepreneur.

The brass and silver kaleidoscope consists of an enamelled body tube, marked on the eyepiece 'I RUTHVEN/EDINBURGH'. The accessories include 13 silver and glass cells and two push-fit cell holders.

This kaleidoscope was the first toy to be a huge popular overnight success. Over 200,000 kaleidoscopes were sold within the first few months but Brewster saw little of the money that was made.

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