Optical toy employing multiplying lens, c 1880.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Optical toy employing multiplying lens, c 1880.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Called 'New Optical Amusements, this visual toy consists of a multiplying glas eyepiece fitted to a long wooden case for viewing coloured slides. Using a faceted lens, the device produces multiple views of the slide that rotates around a stationary image when the eyepiece is turned. Following Sir David Brewster's invention of the kaleidoscope in 1816 these types of optical toys became increasingly popular during the Victorian period.

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