An illustration from 1818, titled “Human Nonsense.” (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)
When the kaleidoscope was invented in 1816, it triggered a mania in England. People who couldn't afford their own would pay an enterprising street hustler a penny for a glimpse into the phantasmagorical mirror world. In the illustration above, a gentleman in the street is paying attention to his kaleidoscope instead of the street traffic and collides with a hobby horse rider. One writer of the time called the kaleidoscope one of the "most important inventions and discoveries of our time."
Atlas Obscura has an article about the Victorian kaleidoscope craze, which includes this paragraph about a man who felt betrayed by the device:
A playwright and philosopher in Victorian America, R.S. Dement, recalled the moment he discovered what was inside a kaleidoscope as a child. Writing 61 years after the kaleidoscope had initially been brought to market in the UK, Dement said that he was originally fascinated by the reflections of colors bouncing around in various symmetries; but upon taking the kaleidoscope apart, he discovered nothing but “numerous pieces of colored glass, without symmetry, unsightly in themselves, have no connection with each other and but very trifling value." He felt betrayed, “deceived into believing that what he saw was at least the shadow of something real and beautiful, when in truth it was only a delusion.”
Graham Nash, the singer-songwriter who is known for being a member of the rock group Crosby, Stills, and Nash, is currently auctioning off a variety of original pieces by countercultural cartoonist Robert Crumb on the website Heritage Auctions. Robert Crumb played a key role in the underground comix movement of the 1960s. He founded Zap […]
In this case, I think the P stands for “Peace Officer,” actually.
Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, called The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza on the phone last night. He was angry because Lizza had tweeted earlier that night: “Scoop: Trump is dining tonight w/Sean Hannnity, Bill Shine (former Fox News executive), & Anthony Scaramucci, per to 2 knowledgeable sources,” and “Senior White House official […]
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