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This early kaleidoscope has a cardboard tube with glass front and brass fittings, and inscription that reads “C. G. BUSH & CO. / PROV. R.I. / PATENT REISSUED / NOV. 11, 1873.” Charles Gustavus Busch (1825-1900) was born in Coburg (then in Prussia, now in Poland), worked with his father making rope, moved to Boston at mid-century, became interested in optics, and anglicized his name.
Ref: Charles G. Bush, “Improvement in Objects for Kaleidoscopes,” U.S. Patent 143,271 (Sept. 30, 1872), assigned to himself and to J. W. Hoard of Providence, R.I.; reissued (Nov. 11, 1873).
Ad for “The Parlor Kaleidoscope,” in The Publisher’s Weekly (Nov. 22, 1873): 586.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
ca. 1873-1876
C. G. Bush and Co.
place made
United States: Rhode Island, Providence
overall: 10 in x 3 1/2 in; 25.4 cm x 8.89 cm
overall: 9 5/16 in x 4 7/8 in; 23.65375 cm x 12.3825 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Vernon and Sylvaine Beal
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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