I am a fan of found photos — and love looking at these vintage shots for the clothing, the furnishings, the food, and the decor. Regarding the found photo above, the “finder,” whitewall buick, states on“Found photo, three girls with kaleidoscopes , mid-1960s.”

Sir David Brewster — an inventor from Scotland — stumbled upon what came to be known as the kaleidoscope when he was conducting experiments on light polarization in 1815. (Hang on, everybody, just two more years until the big kaleidoscope bicentennial in 2015). Taken from Greek root words, the literal definition of kaleidoscope is “observer of beautiful forms.”


I like to think that these three little girls enjoyed some lasting effects from this innocent summer pastime — and made a habit of observing beautiful forms.

Though faded, this found photo is loaded with information — starting with the girls’ adorable outfits: Miss Polka Dots, Miss Sailor Blouse, and Miss Lady Blue. Then there’s mom’s leather pocketbook and Jackie Kennedy sunglasses in the left-hand portion. We’ve got us some Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks and a Fiestaware pink pitcher in the center, and a vintage milk carton on the right-hand side.

I think of this trio of 1960s girls as what the ancient Greeks called The Three Graces (charm, beauty, and creativity). We are charmed watching these young ladies observe beauty in their kaleidoscopes — and feel certain this humble invention ignited a creative spark in all three.

Painting: “The Three Graces” by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)