Thursday, March 08, 2012

Kaleidakon: 1930s light show

The centre piece of the 1939 Ideal Home exhibition in London was the Kaleidakon, what sounds like a proto-psychedelic light show.

'One of the many sights of the Ideal Home Exhibition now drawing to a close at Earls Court is the huge Kaleidakon, a white and silver tower which raises its head almost a hundred feet above a pool of rippling water. Here, with the aid of Quentin Maclean, at the console of a Compton organ, and an expert on a light console, duets in sound and light are given daily. As the sound of music emerges so the tower is lit by an ever changing harmony in colour in bright and pastel shades closely allied to the humour' (Gramophone magazine, May 1939)

Advert from South London Advertiser, April 21st 1939
'The Kaleidakon, world's greatest musical instrument combining sound and colour'

There's some further technical information at the Strand lighting archive (from where photograph below was sourced): 'The Kaleidakon: 70 feet, 230kW tower in the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition, Earl's Court with a 72-way Light Console and Compton Organ for Colour Music'

No comments: