Mike’s Picks: Week Nine

The story of the Kaleidoscope Factory is actually a story of a little self-imposed therapy gone awry.

Kaleidoscope Factory Kaleidoscope Factory







In 1997, Leonard Olson began woodworking as part of rehabilitation following a heart attack and bypass surgery. He was inspired to create kaleidoscopes after he was given one as a gift in the hospital and he found that it brought him great joy. To Leonard the mechanics of the kaleidoscope became a metaphor for life. A slight shift and everything can change.

Leonard Olson at lathe - Kaleidoscope Factory

Once Leonard had honed his skills, opened his own shop. A few expansions and a move later and he is now happily located in Pocahontas. Stop in and see these beautiful pieces as their made and pick one up for a gift for someone special (or yourself!).


The Kaleidoscope Factory is a featured destination in the Iowa Lottery’s newest game with Mike Wolfe, original American Picker. In the second chance drawing, the Iowa Lottery will be giving away various prizes including items from Mike’s favorite Iowa picks. Mike’s picks are being revealed weekly until the drawing at the end of June. Come back to our blog each Friday to learn about his favorite Iowa locations! Learn more about the Mike’s Picks game here.

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One thought on “Mike’s Picks: Week Nine

  1. Helen
    June 13, 2014 at 9:27 am

    The kaleidoscopes are beautiful and I definitely plan to go there and buy one for my very own. I have loved kaleidoscopes since I was a very young one. They are fascinating!!

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