Introduction: Boxfort Periscope

Edison Bell, Young Inventor, taught children in the 1940’s how fun it could be to make and build. Edison would have adventures where he would make a device to save the day and at the end of each story teach you how to build it at home.

You can get a 500+ page book with all of the Edison Bell stories and maker projects from this Kickstarter:

My kids picked the periscope project to build together.

Step 1: Original Plans and Materials

The original instructions called for the periscope to be built out of wood, nails, and wire mesh. We modified the materials list so we could get everything from the local dollar store for around $10.


2 Sheets of foam core
2 Mirrors
Glue gun and sticks
Hobby knife
Straight edge

Step 2: Remove Mirrors From Handles

The mirrors we bought came in plastic handles. Carefully remove the mirrors. Broken shards can be very sharp!

Step 3: Build the Box

I didn't get good pictures of this step. We cut 4 lengths of foam core.

Then glued the edges together to make a box like the picture above.

The picture above also shows rails glued in at a 45 degree-ish angle. This helps with the next step but isn't necessary.

Step 4: Glue in the Mirrors

We cut a length of the foam core (eyeballing the measurement) so the mirrors would face each other like in the illustration above and glued them in.

Step 5: Finished Product

Now my kids can hide in their boxfort or behind the couch and see who's coming! A fun project to do together.

Step 6: The Story Which Accompanied the Instructions

Check out the story which preceded the periscope instructions in the original Edison Bell section of Blue Bolt Comics.