How to Make a Periscope

In 1854 Hippolyte Marié-Davy invented the first naval periscope, consisting of a vertical tube with two small mirrors fixed at each end at 45°. Simon Lake used periscopes in his submarines in 1902. A periscope works by using two mirrors to bounce light from one place to another. A typical periscope uses two mirrors at 45-degree angles to the direction one desires to see. The light bounces from one to the other and then out to the person’s eye. Now I will show you how to make one.

Things you’ll need:

Cardboard paper, two small mirrors, glue, a pen, a ruler, scissors, and tape  (tape not included in photo).


  1. Use a pen and a ruler to draw the periscope’s body. 20170312_102444
  2. Cut it with scissors as shown in the picture.20170312_103259
  3. Put glue behind the mirrors.20170312_103325
  4. Glue the mirrors on to the square as shown in the picture.20170312_103431
  5. 5. Fold it.20170312_103551
  6. Secure the box with tape and it will be finished.  20170312_103734
  7. How to use it: If you look in one of the mirrors, you can see the jar in the other mirror as shown in the picture.20170312_104031Light always bounces off a mirror at the same angle at which it hits. If it hits the mirror at 45 degrees, it will reflect at 45 degrees, enabling it to make the 90 degrees turn around the corner. You can test this by shining a flashlight into the hole where you would look. If your mirrors are correctly angled, the light will shine out the other hole. Similarly, the light reflecting off an object you’re looking at will bounce off each mirror and into your eye.

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