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planchettes.com - History of the Psychic Appliance...

   Introduction | The Ancient Devices | Spiritualism's Golden Age | The Industrial Revolution
   
Innovations of the 20th Century | The Electronic Age | The Future of Psychic Appliances

 

Psychic Appliance Innovations of the 20th Century

 

It may surprise you to learn that during the late 1800's through the early 1900's, great inventors like Thomas Edison continued to develop new psychic appliances. Thomas Edison consulted with several prominent mediums and concluded that if there is an afterlife and that we were able to communicate with it's habitants, that he would be capable of making a device which would make the communications as easy as possible. A great deal of controversy surrounds a special type of recording device which he was developing. Essentially, it was a very sensitive phonograph, with "an extra large horn as the spirits have their own way of speaking..." He felt that a sensitive enough recording device could possibly record "the voices" of the dead...

 

 
 

 

The dowsing community found great success in the mid 1900's with a new variation to their wares. The advent of the "L-Rod" was met with popularity never before seen in the dowsing community. The "L-Rods", as their name implies are "L" shaped rods, generally made from stiff wires. Some are as basic as bent coat hangers. Others have reported greater luck with more sophisticated systems. Some of these feature bearings or special handles which allow the tool to be even more sensitive. Some prefer wires produced from certain metals, frequently copper, silver or gold. There is a variation where the tips are constructed to hold various "target materials" as well as screw-on tips, made of specific materials. Mostly due to lack of media hype, the tools traditionally employed by the dowsers have not been besmirched with the occultophobia so common to devices like the ouija board.

 

 

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The History of Psychic Tools Psychic tools have a history going back thousands of years. We attempt to explain the evolution of these "devices" as well as show the connections between each of them. From the "pendulum board" used by Pythagoras through the most recent inventions.

Thomas Alva Edison and the Spirit World Thomas Edison is certainly regarded as one of the great minds of the ages. He has over 3,000 patents to his credit, more than anyone in history. Thomas Edison invented, among thousands of other things, the light bulb, the phonograph and many other "miracles of science" which we take foregranted today. Did you know that he spent years of his life building a machine which could communicate with the dead???

The "Ouija Board" - Fact, Fiction & Folklore The "ouija board" has been accused of many things. Some claim it's a direct link to the spirit world. Others would have you think that if you as much as went near one, you'd open the gates to hell and become posessed, just like the little girl in "The Exorcist..." We explore the FACTS and let the reader judge for themselves...

Do Spirits Write Books??? Via automatism and seances, many books have been published which credit supernatural entities with the authorship. We offer a synopsis of several well known, as well as nearly completely obscure books. We begin with discussing the "Seth Books", certainly the most famous of the lot. We also explore another book by well-resepected authors. In their book, they report to have communicated with famous "ghosts" including George Washington. Although this book is from 1882, they have some interesting things to report from entities living on Mars...

The Truth About Automatic Writing Automatic Writing is a powerful ability which most of us have yet to explore. We examine the evidence on hand and attempt to explain this phenomenon as well as potentials which are hardly explored.

Ouija Boards in the Movies... Psychic tools such as the "ouija board" have made their way into the spotlight many times. We reminisce about some of our favorites.

 

 

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Sir William Barrett FRS was a Professor of Physics at the Royal College of Science for Dublin from 1873-1910 and one of the distinguished early psychical researchers. In fact, it was Barrett who first initiated the founding of both the American and British Society for Psychical Research. Here are some of his thoughts about the automatism...

Survival After Death

I will now cite some further illustrations of the automatic script that came through my friend Mrs. E.'s hand, and in the earlier stages came in the wonderful manner already mentioned; the remarkable point being that Mrs. E. did not know what her hand had written until the paper was turned completely round and the message read. I know of no other case where messages were written in this inverted script, though there may be such. "Mirror writing" is not uncommon, that is messages written (as postcards are sometimes written) in a script which can only be read when viewed in a mirror; this art is not so difficult to acquire as inverted writing.

The following communications are also unlike the usual type, inasmuch as they give us a glimpse,- if they are really veridical of the state of the soul immediately after death. Mrs. E. assured me that these messages were quite foreign to her thoughts, and entirely beyond her ability to compose. She had lost during the preceding winter a dearly loved brother, who was studying at an Engineering College near London. A friend of his, who had been a sufferer, had pre-deceased him, but no thought of this friend was in Mrs. E.'s mind when one evening her hand wrote:

"I want you to believe your friends live still and can think of you.... On opening the eyes of my spiritual body I found myself unaltered, no terror, only a strange feeling at first, then peace, a comforted heart, love, companionship, teaching. I am     [giving here his full name], and have written this, but your brother     [giving the name] is here and wants to speak to you."

After an interval Mrs. E. felt her hand again impelled to write, and the following message came:

"I am here [giving he, brother's name] and want to tell you about my awakening into spirit life. I was at first dimly conscious of figures moving in the room and round the bed. Then the door was closed and all was still. I then first perceived that I was not lying on the bed, but seemed to be floating in the air a little above it. I saw in the dim light the body stretched out straight and with the face covered. My first idea was that I might re-enter it, but all desire to do this soon left me the tie was broken. I stood upon the floor, and looked round the room where I had been so ill and been so helpless, and where I could now once more move without restraint. The room was not empty. Close to me was my father's father [giving the name correctly]. He had been with me all through. There were others whom I love now, even if I did not know much of them then. I passed out of the room, through the next, where my mother and     were [relatives still in this life], I tried to speak to them. My voice was plain to myself, and even loud, yet they took no notice of all I could say. I walked through the college rooms; much blackness but some light. Then I went out under the free heavens. I will write more another sitting - power too weak now. Goodnight." [His signature follows].

At another sitting, a night or two later, the same name was written, and the thread of the preceding narrative was abruptly taken without any preface:

"I saw the earth lying dark and cold under the stars in the first beginning of the wintry sunrise. It was the landscape I knew so well, and had looked at so often. Suddenly sight was born to me; my eyes became open. I saw the spiritual world dawn upon the actual, like the blossoming of a flower. For this I have no words. Nothing I could say would make any of you comprehend the wonder of that revelation, but it will be yours in time. I was drawn as if by affinity to the world which is now mine. But I am not fettered there. I am much drawn to earth, but by no unhappy chain. I am drawn to those I love to the places much endeared."

These messages are deeply interesting: some of them were written in my presence and, as I have stated, Mrs. E. in her normal waking consciousness was convinced she could not have composed them. But the subliminal self, the uprush of which Mr. Myers has suggested lies at the root of genius, has gifts far beyond the power of the normal self and it is possible, though not in my opinion probable, that these communications are only the dramatised products of Mrs. E.'s own hidden and unsuspected powers. This explanation however fails to account for the veridical messages that came through Mrs. E., giving information beyond the knowledge of any persons present; nor can it explain many of the communications that have come through other automatists, such as the other cases already cited and those which follow.

But why should we think it so extravagant to entertain the simplest explanation - that occasionally a channel opens from the unseen world to ours, and that some who have entered that world are able to make their continued existence known to us? Why some, we cannot tell. And why so paltry a manifestation? But is anything paltry that manifests life?

In the dumb agony which seizes the soul when some loved one is taken from us, in the awful sense of separation which paralyses us as we gaze upon the lifeless form, there comes the unutterable yearning for some voice, some sign from beyond; and if, in answer to our imploring cry for an assurance that our faith is not in vain, that our dear one is living still, a smile were to overspread the features of the dead, or its lips to move, or even its finger to be lifted, should we deem any action a paltry thing that assures us death has not yet ended life, and still more that death will not end all?

Though it be "Only a signal shown and a voice from out of the darkness," it is not paltry! Only the dead in spirit care not for the faintest, the rudest sign that assures us, who are "slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken," that the soul lives freed from the flesh, that the individual mind and memory remain, though the clothing of the body and brain be gone.

And it is just this natural human longing that renders a dispassionate consideration of the facts, a calm and critical weighing of the evidence, so difficult and yet so imperative. This is now being done, as the following case illustrates, with a care that grows by experience, and with an honesty that none can dispute.