planchettes.com - History of the Psychic Appliance...
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.
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.
W. O. Pierce, D. D. - “The Lap Planchette”
reprinted from "The Religio-Philosophical Journal" - Late 1800's...
This is a favorite instrument with certain members of the Psychic Research Society of Eastern Indiana for studying the freaks of animal magnetism. We name it Instrument, too mysterious for a toy and too simple in construction to be called a machine. It consists of a single board 24 x 16 inches, with side pieces attached two inches in width sufficient to exclude light from underneath. Over this is stretched two layers of heavy manilla paper, on which is placed the alphabet in capitals; below it the numerals from one to ten, and on either side the words “yes” and “no,” under which is written “Good Night,” the whole forming a miniature table suitable for the lap, at which four persons may be comfortably seated. The hands are joined, one holding a pencil or indicator to trace the letters.
The writer has had some strange experiences with this instrument, employed not so much for testing its virtue to produce spirits at call, as to investigate the phenomena of nerve dynamics in connection with what seems to be the involuntary action of the muscles. The time required for “manifestations” varies with the “conditions,” of which more hereafter. The presence of the magnetic current is indicated by an aching in the muscles of the arms, often at the joints, with tingling sensations at the fingertips, attended not infrequently by twitching. As the “flow” increases the hand is “levitated,” then swayed up and down, or to right and left, certainly nonvolitionally, yet under the control of the will, an effort of which will arrest the movements, inducing return to the board.
The motions are varied, at times getting down to penmanship; at others, hovering in circles over the alphabet; now darting bird-like to right or left, then returning to peck away at the alphabet like an English sparrow hungry for corn. At this stage at one time a lady friend, true to woman’s instincts, put in a question:
“If this is spirit, spell out a message.”
To this came the answer:
“Your mother is present and wishes you good evening.”
Then came a series of questions and replies common to novices at séances, but of little interest to the initiated. However, two or three things may be noted as exceptional.
An uncle of one of the parties present, purported to be in control. In this life he was a stern man, plain-spoken, in politics an intense Republican, and an uncompromising foe to the saloon. He was questioned as follows:
“Will Harrison be elected?”
“This crowd is emphatically temperance. The Prohibs are bound to ruin our cause in Indiana. Are there any such cranks over there?”
“Will their vote at the November election defeat the Republican candidate in his own State?”
“No! damn ‘em.”
This blunt profanity was for all the world like “Uncle Harry,” and that temperance crowd are since doubly glad that the predictions have been verified.
The anarchist A. Spies, late of Chicago, put in his presence next with the stilted and sepulchral sentence: “Let a man who is a man now speak.”
“Well, say on,” was the reply, “but first permit a question: Are you the Spies that was hung at Chicago?”
“Do you now see you were right?”
“No; not that I was wholly wrong, but mistaken.”
“Do you cherish hatred towards the persons instrumental in your conviction and execution?”
“No, I forgive them.”
“Do you yet believe in anarchism.”
“The world will see things in a better light that is ahead.”
“But is anarchism good in a Republican form of government?”
“It is not good in any form of government.”
“You acknowledge, then, you were mistaken?”
“I have so said. What more do you want?”
And with that, apparently displeased, Mr. S. took his departure.
The writer does not claim these as veritable spiritual communications, but as evidence of the “capabilities” of the simple contrivance, known as the lap planchette, with its phenomena within the reach of any who will conform to the conditions. These are, so far as I can determine, as follows:
1. A clear understanding of the science of psychology, to the degree, at least, that it reveals the law of nerve forces, usually designated “animal magnetism.”
2. A magnetic balancing of temperaments; that is to say, the presence of the positive and negative in measurably equal degrees. This is amply illustrated in the north and south poles of electrical currents.
3. The magnetic “flow is developed in point of strength and manifestation by “practice”; another word for it is development.
4. Patient and continued sittings for development are essential. It is needless to add that the nerve force must be normally healthy to secure adequate results. The sitters should go to their task bright as sunbeams and cheery as roses.
I am proud of your efforts to life up your “faith” to the clear sunlight. God bless you in the enterprise.