Blind man fortune telling machine, with standing figure beneath a glass dome who points his white stick to one of a number of written phrases when activated via a penny (1d) slot; a second coin slot is for charitable donations to the National Institute for the Blind, made by Walter Hart of Ramsgate, England, c.1920-1930.
Institutions that rely on charity have developed various ingenious ways to increase their funding. This fortune telling machine would have been placed in a public area – perhaps in a public house – to raise money for the Royal National Institute for the Blind. If you were to insert 1d (an old British penny) into the slot, the blind man would turn and point with his white stick to your fortune.
Predictions include the bizarre “Beware of the window”, the mysterious “Now is the accepted time” and the unlikely “Go, get thee a wife. She’ll mind thy folly”.
- Public Health & Hygiene
- Object Number:
- fortune teller
- Permanent collection
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.