Fortune telling machine, England, 1920-1930

Made:
1920-1930 in Ramsgate
maker:
Walter Hart

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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”.

Details

Category:
Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
2006-288
Materials:
glass, metal, paper, plastic
type:
fortune teller
credit:
Purchase
status:
Permanent collection

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