Talking boards, planchettes and dial plates evolved during the latter half of the 19th-century. As the veil between the living and the dead seemingly lifted, the belief in and experimentation with spirit communications spread at an unprecedented rate, aided by advances in telegraph technology as well as an eager media.
Table-tipping and spirit rapping spread to the Continent and on both sides of the Atlantic, inventive new ways to communicate with the “so-called dead” were imagined and turned into reality.
A new age of both science and religion were at hand, one that would find them again at the greatest odds, but also with a common enemy that threatened the sanctity of both. Fake mediums.
In 1887, William Fulves – an eminent London clockmaker of the time – set out to disprove spirit communications by constructing a fool proof device, all with the idea of testing mediums’ abilities to contact the afterlife. Fulves was a sceptic. However, he was also a businessman and later saw the potential in selling such devices to polite society thereby capitalising on their obsession with spirit manifestations.
They were sold under the name ‘Mysterious Oracle’ and very few of these devices were ever made. Unfortunately for Fulves his plan didn’t quite work out how he’d intended and following the tragic loss of a family member he became a professed believer, convinced of the device’s ability to channel spirit energy.
A few years later Fulves vanished and was never heard from again. It was believed that none of his devices survived. It now appears some did. What’s more, they work – especially in the presence of Fulves himself.
The Dark Glass – what is it?
The Dark Glass is a spirit communication test device, the like of which has never been seen before. It’s not a reproduction ‘talking board’, ‘psychograph’ or ‘spiritual telegraph dial’ — it’s a hybrid of all these things. In fact, it never actually existed. Until now.
It’s a utility device for use in séance type settings. The pointer is activated by a hidden remote control and will rotate slowly either clockwise or counter-clockwise. It can be used to spell out messages or answer questions requiring a yes/no response.
The effect should always be referred to as ‘The Dark Glass’.
The performer suggests how these devices were originally developed as a test of spiritual influence since the dial is behind glass and therefore unable to be physically manipulated by the medium. The medium would instead have to rely on spiritual or telekinetic influence to manipulate the dial.
Your audience becomes the medium as you suggest an experiment to see if the device, widely credited for Fulves disappearance, can be used to contact the spirit of its inventor.
A photograph of William Fulves is introduced and placed in front of the device. The box is opened flat in test mode and an audience member is invited to test their spiritual abilities using Fulves influence.
Fulves’ presence quickly becomes felt as the device provides yes/no answers and spells out messages, seemingly under the influence of the medium.
The Dark Glass is controlled by a hidden remote. It can point to any word or phrase on the dial plate, such as yes, no, don’t know, spell over, goodbye or, with a bit of practice, any letter or number. It’s under the performer’s control at all times.
The box is made from solid, reclaimed Mahogany with period-correct solid brass fittings. The brass bezel and dial plate have been designed and produced with meticulous attention to detail and then aged to give a rich patina. Graphics use period-correct fonts and hand-drawn lettering. The outer box has been made using the period correct materials, which has then been hand sanded and aged using a multi-chemical process. The cloth wrap and string add to the overall effect of an artefact, hidden for decades, but coveted by those who what it is.
There’s also a hidden message built into the dial plate should you choose to use it in performance.
It uses a belt driven mechanism and micro electronics located beneath the dial plate to rotate the pointer and is powered by a rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery. The speed of rotation can be changed prior to performance to make the pointer rotate faster or slower if desired. A slower setting makes it even easier to point to individual letters of numbers.
The dual function remote also has a discrete magnetic switch system if you prefer to not use the remote’s buttons. The device is very quiet, but not completely silent. However, ambient background noise or performance music should be sufficient to cover any noise in most situations.
The kit includes the following:
- The Dark Glass spirit communication device
- Aged, period-correct, outer box
- William Fulves Carte de Visite
- Cloth wrap and string
- Key-fob remote with magnetic switches
- Instruction booklet with basic routine
- Presentation box
- Certificate of authenticity
Availability and backorders
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