This article refers to the photo posted by Francisco, showing the Spititocom apparaus.
EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION, SPIRIT MANIFESTATIONS, DEMONSTRATING THE EXISTENCE OF SPIRITS AND THEIR COMMUNION WITH MORTALS. DOCTRINE OF THE SPIRIT WORLD RESPECTING HEAVEN, HELL, MORALITY, AND GOD.
BY ROBERT HARE, M.D.
EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, GRADUATE OF TALE COLLEGE AND HARVARD UNIVERSITY, ASSOCIATE OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE, AND MEMBER OF VARIOUS LEARNED SOCIETIES.
NEW YORK: PARTRIDGE & BRITTAN, 342 BROADWAY.
Engraving and description of the apparatus, which, being contrived for the purpose of
determining whether the manifestations attributed to spirits could be made without mortal
aid, by deciding the question affirmatively, led to the author’s conversion.
(a) PLATE I. Fig. 1, is an engraving from a photograph of the apparatus above alluded to. The disk A is represented as supported upon a rod of iron forming the axis on which it turns. To the outer end of this rod, the index B is affixed, so as to he stationary in a vertical position; the upper termination situated just in front of the letters. These are placed around the margin of the disk. The cord C encircles the pulley situated about the centre of the disk, like a huh to a carriage wheel. The ends of the cord are severally tied to weights, which, when the table is tilted, react against each other through the pulley ; one being so large as to be immovable, the other so small as to be lifted.
Of course a “hook in the floor may be substituted for the larger weight.
(b) The relative position of the medium, and that of the screen intercepting her view of the disk, are too conspicuous to require particularization.
Fig. 2, represents Pease’s disk, or dial apparatus, associated with a vibrating lever and stand contrived by myself. The whole, thus modified, has been named the Spiritoscope.
(c) The apparatus thus designated consists of a box F, which is a miniature representation of a low, square, four sided house, with a single sloping roof, but without any floor closing it at the bottom.
(d) On the outside of the part serving as the roof, the alphabetic dial is depicted. On the inner surface of the roof board, the spring, pulley, and strings are attached, by which the index is made to revolve, so as to point out any letter.
(e) G represents the vibrating lever upon which the medium’s hands are placed. When test conditions are not requisite, her hands should be situated so as that merely one-half may be on each side of the fulcrum wire, on which the lever turns. When test conditions are requisite, the hands should be altogether on the portion of the board which is between the exterior end of the board and the fulcrum. When thus placed, it is utterly impossible to move the lever so as to cause it to select letters, or to control the selection, by any spirit who may be employing them to make a communication.*
(/) Not only are the letters of the alphabet printed equidistant, in due order, on the margin of the disk or dial-face; there are likewise words, the digits, and notes of music.
(g) The words are as follows : Yes — Doubtful — No — Don’t Tcnoiv — I think so — A mistake — Til spell it over — A message — Done — Til come again — Good-bye — I must leave. These words are printed on equidistant radial lines, nearly dividing the area between them. The digits are printed on radial lines intermediate between those on which the words appear.
Five concentric circular lines, dividing the margin into as many smaller portions, as in music paper, serve for the inditing of musical notes; respecting which the directions are given by Pease upon a printed slip of paper pasted inside.
(h) The index in this instrument is secured upon the outer end of a pivot supporting a pulley of about % of an inch in diameter. The spring consists of a coil of brass wire, of which one end is fastened into the inside of the roof-board (c) of which the outside forms the surface for the letters, &c, while the other end of the wire is prolonged beyond the coil to about 2}4 inches, and. by means of a loop, has a string of catgut tied to it securely This string is fastened to a perforation in the pivot. Another piece of the same kind of string is fastened to the circumference of the pulley. The pivot being turned so as to wind upon it the string proceeding from the spring, and thus constraining it so as to make it capable of effectual recoil from the pulley, the latter may, with a little care, be made, as the spring recoils, to wind about it another string duly attached to its circumference. The strings
being thus wound, (one to the right, the other to the left,; when the string attached to the pulley “is pulled from the outside of the box, it is unwound therefrom, and meanwhile winds that attached to the spring upon the pivot. The reaction of the spring, when left to itself, reverses this process, producing the opposite revolution in the pulley. The index attached to the pivot of course turns in one direction or the other, as the pivot is actuated by the drawing out or retraction of the string which proceeds from it. This, at the outer end, is tied to a ring, which prevents it from receding into the box.
(i) It is surprising with what readiness a spirit, even when unused to the apparatus, will, by moving the lever, actuate the index, causing it to point to the letters, words, or figures distributed on the face of the disk, as above mentioned,
(j) The apparatus Of Pease above described, agreeably to the design of the maker, operates by means of a string extending from the brass ring, in which the pulley string terminates externally, to a weight situated upon the floor, so as to be taut when at rest. When this arrangement is made, tilting of the table, by raising the end at which the box is situated, causes the weight to pull the string, and of course to induce the revolution of the pulley, its pivot, and corresponding index. The restoration of the table to its usual position reverses the motion. Hence by these means the index may be moved either way, as requisite for the selection of the letters required for communicating.
(7c) The other figure in the same plate represents Pease’s disk apparatus, so arranged, as to be affixed to any table of moderate dimensions. The fulcrum on which the lever vibrates is so made as to be affixed to one of the table’s edges by clamps, while the disk, situated in a vertical plane, is supported by a bar which has a clamp to secure it to the table, while to the disk it is fastened by being introduced into square staples, made to receive it securely, in a mode resembling that by which a square bolt is secured. Under the vibrating lever, a hollow wire is fastened by staples, so as” to receive a solid wire, which can be made to slide farther in or out, and thus adjust itself to the distance.
* See subsequent investigation on Media ; also Plate IV. and description.
Description of the instrument by which spirits were enabled to move a table under the influence of mediumship, yet in no wise under the control of the medium employed, even clairvoyance being nullified.
[i) The table is about six feet in length, and sixteen inches in width, so contrived as to separate into three parts for conveniency of carriage.
(/) The pair of legs under the right side are upon castors. Those on the left side upon an axle, passing through perforations suitably made for its reception. The axle consists of a rod of about ^ of an inch in thickness. The axle serves for two wheels of about six inches diameter, of which one is grooved. A disk, already described as appertaining to apparatus in a preceding page, is secured upon a pivot affixed to a strip of wood, which is made to slide between two other strips attached to the frame of the table just under the top board. By these means, the band embraces both the hub of the disk and the wheel ; when this turns in consequence of the shoving of the table horizontally along the floor, the disk turns with the wheel, and as much faster as the circumference of the groove in the hub, is less than that
of the groove in the wheel.
(k) The index is in this apparatus situated precisely as in that described in Plate I. ; and any mortal having due hold of the table, may, by shoving it one way or the other, bring any letter under the index, so as to spell out any desired word. But no person, sitting as the medium is in the engraving represented to sit, with the plate on two balls, can actuate the disk so as to spell out words as above mentioned. Utterly incapacitated from moving the table, it were manifestly impossible to actuate the disk, or to interfere with the movements otherwise imparted.
(I) In the employment of the apparatus (Plate I.) it has been suggested that through clairvoyance the medium might see the letters, despite of the screen, or might learn them from the mind of the observer ; but in this case the medium sees
the letters without the aid of clairvoyance ; but this power does not account for the regulation of the manifestations ; since, even seeing the letters, they cannot control the movements so as to give to the intuitive power thus exercised any efficacy.
(m) On the surface of the table, on the right, may be seen a board upon castors. This was contrived as a substitute for the plate on balls. The castors, of course, perform the same office as the balls in allowing a solid material communication between the hands of the medium and the table, without giving the power to induce or control the movement. Evidently, though by any horizontal impulse the medium might cause the castors to turn and the board to move in consequence, the force necessary to effect this must fall short of that requisite to move the table.
(n) In point of fact, the board, when under the plate, balls, and hands of the medium, was often moved rapidly to and fro, without moving the table. To move this under such conditions without moving the board or tray, required a distinct spiritual process, of much greater difficulty, and which some spirits were either unwilling or unable to employ successfully.