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Fortune telling machine, England, 1920-1930

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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”.

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Glossary: charity

The noble act of voluntarily giving goods, money or time to those in need.

Glossary: fortune teller

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