Do you rememebr those wonderful Gypsy Fortune teller machines that would spew out a card with your fortune on it or it would actually speak. Okay I am definitely dating myself! Those were around years ago! But I did use one in Las Vegas about 12 years ago and boy was it accurate!
Someone has discovered one of those very old machines and it has been reported that magician David Copperfield is willing to spend millions to buy it. It is a unique antique Gypsy fortuneteller machine made by the Mills Novelty Company more than 100 years ago and it is currently is owned by the State of Montana.
The machine is believed to be "one of the first amusement machines to use a recorded human voice to dispense a player's fortune ..." Montana inherited the Gypsy in 1998 when it paid $6.5 million to buy nearly 250 buildings and their contents" which included "a massive collection of antique games, music machines and other oddities."
David Copperfield is also "an avid collector of turn-of-the-century penny arcade machines," and has restored other Gypsy fortuneteller machines. But he says this one is special. "There are other verbal fortunetellers that exist, but a Mills verbal like that, that's the only one," he says.
However, the Montana Heritage Commission, "which oversees a vast collection of rare antiques," says that state law prohibits it from selling "items from its collection without first completing an intensive public process." And so David says he'd be content simply to help restore this rare Gypsy to her former glory.
Montana has actually been working on doing just that for some time, although it's not easy to find parts: "The original Edison wax cylinder phonograph records that gave the Gypsy her voice were in poor shape and couldn't be played," for example. Her voice has been restored, however, via digital scans of the cylinders. And David is okay with not owning the Gypsy machine as long as it's restored. "I think it deserves to be wherever it is as long as it's going to be preserved and kept properly and that people who would understand it would be able to see it," he says. This great recap is from Tim Manners, editor.
Try your hand at fortune telling with a Gypsy or Fortune Teller Crystal Ball Costume Prop Whoo hoo!!