Planchettes first came to American shores through the prominent Spiritualists Robert Dale Owen and Dr. H.F. Gardner in 1859, after the two witnessed the devices firsthand while overseas, and brought 6 home with them, from either London or Paris. An acquaintance of the pair, G.W. Cottrell, became the first manufacturer of the devices the next year, making 50 copies of these original European specimens for sale in his Boston bookstore. By 1868, newspaper accounts of the devices fanned the flames of popularity, and a full-on craze erupted in America. Stationers, booksellers, and toy makers all across the country began manufacturing the devices, which would see their popularity wax and wane over the next several decades, their fortunes usually tied with the ill misfortune of the World Wars.