While very few true writing planchette patents exist, dozens of patents for variations of dial plates, talking boards, and other alphabetic spirit communication devices do. In many cases, inventors patented their pet devices but never found the funds to manufacture them, and the examples of what might have been exist only in two dimensions. But we hold out hope that prototypes, short-production runs, or other samples still exist out in the world, and it is the purpose of this page to train the watchful eyes of our visitors so they will know the wide range of possibilities that exist in talking tables. Some, like the 1891 Bond patent, went on to revolutionize the world of talking boards and decorate the walls of collectors the world over. Others, like the 1854 Wagner patent, serve as important milestones for researchers. Still others are just intriguing clues to the personalities behind the Spiritualist movement and those attempting to break through the veil of the afterlife. The following gallery of patents is by no means exhaustive, but was selected from those patents that our curator believes have the best chance of having once been, however briefly, a physical reality.

Psychograph, 1854

"Psychograph, or Apparatus for Indicating Person's Thoughts by the Agency of Nervous Electricty"

Adolphus Theodore Wagner

London AD 1854 No. 173

January 23, 1854

Device for Amusement and Instruction

"Device for Amusement and Instruction"

Frederick Becker

Patent #233,198

October 12, 1880

Toy or Game

"Toy or Game"

Elijah J. Bond

Patent #446,054

February 10, 1891

Game Apparatus

"Game Apparatus"

William Fuld

Patent #479,266

July 19, 1892

Talking Board Instrument

"Talking Board Instrument"

Justin F. Simonds

Patent #619,236

February 7, 1899

Frame for Indicators

"Frame for Indicators"

George Foster Pearson

Patent #32,739

May 29, 1900

Talking Board

"Talking Board"

Jeremiah B. Randall

Patent #785,916

March 28, 1905

Planchette Device

"Planchette Device"

Henry F. Fontanella

Patent #1,091,206

March 24, 1914

Answering Board

"Answering Board"

Daniel Sullivan

Patent #1,277,152

August 27, 1918

Spirit Message Conveying Device

"Spirit Message Conveying Device"

George Foster Pearson

Patent #1,322,727

November 25, 1919

Finger Rest and Pointer for Game

"Finger Rest and Pointer for Game"

John Vanderkamp

Design Patent #56,085

August 10, 1920

Movable Member of a Talking Board

"Movable Member of a Talking Board"

William Fuld

Design Patent #56,658

November 23, 1920



Conrad E. Gidlof

Patent #1,378,854

May 24, 1921

Amusement Device

"Amusement Device"

George C. Weiss

Design Patent #1,406,431

February 14, 1922

Spiritualistic Communication Apparatus

"Spiritualistic Communication Apparatus"

Sunker Abaji Bisey

Patent #1,420,956

June 27, 1922

Stylus Guide for Psychic Games

"Stylus Guide for Psychic Games"

Frank C. Jenness

Patent #1,452,741

April 24, 1923

Mediumistic Board

"Mediumistic Board"

Cutberto Hildago & Jose Lopez Zuazua

Design Patent #70,170

August 25, 1924

John D. Zieley

"John D. Zieley Game"

John D. Zieley

Patent #1,809, 098

January 10, 1929

Amusement Device

"Amusement Device"

William A. Fuld

Patent #1,870,677

August 9, 1932

Stylus Guide for Psychic Games

"Stylus Guide for Psychic Games"

John Albert Cheape

Patent #2,359,355

October 3, 1944

Finger Pressure Actuated Message Interpreting Amusement Device

"Finger Pressure Actuated Message Interpreting Amusement Device"

Raymond S. Richmond

Patent #2,511,377

June 13, 1950

Message Device with Freely Swingable Pointe

"Message Device with Freely Swingable Pointe"

Thomas W. Gillespie

Patent #3,306,617

January 27, 1964

Spinner Game Device

"Spinner Game Device"

Hans-Ulrich K.W. Pannwitz

Patent #3,441,281

April 29, 1969