Famous Fortune Telling Machines
Possibly you have seen some of the famous fortune telling machines in the movies or in the carnivals. At one time these items were very popular at county fairs and carnivals. The movies often show one of the infamous machines on the boardwalk. The movie “Big” that starred Tom Hanks brought about a new surge in the popularity of these devices because in the movie Hanks puts money into the Zoltar Fortune Telling machine and the machine turns him into a grown up.
In the 1930s these fortune telling machines were extremely popular items at the penny arcades and the different entertainment parks. At this time there was a fortune telling machine named Zoltan that is more than likely where the name of Zoltar came from for the machine in the movie.
The information Zoltan is thought to be gotten from the Hungarian information that method sultan. The figures in the Zoltan machine are dressed like sultans so it is surmised that this is where the name for the machines derived.
The Zoltan machine is thought to be the most popular of all of the fortune telling machines. It was produced sometime around 1965 and only fifty of the original versions were made. The actual fortune telling machines had been around since the latter part of the 1800s and in 1910 the first machine that was operated by electricity came to be.
The machines were made with the images of anything that was considered to have some magical strength. Many of the machines were made with wizards, and with skulls, and devils were a very popular theme for them in addition. Puss in Boots was once a popular fortune telling machine. Old women that may have been meant to portray witches were often used as themes for the fortune telling machines.
In the state of Montana there is a fortune telling machine that is known as the “Gypsy”. This machine allows for the gypsy to have a real voice and speak to the person that puts their money in it. The gypsy was always a popular theme for these machines and she generally was behind glass and could possible nod her head or lift her hand when you put your money into it.
The gypsy machines were thought to have been designed because the act of telling ones fortune can be traced back to some of the traveling gypsies and the powers they seemed to have. It appeared that these people were some of the first psychics to characterize their powers and live to tell about it. So the gypsy woman was always thought of as dark, beautiful, and magical. These machines were portrayed as magical so it made sense for the designers to include images of the female gypsies as themes for the machine.