Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

User Tools

Site Tools

This is an old revision of the document!

Impression Devices

A writing impression device was detailed in Horatio Galasso's Giochi de Carte, 1593, p. 129 of the Pieper translation. This book was translated in Gibecière, Vol. 2 No. 2, Summer 2007, p. 15-150. On page 185, Vanni Bossi claims that the impression device goes back even further to Libro nuovo d’imparare a scrivere tutte sorte lettere antiche et moderne di tutte nationi, 1540.

It's worth noting the version in W.H.J. Shaw's Magic and Its Mysteries, 1893, p. 49. In “The Spirit Communication” a small piece of paper is used, prepared with white wax or soap. The paper is set on a sheet of glass when the writing is done. The impression is read without the use of a developing agent (e.g., graphite); rather, it is read by observing the glass sheet from an appropriate angle.

Walford Taylor wrote a two-part overview on impression devices in The Magic Circular, Vol. 101, Nos. 1086 & 1087, Jan. & Feb. 2007, p. 6-7 & 38-40, respectively.