In figure 2 above is shown the fortune card design used. These cards used in both the Ask Swami and Madame X napkin holders are very thin.
The design calls for cards that are only .004 thick or 4 point paper, 2 5/16" x 1 1/2". This is very close to 20lb paper in common use today.
Thicker material can NOT be used due to the mechanism design. The advantage to using such thin paper  is that many many cards can be placed in the machine.
How many, cards will fit ....850 wow.
In experimenting with reproduction tickets, the paper is critical. The thickness and surface finish is critical. I finally found 16lb paper worked best.


Click on this photo for a short segment from the Twilight Zone TV Show episode "Nick of Time" that featured  an altered version
 of the Ask Swami fortune napkin holder renamed The Mystic Seer

Here is a tribute to the original Twilight Zone show episode above in the "New" CBS Twilight Zone Season 1 Episode 3 "REPLAY"
It's only on the screen for a few seconds, before this image the entire Mystic Seer can be seen on the counter in the background.

Though the mechanism is fairly simple, it's pretty ingenious.
There are a few trouble areas after it's been in service for 50 plus years.


The arm with the rubber material is what actually moves the cards forward               BTW more than one coin can be inserted at a time

I have replaced the top glass as it was chipped along it's edges because  it was cut slightly larger than it should have been.
It fits into a stainless holder. I also replaced the lock, since I did not have the correct key for it, which I had to create the correct latch arm for it.
I found new napkins for it and they are also installed.
On this unit the weight plate that sits on the cards has an additional weight added to it, I decided to leave that weight in place so far.
The machine operates flawlessly, so why change it?

I  added self stick rubber feet of the same diameter to the bottom of the originals. The originals type or reproductions feet have not been located as I write this.
The original feet have been worn and shrunk over time offering almost no protection to the surface the holder sits on.

You'll notice the fortune card looks NEW, that is because it is. I am in the process of creating a reproduction card set, so I do not have to use
NOS cards in it. Which at this point are fairly fragile and discolored from age.
I may offer the reproductions in the future. As I mentioned above, the critical item needed is paper of the correct thickness and surface.

I just ran across this and couldn't pass it up. It is sold by a company called Toynk Toys , normally used as a bobblehead. It has a very strong
Adhesive pad on the bottom for use on a dashboard for example. I installed a magnet on the bottom.



I just finished creating a reproduction of a Ask Swami promotional flyer to place in the menu holder on the back.
It was a lot of work but I think it works well, instead of a menu, which might work better if  the Ask Swami is setup at a booth.
I guess no reason to not have both!
Not seen here, but the back of the laminated card features the patent drawing seen at the start of this webpage.
I will offer additional laminated cards for those that are interested., contact me.
More soon......

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