The first test of sympsychography, Starr wrote, had been conducted by Cameron Lee, who burned an image of a cat onto a photographic plate merely by thinking of a cat. The Astral Camera Club, which met on April 1, then took the concept one step further. Seven of its members simultaneously concentrated their minds on a photographic plate while thinking of a cat. What emerged was not one man's image of a cat, but rather a joint "impression of ultimate feline reality." The resulting picture (shown here) was reproduced in the article.
Starr wrote, "it will be noticed that this picture is unmistakably one of a cat. But it is a cat in its real essence, the type cat as distinguished from human impressions of individual cats."
Jordan thought the readers of Popular Science Monthly would immediately recognize his article as a joke. Instead he received numerous letters from people who had taken the article at face value. One clergyman even confided to Starr that he had prepared six sermons on "the Lesson of the Sympsychograph."
Links and References
Jordan, D.S. (Sept 1896). "The Sympsychograph." Popular Science Monthly.
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