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The Magnetor

The Magnetor, according to this advert placed in the Winter 1958 issue of Tomorrow, the quarterly review of psychical research, is a 'stunning device' and an 'admirable conversation piece' which 'demonstrates dramatically reality of the non-material.' Apart from having an aversion to the definite article, the person who placed this advert from the office of a distinctly dodgy outfit in Woodstock, New York, called ‘the Far-A-Field  Co’, also seems a trifle unforthcoming about the actual powers of the Magnetor.

The phrase ‘conversation piece ‘is usually a warning sign that what you are urged to buy is a load of old tat disguised as something extraordinarily fascinating. In the case of this particular device, the word Caution inscribed on a label tagged to the base of what seems to be some sort of electrical apparatus, is a direct invitation to the adventurous among the Tomorrow readership to do something dangerous.

It’s all appears rather fraudulent, like that bomb detector made from a golf ball retriever and a car aerial that a few years ago some anti-terrorist boneheads here and abroad were glad to paid thousands of pounds for and which earned the wily fraudster a large Georgian house in Bath’s Royal Crescent, luxury foreign holidays and a six year jail sentence. The advert mentions no price, but doubtless this is revealed in the brochure, which the reader is invited to acquire. Possibly intended as a gift for the psychic who has everything.

Nothing can be discovered online about The Far-A-Field Company or its Magnetor, but the small town of Woodstock, New York, has long had a reputation for tolerating the alternative lifestyles of musicians and painters. In 1903 the Byrdcliffe art colony, which produced ceramics, metalwork and weaving, was established here and 13 years later came the summer Maverick Music Festival, which is still going.  The town gave its name to the famous Woodstock Festival of August 1969, which was due to be held here, but actually took place at a dairy farm near Bethel, some sixty miles away. Of more relevance, however, is the fact that in 1976 the Kharma Triyana Dharmachakra Tibetan Buddhist monastery was built here. Far Out or Far-a-Field? You decide. [RR]