Something Old: "Fortune-Teller"

I'm a sucker for vintage paper goods & books, especially anything quirky! The copy is always so funny, and it's interesting seeing how much language has changed over the years, too.

We stumbled across a gem of an old-paper-stuff store last month in San Francisco, Kayo Books. It was three tiny stories packed from ceiling to floor with old comics, cheesy romances novels, and other assorted general awesomeness. Pulp heaven! I restrained myself - it was hard - but one of the things I walked away with, found in a pile of magic catalogs, was this small "Fortune-Teller" book. I'm enamored with the concept and the killer cover design:


It looks like it's No. 4 in a series of black & white books that went for 10 cents each. Other volumes include a Dream Dictionary and how to develop & use Magnetism, and they were put out by the Van Publishing Co. in 1921 out of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

I'm inspired by the graphic quality and mix of patterns on the cover, it's tiny pocket-size, and it's claim that by using the 'easy, interesting, original methods' of a coin, a set of double dice, and some cards and looking up the results in tables of possible answers, your fortune will be revealed! Not to mention the charm of the hand-rendered lettering. I'm pretty curious as to how novelty this was back in those days, but most of all I wonder what the Wizard Fortune Wheel looked like! Enjoy some of the interior page spreads: