‘Revealer’ations…

When we popped to see Mum and Dad a couple of days prior to Ma’s birthday they were in the midst of a garage clear-out.  One of the things being cleared out was an intriguing boxed instrument called a Revealer.  After scouring a sparsely populated internet about the subject it turns out to be a rather magnificent solution to dowsing, a subject I have at least dabbled with in the past.  I suspect this one was originally used to seek out pipes and things rather than the ley lines I was seeking, though!

I duly took it away to find out more about it – I found the British Society of Dowsers forum and posted on there, as they had discussed Revealers in the past.  I was greeted with the news that as a possessor of an original set of instructions that probably made me the expert on the forum regarding this particular device.  D’oh!  So I’ve scanned in those instructions (well, I’ve used my phone to made a PDF file of them using the camera) and included a link below.

The ‘Water Detection’ Paragraph is a bit damaged by a tear – so I’ve typed out the details of that section here – I had wondered what the corked glass tubes were for in the box, mystery solved!  The small metal ring that just fits over the cylinders remains a mystery, though.

WATER DETECTION.

When the operator approaches the water course, the indicator rods will move towards each other as in figures 1 and 2 of the general operating instructions.  The rods will begin to move outwards, as in figure 7, when the operator is quite close to the position of the water, and when they are fully extended the operator is directly over the point of location.  Water is identified by holding a tube full of water and the void sample on the mineral bracket to the right-hand detector cylinder.  The presence of water in pipes cannot be detected.

I’m quite tempted to give it a road test when I get the chance to see whether it works or not – I’m particularly intrigued by the mineral bracket – which looks like a hand-guard that fits over the right hand cylinder.  Basically upon detecting something if you return to that spot gripping one of the minerals on the bracket (they’re on an elasticated type fitting) then the detection shouldn’t ‘work’ – helping you work out the composition of whatever it is you have detected.

Here’s ‘The Revealer’ in all its’ glory, which was proudly distributed by J. C. Oliver (Leeds) Limited.  Indeed, they were the sole distributor.  They had clearly moved premises around the time this one was made as there’s an amendment to their address on the instructions – it might help date it, if anyone out there knows when they moved from 28 York Place to David Little House.  Whenever it was, they didn’t have postcodes and phone numbers only had five digits!

The Revealer

And here is a link to the instructions in PDF form.

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69 thoughts on “‘Revealer’ations…

  1. Tony Podmore

    We have found this website very interesting. We also have a original boxed Revealer with all instructions in tact and in perfect condition.

  2. Liz

    I wish I had found your blog a while ago. JC Oliver was my grandfather. My dad worked for him and told me about demonstrating the Revealer. Sadly dad passed away recently so his knowledge is gone forever.

    • Oh wow, thanks for posting Liz and my condolences.

      I’ve not succeeded in discovering much more about the Revealer since this post, sadly – it’s a lovely thing though 🙂

  3. paul

    I have a revealer too – sadly without the badge.
    I find it really useful to demonstrate dowsing at my dowsing meetings
    Anyone help me find one?

  4. Pete

    Hi, I have just been given a Revealer complete with badge, 1 glass tube and all the components in the box with the instructions. I have tried it and it seemed to work ok. It was my Dads in the 1960s or 1970s, then got passed onto my Uncle (Dads brother). My uncle has recently passed away so it has come back to me.

    My Dad was into metal detecting and using also this device to find buried items. The address of J C Oliver shop is shown as 7 East Parade, Leeds 1 on the instructions.

  5. paulgerry@hotmail.co.uk

    Would you like to sell it Pete?

  6. Liz

    If anyone is serious about selling, I would be interested. It would mean a lot to have one back in the family.
    I did ask my mum if she remembered anything about the revealer. She said she thought my dad was in business with someone called Frobisher at the time. It was a long time ago though! I think my dad continued to sell them after JC Oliver was wound up after Grandad Oliver died.
    Liz Mills (nee Oliver)

    • Hi Liz,

      Unfortunately (well, for you) I found a really happy home for my Revealer in exchange for a donation to the Parrot Zoo so I no longer have it. I just had a look on eBay and couldn’t find one on there either – I hope one turns up for you.

      Cheers,

      Alan

  7. Michael Caswell

    I would be interested in purchasing a Revealer. If you have one for sale please contact me.

  8. Liz

    Hi, please can I be considered in any negotiations? The J C Oliver in the company name was my grandad. My dad used to demonstrate them.

    • Max Fox

      Hi Liz,

      Are you still looking for items made by J C Oliver, I have one in the family I am looking to sell, it’s in an extremely good condition

      • Liz

        Hi
        I would be interested. How much were you wanting for it? Where abouts are you for collection.

        Liz

      • How much do you want for it? I’ll paypal you the money.

  9. I have actually made over 2 dozen of these Revealers. I met Mr Veale in Kingskerswell many years ago and bought her entire inventory of 20 machines. I sold them all and then started making them. It was a very labor intensive effort, involving a lot of machining, plating etc.

    I somehow lost my original Revealer in my travels around the world and that is why iIm looking for an original

  10. Sandy Edwards

    Sandy,
    Please be very careful with this equipment, the basket shaped item that clips onto the handle, contains samples of different materials, one of them is ASBESTOS. If you have a Revealer, DO NOT touch this with your bare skin, wrap it in sellotape to seal the surface, or take it off and keep it in a sealed packet. Herbert Weaver wrote a book all about using the Revealer, can’t remeber the title though? but it is available on Amazon, just search using the authors name.

    • Asbestos fibres are usually inhaled, not absorbed through the skin. If you’re worried about it, just seal it with some water based paint.
      The book is called ‘Divining, the Primary Sense’. by Herbert Weaver

      Some of it is a little far fetched, but interesting.

      • Paul Gerry

        I also have the book which makes interesting reading. I must cover the asbestos tube !

  11. David Hollander

    I would be interested in buying yours and the book if you are willing to part with ithem Paul. I would happily pay you a fair price!

  12. belovedmightyiampresence

    I would give you a fair price for your Revealer Paul Gerry. Are you still interested in selling it?

  13. Cliff

    I have a Revealer I would be willing to sell. It is complete, in box along with all the bits and pieces and badge. One piece of one of the arms is missing a ball bearing and consequently does not lock in place but this does not affect it’s performance.

  14. The Revealer was invented by Herbert Weaver after seeing a man named Veel (or Veal) dousing for construction companies, I think in Cornwall. When Veal died consrtuction excavation costs went up so Weaver tried to create a mechanical amplifier to continue the work. He ended up becoming an authority on what he called V-rays, and used them to locate missing persons at sea for the British Coast Guard, track the flights of birds (using a dropped feather), all sorts of things. He found v-ray would emanate from photographs as well. His work came to light when discussed by his son, Mike Weaver, then head of the Arts Council of GB’s photography committee and a professor at Oxford. The book is fascinating. I met Herbert only once, at his small apartment on the south coast (was it Brighton?) It was his laboratory, protected from intruding v-rays with x’s on all the walls (as he’d found a cross or an x blocked the emanations). Hope this is of interest.

    • That’s not quite correct. Herbert Weaver was an associate of Lawrence Veale. Veale invented the Re-Veale-r. I met Mr Veale’s wife and purchased all her remaining inventory, so I have this information first hand.

      How Weaver got into the mix, I’m not sure any more, maybe there’s an explanation in his book, ‘Divining, The Primary Sense’.

      • Happy to be corrected. I had the impression that Weaver was the one experimenting with all the different windings of the copper wire for maximum amplification and the bearings for the wands to rotate, then testing various substances in conjunction. What I related was what I thought I recalled of the story I was told when I visited Weaver, but cold well have remembered incorrectly. He certainly was passionate in pursuit of the possibilities. Perhaps Veale invented the Re-Veale-R but Weaver surely took it a lot further. I never met Veale. Glad to know someone has the inventory (weren’t some give to libraries?) What happens to it all from here on?

      • I’ve made many Revealers from scratch, and identical to Lawrence Veale’s design, and I’m not sure where you got the copper windings idea from.

        I think Weaver imagined things that weren’t always there. I’ll stick to Veale’s more practical approach.

        I sold the remaining 20-30 units I purchased from Mrs Veale over 30 years ago.

      • What I was told re. this is that copper wire is wound around a core (I’d guess inside what might be called the handles) to amplify the v-ray signal, with considerable trial and error required to find just the right number of windings to be most effective. So, is none of that relevant? Imagining things which aren’t there is what many would say negatively about dousing generally and what some might say positively about scientists and visionaries; Weaver had a lot of interesting ideas worth further investigation (and was able to demonstrate several quite practical applications).

      • There is no copper wire winding inside the Revealer handle. You were fed a red herring. Try to look by taking the handle apart and you will be unpleasantly surprised, as the gadget is loaded with springs that propel all the parts out of the tube to scatter all over the floor. My father (an engineer) and I destroyed two units doing that.
        There is relevance in these parts, but Veale was the inventor, not Weaver, and from a practical point of view, I found Weaver’s observations a little far fetched.

        Having said that, I have doused Stonehenge, Woodhenge and Avebury and found the Ley lines that radiate from the structures. If I recall correctly, the main lines at Stonehenge are pointing towards Avebury, two at 8′ apart, parallel, and 8′ in the air. There are others radiating out at equal spacing around the monument.

        I found the instrument to be good at finding buried foundations of buildings, septic tanks, pipes, wires and underground cables and practical things like that, but Weaver’s theories about tracking people half way round the world etc. took some swallowing.

        These days, there are plenty of devices that use sound waves etc. to locate underground objects, and while expensive, I think they do a better job than The Revealer. It’s a neat instrument, and a great party piece, but as a commercial venture, doomed to failure these days.

      • The revealer detailed here originally lived in an Estates Department for an NHS authority – it was being thrown out when my Dad rescued it but was originally used for locating pipes or other building maintenance type tasks 🙂

      • gingerleefrank

        Yeah, don’t care for herring.

  15. Liz

    I’m happy to say that I have been given a Revealer for Christmas! It was sold in a box of random objects then put up for sale. I can’t believe that I’ve finally got my hands on one, with Grandad Oliver’s plate on the box.

    • Paul

      That’s great – I can’t remember if you said you know how to dowse, but if not and are in Devon I could help ?

      • Liz

        That’s very kind but, unfortunately, I’m a Yorkshire woman exiled in Leicestershire

    • From across the Pond I too congratulate you on obtaining a Revealer (Re-Veal-r), Liz, and with your granddad’s plate as well. Experiment with it. I was shown many applications when I visited Weaver with a girlfriend. For instance, we did an experiment in which a blade of grass was snapped off after which we returned to Weaver’s “lab” (flat), then let the Revealer take us back to the field and matched up the two bits. More than needle-in-a-haystack stuff. As my girlfriend and I were lovers, and also both photographers who had photographed each other, Weaver claimed there would be V-ray connections between not only our bodies but the film in our cameras. He scanned the link between us with various minerals, then announced one of us had a calcium deficiency and likely bone trouble. I knew this was in fact true of my girlfriend but neither of us said a word, so he scanned v-ray connections between my camera and her and her camera and me and asserted she was the one with the problem and should see a physician. He had Xs on the walls of his apartment, because he’d found the cross shape blocked v-rays entirely so he could experiment freely. The herringbone shape of fish skeletons or birds’ feathers amplified v-rays down their length (which he claimed explained migratory return to nests in cliff faces from thousands of miles away). He was building pyramid models and said v-rays circulated inside them without eminating from them, becoming very strong (but was unaware of earlier studies on pyramids, for example preserving fruit, etc.) And he was featured holding a Revealer on the cover of a publication which I believe was called The Coast Guarder in which he had demonstrated from two different coast guard stations an ability to triangulate and locate a missing person at sea using fingernail clippings from their home. The potential possibilities seemed endless (even if considered “far fetched” by many). I don’t wish to discout them simply because I can’t explain them or can conceive how they could be possible. Doing so would also discount dousing altogether, no?

      • I heard of these sorts of things too, but mainly from Lawrence Veale’s wife.

        I’ve doused Stonehenge, so if you get a chance to go there, try finding the Ley lines. You’ll know them when you find them, they almost shake the Revealer out of your hands.

    • I’ll help you too, just swing over to New York! 🙂

      learned a lot about this when I was selling them.

      Happy Christmas!

  16. Paul Gerry

    Ok – if need any help I have a v good friend in Yorkshire

  17. chadd

    hello,

    i’m looking for this releaver dowsing rods do please let me know from where i can buy it.

    thank you.
    chadd

  18. Nicholas Challacombe

    Great set of discussions, having unearthed a Revealer today which I used extensively in the early 60’s in my work as an Engineer on Roads and Sewers. No badge in the box or glass tubes but otherwise perfect condition. I was not the first user as it was passed down to me as I climbed the promotion ladder. Put away over 40 years ago and saw the light of day today. It was used today to locate a water pipe.
    Nick Challacombe

  19. Are there any Revealers up for sale?

  20. Jim

    I have a boxed revealer made by JC Oliver. I worked as a civil engineer for the railway for 42 years, and found mine in a cupboard of the former District Civil Engineer’s office in Irvine. The building was being demolished and the revealer would probably have been lost forever.

    It does work, although the box is a bit shabby, however I’m in the process of refurbishing it, as a fabulous example of times gone by.

    • Are you selling it?

      • Jim

        I’m afraid not, I’ve had this thing since I was in my 20’s and used to use it to find drainage runs in railway depots. I’m 64 now and couldn’t let it go………

  21. Jim

    I read the book ‘Divining the Primary Sense’ written by Herbert Weaver……..clearly, the scribbling of a madman…….

    • Yes indeed there are some crazy notions there, but I did discover that the little square broach did actually work most of the time to block our signals.

  22. Jim

    Obviously there are more things in heaven and earth than dreamt of in our philosophy Horatio…….

  23. Paul

    If you believe the broach will work then it will. This is the Ideomotor effect.

    • There are many notions which have seemed crazy to most people when first encountered, such as the very idea of using the Revealer to douse for and locate things which can’t be seen or seem to just not be there. I think much of what Weaver researched could prove to have basis and application… just my opinion.

      • And you could be right. As an example, I have shown people how to use the revealer (and coat hangers) and they haven’t been able to get it to work, but when I place my hand on their shoulder the ‘art’ seems to pass to them. ‘Divine’ interference?

      • Paul

        Absolutely – believe and it will happen

        Ideomotor effect

        Ideomotor actions are unconscious, involuntary motor movements that are performed by a person because of prior expectations, suggestions or preconceptions.

        The classic example is that of dowsing. Dowsers usually hold their rods out in front of them so that they are parallel. When they come across whatever it is they are trying to detect (usually water), the rods will cross over at that point.

        A complete novice who is told that water is beneath the ground at a certain point will find that as they cross the point, their dowsing rods will deflect or cross. This is because they know where the point is and they subconsciously move their hands slightly, which crosses the rods.

        The important point to stress is that this is done unconsciously. The person who is crossing the rods does not realise that they are themselves doing it; in fact, it feels as if some external force is acting upon the rods, which makes the experience even more powerful.

        This can be shown to be ideomotor action by:

        Blinding the test subject as to where the water is. They perform no better than chance at dowsing water if they don’t know where it is beforehand.

        Suggesting to the test subject that water lies in a certain place: perhaps with a false demonstration. It is found that if they believe water to be present, the dowsing rods will cross whether water is there or not. This shows that it is the preconception that causes the effect and not the presence of water.

      • The one thing that Lawrence Veale said his instrument would not detect was – water. I think he said it registered the void where the water was.

  24. Paul

    The Revealer is still a great instrument when giving a lecture or workshop on dowsing ! Wish I could find the badge as it is missing in mine

    • It’s easy enough to make one. Any metal cross will work. Veale used two paperclips crossed over, and if you look at the badge it’s outline is very similar.
      And now one can delve into the occult maybe? Crosses, Ley Lines, force fields. Interesting stuff.

      • Paul

        Or even not making one but believe you have one – then the power lines won’t affect the dowsing. One famous Dowser couldn’t Dowse when wearing wellies until one day he forgot he was wearing them and was dowsing as he usually did. I convinced a Dowser that he couldn’t Dowse whilst wearing a tinfoil cap !

  25. Mark Shepherd

    Great comments! Very interesting. I am keen to try dowsing and bought a Revealer on ebay last year (cost £62 plus postage). Still learning how to use it!

    If anyone wants to post their results of using the Revealer then that would be very helpful.

    I think we are all part of a very exclusive and unusual club!!!

    Does anyone know how many original Revealers were made and sold?

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