Psychometry is a psychic ability in which a person can read or sense the history of an object by touching it. The reader can receive impressions from an object by touching or holding it in their hands. These impressions can be perceived as images, sounds, smells, tastes and even emotions. Psychometry is a form of scrying - a psychic way of seeing something that cannot ordinarily be seen. Some people can scry using a crystal ball, black glass or even the surface of water. With psychometry, this extraordinary vision is available through touch. Psychometry is more likely to be effective if the object has strong history and sentimental value to the objects owner.
Jospeph Rodes Buchanan coined the word "psychometry " in 1842. Buchanan came up with the idea that all things give off an emanation. He wrote a comprehensive treatise, Manual of Psychometry: the Dawn of a New Civilization (1885), detailing how the direct knowledge of psychometry would be applied to and affect the many various branches of science. It also would elevate the various schools of philosophy and arts thereby affecting wide social change and ultimately an enlightenment of humanity. Buchanan continued to promote psychometry throughout his life and his followers believed that it would revolutionize science in a comprehensive way as "the dawn of a new civilization".