Keely Motor Company 1880 - Perpetual Motion Machine - Signed by founder John W. Keely as President
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Beautifully engraved certificate from the Keely Motor Company issued in 1880. This historic document was printed by the National Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette a woman next to the steam motor and a vignette of John Ernst Worrell Keely. This item has the hand signatures of the Companys President ( John W. Keely ) and Secretary ( Charles Schullermann ) and is over 123 years old.
John W. Keely's signature as President John Ernst Worrell Keely was born 3 Sep 1827 and died Died 18 Nov 1898. He was considered a fraudulent American inventor. In 1873 he announced that he had discovered a new physical force that, if harnessed, would produce unheard-of power. He claimed, for example, to be able to produce from a quart of water enough fuel to move a 30-car train from Philadelphia to New York City. He began construction of an engine to perform this feat and by 1874 was able to give preliminary demonstrations of his machine. He made a great show of guarding the secret of the motor he was developing to obtain power "from intermolecular vibrations of ether," and scientists and engineers scoffed at his unverified claims.
John Worrell Keely photographed in his laboratory in 1889 Keely came up with what he claimed was a hydro-pneumatic pulsating vacuo engine, which the press labelled as a perpetual motion machine. According to Keely, harmonics were involved, which he read about in F.J. Hughes Harmonies of Tones and Colours. However, as he could never explain exactly how the machine worked, the Public eventually turn against him and he was denounced as a fake and a fraud.
Keely and the board of directors of the Keely Motor Company After Keely died on Nov. 18, 1898, suspicious skeptics and newspaper reporters did a careful examination of his laboratory. Some of Keely's machinery had already been removed by "believers" who hoped they could make it work. The inexhaustible source of power he claimed to have discovered, "The Etheric Force" or "Molecular Motion of Energy", was, it turned out, nothing but compressed air. The "Hydro-Pneumo-Pulsating-Vacuo-Motor", and other mysterious engines such as the "Compound Disintegrator" and the "Sympathetic Negative Attractor", had all been powered by a large cast iron hollow sphere carefully hidden in the cellar floor beneath Keely's workrooms. False ceilings and floors were ripped up to reveal mechanical belts and linkages to a silent water motor in the basement (two floors below the laboratory). A system of pneumatic switches under the floor boards could be used to turn machinery on and off. A three-ton sphere was found in the basement, apparently a reservoir for compressed air. The walls, ceilings and even apparently solid beams were found to have hidden pipework. The following article about John Keely appeared in a book called `FOIBLES AND FALLACIES OF SCIENCE' written in 1924. THE KEELY MOTOR HOAX - 11/04/89 After the search for perpetual motion was abandoned by true scientists, and the fallacy became too generally recognized to make it a means of coaxing money from the credulous investor, the idea took the no less insidious character of a machine which required a constant moderate supply of power from an outside source, but would return this many times over. This result was to be accomplished by means of special mechanical actions or reactions which were declared to be either wholly new discoveries, or else actions that were not commonly understood. Practically unlimited supplies of power could be produced at little cost. These special actions were, of course, the inventor's secret, but among them `vibration' was one of most potent, and twin brother to this was `radiation.' A celebrated instance of this phase of perpetual motion vagary was the Keely Motor. This while not claiming to be a perpetual motion machine, did purport to furnish motive power with a minimum expenditure of energy upon it. It comes therefore in the class that legitimately succeeded the efforts to secure perpetual motion; but instead of being a sincere attempt to advance mechanical science by a genuine discovery of a new principle or some new application of old principles it was a fraud, although masquerading for a long time under the garb of honesty. It possessed so many of the characteristics of this kind of foible as to justify a somewhat extended account of it. The inventor John Worrell Keely was a carpenter, who was born in Philadelphia in 1837 and died there in 1898. He was a good mechanic and a very clever talker, but not a highly educated man. With a claim to have discovered a new force in mechanics which was to work wonders, he succeeded in inducing a dozen engineers and capitalists to organize a Keely Motor Company in New York in 1872, and to subscribe ten thousand dollars to begin the construction of the motor. He immediately applied his money to the purchase of material and the construction of machinery, and began to attract the attention of the public in 1874 when he gave a demonstration of the
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