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9/21/1884 - There was great excitement on the steamer Laura M. Starin yesterday. At 12 oclock a large number of gentleman had assembled upon this decks and mysterious "ha-has" and "ho-hos" went from mouth to mouth. For the gentlemen present felt that a crisis in the affairs of the much-discussed Keely Motor Companys vaporic gun was impending. They had at length succeeded in dragging the bashful inventor from the emporium in Philadelphia to flaunt his invention in the eyes of an important event had been brought about through the instrumentality of Col. John Hamilton and Capt. Van Reed, who visited Mr. John W. Keely at Philadelphia, in company with Mr. A. R. Edey, the President of the company, a short time ago, and professed themselves to be so deeply interested that they wrote to Secretary Lincoln, who sanctioned the exhibition of yesterday. Mr. Keely himself arrived by a special car, placed at his disposal by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, and proceeded directly to the United States Government range at Sandy Hook, where the passengers on the Laura M. Starin were to meet him. There were at least 300 persons present. Among them were Col. John Hamilton, Lieut. E. L. Zalinski, Capt. G. V. Weer, Lieut. S. A. Day, Lieut. Frank Thorp, Lieut. O. E. Wood, Lieut. B. K. Roberts, Lieut. E. H. Hills, E. J. Randall, of the Eric Railroad; John J. Smith, A. R. Edey, Augustos Stein, F. W. Gilley, Joseph Annin, Charles K. Dutton, Charles B. Peet, Francis Weeb, Gus R. Throop, Joseph Walker, Robert Cornell, Dwight Lawrence, George H. Peabody, Col. A. C. Weldrick, Col. W. C. Church, Lieut. E. T. Brown, E. P.White, James McDonough, Charles Schullermann, S. S. Wood, Hr.; F. G. Green, F. J. Green, Lieut. Thomas Ridgeway, and Charles B. Collier.
"Hes come and hes got it with him," said Mr. Peabody in a subdued voice to a group of gentlemen.
"It? What?" asked a dozen voices.
"I dont know," said Mr. Peabody in perplexed tones. "Nobody knows. It. The force. Etherealized vaporic power."
"Oh, yes! of course," said the gentlemen, as though they understood thoroughly and felt convinced that if they went into a drugstore and asked for 10 cents worth of etherealized vaporic power it would be given to them in a small bottle.
"Now," said Mr. Peabody, "the whole question will be settled today. Mr. Keely has brought with him in a receiver five gallons of vaporic force, which, if the experiments are successful will show that there is no bogus aid used, as he has been able to generate the force in Philadelphia and bring it to New York. How does Mr. Keely get the first start? Ah ha! As he said to me, "No one but scientific men can understand it, but I assure you its beautiful." In the first chamber of the generator is air, and all that is necessary to get the first start is to stimulate this air by vibrations and thus create a small disturbance. Water dropped into it will do that. When the air gets into a second chamber it comes in contact with the vibratory ether which acts upon the water and the air in such a way as to separate the particles of water and air. Expansion follows, and the force thus generated is irresistible. This gun business is simply the reverse of everything hitherto known in science. Keely says it is undeniably the reverse.
"But what is the vapor?"
"No one but Keely knows. I cant tell you what it is any more than I can explain electricity. It is a force hitherto undiscovered. Capt. Van Reed says the dynamite gun is not worth a continental beside this vaporic gun." Mr. Peabody omitted to state that Capt. Van Reed is financially interested in the company. What the company wants to show is that the gun is not a fraud, as has been so often stated.
Mr. Charles B. Collier, who for four years abandoned his legal calling for the vaporic vocation, then took up the song. "If this is a fraud," said be, "Keely deserves State prison., and you can send me to the penitentiary," he added, looking round presumably for a prison van, but not seeing one he continued. "We have been very unfortunate. We have had heavy losses. Our generator, which cost us $60,000, we were forced to sell for $200 as old form. Our expenses have been enormous. But when we first started, in 1874, after a series of experiments made at the Gilsey House, we obtained a capital of $90,000, and we are now going to show that those who placed the money with us then have good reason to congratulate themselves."
On arrival at Sandy Hook the Fort Hamilton Band struck up "Some Day," though presumably nothing satirical was meant in the selection of that melody, and the passengers of the Laura M. Starin marched to the scene of action. There was the great Philadelphian, John W. Keely, who for the first time in his life had been induced to leave his laboratory. He is a tall, iron-gray-haired man, with a determined expression of countenance. He is said to be 58 years of age. His fingers are huge and have large lumps like plums at the end, owing to his manual labors. Beside him were the not very formidable looking instruments to be exhibited. A small gun with a 1 1/4" bore, resting upon wheels; an iron receiver a yard and a half long, containing the mysterious force and connected with the gun by an iron wire tube 3/16 of an inch in diameter; a small intensifier, also connected with the gun, a wooden target 500 yards distant. The spectators saw nothing else. There was so little apparatus that people felt inclined to be disappointed, but Col. John Hamilton looked so busy and Mr. Keely so nervous that they felt quite satisfied.
Mr. Keely took a small leaden ball, 4 7/8 ounces in weight, and with a wooden stick rammed it down the muzzle of the gun. He then took a hammer and in a necromantic fashion tapped the iron receiver containing the mysterious force. The crowd involuntarily stepped back, expecting an explosion. Nothing but a metallic sound was heard. Mr. Keely stated that this action was to stimulate the vibratory force. Then turning a handle, the first experiment was concluded. The ball was projected from the gun with a short, sharp sound. There was no heat, the muzzle of the gun being as cold as it was before the ball had been placed in it. There was no smoke. There was very little recoil. The projectile was sent to a distance of 300 yards, the elevation used having been 2 1/2 degrees.
"Wonderful!" said Col. Hamilton.
"Strange!" ejaculated the crowd.
The next shot, from an elevation of six degrees, struck the target one foot above the center. The third shot passed to the left above the target. The fourth was attended with a similar result. The fifth struck the target at the bottom. The sixth and seventh went to the left, and other shots were sent in rapid succession to show that the power in the receiver was by no means exhausted. The time of flight of the second shot was found to be 3 3/4 seconds. The velocity was then ascertained by means of Boulangers initial velocimeter. One shot was found to be projected at the rate of 482 feet per second, the rest at 492 feet per second, another at 523 feet per second, or at about one-third the velocity obtained by the Springfield rifle. Three 3-inch spruce-wood planks were then placed before the gun in order to test the penetrating force of the instrument. A cylindrical steel was fired and went entirely through the first plank and half through the second.
"The pressure I have used," said Mr. Keely, "is 7,000 pounds to the square inch. I could use 30,000 pounds, and have done so."
Experiments were continued during the afternoon, and the Directors of the company were apparently radiantly happy. What the mysterious force was no one learned. Mr. Keely, not having patented his invention, is naturally suspicious of a money-grubbing world. "Vaporic force" was the only explanation he volunteered.
HIS ETHERIC FORCE" LONG SINCE ABANDONED.
"VIBRATORY SYMPATHY" HIS PLEA NOW FOR EXTRACTING MONEY
FROM CONFIDING STOCKHOLDERS.
NYT - PHILADELPHIA . Dec. 14, 1887 - The stockholders of the Keely Motor Company met today at Sherers Hall. Eighth and Walnut streets. It was the first meeting held since 1883, and about 150 stockholders, representing 72,000 shares of stock, expressed their confidence in Mr. Keelys ultimate success. The meeting was harmonious, although it had been given out that there would be a bitter fight between the New York and Philadelphia factions. Mr. Keely was not present, but he was represented by Charles B. Collier. Harrison Snyder acted as Chairman, and Charles W. Schuellerman as Secretary. Among the New York stockholders present were F. G. Green, George H. Peabody, Gen. Ballenger, Mr. Hastings, Joseph Potter, August Stein, B. L. Ackerman, Mr. Cloney, A. R. Edey, Mr. Annan, and J. Smith. The Directors report was unanimously adopted. The report expresses abiding faith in Mr. Keely and apologizes for his numerous failures, but qualifies its statements by saying that all hope must be based on Mr. Keelys report. It called on the stockholders to take some means of replenishing the exhausted treasury and increasing the Secretarys salary.
The Treasurers report showed a balance in the treasure Dec. 14, 1882, of $58.44. The receipts since then have been $39,756.75, and the expenditures $39,799.78. There is now a balance of $24. The Auditor-General of the State has wiped out $4,700 back tax on account of the inability of the company to pay it, and has given six months extension on $1,400 bonus now due the State. As the Secretarys salary of $25 per month was much behind the Treasurer suggested that several of the large stockholders loan the company some of the shares, to be returned at a future date, at the current value, in order to raise funds for running expenses.
Lawyer Collier objected, and submitted a subscription list to raise $100 per month for the Secretarys salary and $50 per month for the office expenses.
The Secretary explained that he had been compelled to pay money out of his pocket for postage, and had often worked in the office when he had to wear his ulster to keep warm, there being no money for fuel. After a short discussion over the future value of the shares the suggestion was adopted and $47 subscribed. The Chairman then offered to double his subscriptions, and was followed by the other subscribers, making a total subscriptions of $94. Some little discussion over the proper means of securing the balance was stopped by Gen. Bellinger of New York, who guaranteed his proxies to furnish the $56 per month.
Charles B. Collier then took the floor and produced a voluminous report from Inventor Keely. In it the inventor review his efforts and experiments as far back as 1882, when he was engaged in the construction of a generator for the purpose of securing a vaporic or etheric force from water and air, but which when completed was found to be impracticable owing to the impossibility of securing graduation. After a succession of interesting but laborious experiments, he produced in March 1885, what he termed a liberator, which could be operated in conjunction with the generator, and was a vast stride in advance of anything accomplished hitherto. Meanwhile phenomena had been unfolded to him, opening a new field of experiment, as the result of which he became possessed of a new and important discovery. Hereafter he shall not, he says, require either the generator or the liberator, and his operations will be conducted without either the vaporic or etheric force which heretofore played such an important part in his exhibitions. What name to give his new form of force he does not know, but the basis of it all, he says, is vibratory sympathy. It may be divided, too, into negative and sympathetic attraction, these two forms of force being the antithesis of each other. As to the practical outcome of his work - whether there are lions still in the way or whether that way is clear to a successful end, near or remote - Mr. Keely could make no promises. He had no doubt that he would sooner or later be able to produce engines of varying capacity, so small as to run a sewing machine and so large and powerful as to plow the sea as the motive force in great ships. His ultimates success, he still molds, will be greater than even his most sanguine advocates have predicted. Mr. Keely admits that it would have been better perhaps at the time he changed base to have let it be known than to have encouraged a belief that he was still engaged on his etheric and vaporic forces. His motives, however, he declares, were good ones. He was not willing to admit until all doubt had been removed as to whether the new departure was a wise and correct one that he had made the change. "However," he adds, "alls well that ends well."
Among the work yet to be done is the construction of a sympathetic machine of a very delicate character. While this will be a perfect vibratory structure itself, its functions is to complete the work of graduation or governing of the force, but as to what length of time it will take to complete the work he cannot say. In conclusion Mr. Keely says: "I would further state that I expect my work of graduation and my theoretical expose to be completed concurrently, and the latter will be then submitted to the proper persons, so that they may fully inform themselves as to the true philosophy pertaining to my researches, to the end of enabling them to reproduce and utilize my inventions."
The report was accepted. The following ticket for Directors was then nominated and elected: John J. Smith, Joseph Annan, Charles K. Dutton, and F. G. Green of New York, and George B. Collier, Lancaster Thomas, and William Clark of Philadelphia. A resolution was passed after considerable discussion, preventing any Director being elected to the office of Treasurer or Secretary. This was done to get rid of Mr. Green of New York, who has been treasurer of the company for 13 years. The resolution was passed on a viva voce vote, which Mr. Greens friends claimed was illegal. The New York stockholders are all large stockholders and have 62,000 shares. The Philadelphia stockholders are numerous, but not heavy. They hold about 20,000 shares, the remaining 18,000 shares being held in the South and West.
After the meeting the Directors elected Mr. Smith President and Mr. Schuellerman Secretary, but left the Treasurership open until legal opinion is obtained as to whether or not the shares should have been voted on the resolution.
The most important fact contained in Mr. Keelys report was suppressed. The part that was not read to the meeting informed the stockholders that he had in contemplation the formation of a new company and that he had already, sold a number of obligations for the new issue of stock, in order to raise money to prosecute his experiments. In an interview tonight Mr. Keely said that these obligations called for between 30,000 and 50,000 shares of stock, and that the new capitalization would be on a bases of $15,000,000. He says the old shareholders will receive share for share of the new issue. Mr. Keely himself will retain about 40.000 shares.
12/1/1887 - That our if-you-see-it contemporary, The Sun, should, in an editorial paragraph, misspell the name of the Hon. TRUXTUN BEALE is, of course a cause of sorrow -- sorrow for the demise of the cat which once read The Suns proofs and cleared them of errors of this sort. It is with something more than sorrow, however, with something very much like indignation, that we see, in the same issue of The Sun that turns "TRUXTUN" into "TRUXTON," a dispatch from Philadelphia about "HENRY W. KEELY, the motorman."
This is really too much. JOHN ERNST WORRELL KEELY has devoted many years of his precious life to the construction of a machine for testing the limits of human credulity, and it is indeed poor recognition of his brilliant success to call him HENRY W. This is more than a mistake; it is a cruel insult, and it must have been because he had a premonition of what was going to happen that he has been making a flying machine on which to wing his way to other and more appreciative lands. Mr. Keely has our profoundest sympathy, and we sincerely hope that his new device will carry him fast and far. And we havent a doubt of its powers. Just listen to a part of his explanation of its principle:
"This machine will be capable of making a sympathetic outreach of a distance great enough about itself to not only neutralize the effects of gravitation, but to permit the engine and its equipment, no matter how heavy or heavily burdened, to keep it."
The divided infinitive in this sentence is, we are sure, a specimen of Sun editing, but that concluding "it" is Keely at his best, and proves conclusively that his control of natures forces - and language - is at last complete. What the "it" means we do not know, unless the reference is to Mrs. BLOOMFIELD MOORE, and that is a supposition which we should hesitate to proffer, but nothing could be more satisfying in its way than this use of the word, nothing could express more - or less - and nothing could give stronger proof of sympathetic outreach. Obviously, the problem of aerial navigation is solved.
SUITS AGAINST HIM MUST BE WITHDRAWN OR HE WILL QUIT WORK.
NYT - PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 23, 1888 - The New York members of the Board of Directors of the Keely Motor Company are placed in a curious predicament by the method adopted by Keely to fight their suit to compel him to turn over to them any inventions of his which may have a commercial value. In a circular issued by Keely to the stockholders of the company he says that unless this suit is withdrawn he will immediately stop work upon his inventions and let the company make the best of it. As the 100,000 shares issued by the company represent probably not less that $1,000,000 paid in in hard cash by shareholders, the latter feel alarmed over the turn affairs have taken.
In his circular Keely says that he desires to ascertain whether or not the suit by the New York Directors meets with the approval of a majority of the stockholders. If it does he proposes to stop his work "as far as it relates to a motive power for running engines." He says he wants to do justice to the stockholders, but they must understand that the existing contracts between the company and himself embrace only his "ether" or vapor force and machinery for its generation and use, and not his "ultimate system," which will be that of "sympathetic attraction." An interest in this latter force may, however, be acquired by the stockholders in the motor company. Keely says that in six months he can now complete a commercial engine on each "system," and if he is left alone will exhibit "progressive experiments" which will immediately send the Keely Motor Company stock up to par. The circular calls for a meeting of the stockholders of the company in this city on Sept. 8 to express their approval or disapproval of Keelys propositions. Accompanying the circular is a plan for the reorganization of the company. The capital is to be reduced from $5,000,000 to $2,500,000, and the number of shares increased from 100,000 to 250,000. Of these 100,000 are to be issued to stockholders, 100,000 to Keely, and 50,000 are to remain in the treasury.
The controlling interest in the stock is held in New York, where large blocks of it are in the possession of bankers, capitalists, speculators, and moneyed men of all sorts. If these come to the support of Keely the New York Directors will be left with so little backing that they will have to give in. The Philadelphia stockholders will, it is expected, be solid for Keely.
HIS LAWYERS EXPECT TO SECURE HIS RELEASE TODAY.
NYT - PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 18, 1888 - Lawyer Charles B. Collier will make application to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg tomorrow for the release of Inventor John W. Keely, who was committed to Moyamensing Prison by Judge Finletter yesterday for contempt of court. Lawyers Collier and J. Joseph Murphy will leave for Harrisburg early tomorrow morning, and it is expected that Wayne MacVeagh will accompany them. Mr. Collier expects to be back in Philadelphia with the writ and have the inventor out of jail some time tomorrow night. The three lawyers who represent Mr. Keely express themselves as feeling confident that the writ will be issued.
Inventor Keely spent quiet Sunday in Moyamensing prison. He was awake early in the morning and cheerfully saluted Keeper Giading. The night was chilly, but Mr. Keely said he had slept as comfortably as he could expect under the circumstances. When the trucks with the breakfast bread and coffee rumbled along the corridor and the wickets in the doors were thrown open to hand in the loaf of bread and pour the coffee into the tin cups which were held out by the prisoners inventor Keelys cell was skipped. He had a little heavier breakfast half an hour later. When the outside iron doors of the cell were thrown open and the religious services of the morning began the imprisoned inventor listened with deep interest. The soft peals of an organ and the melody of a mixed choir singing "Nearer, My God, to Thee" floated into the narrow cell. He sat near the grated door while the minister preached his sermon and read selections from the Scriptures and the notes of the organ and the voices of the singers died away. Mr. Keely ate a late dinner, but he appeared in a cheery mood, and chatted at his cell door with two of the keepers for some time, when he took a brief nap.
While the inventor was trying to fill out his afternoon nap up in his cell, a number of persons were making anxious inquiries at the untried department facing Passyunk avenue. A few friends turned away when they were told that nobody could go into the prison on Sunday, "not even Gov. Beaver or any of the Judges," but a pallid-looking young man wouldnt be turned away so easily. He said he was an inventor himself, and has been waiting eight years for a patent from Washington. He had read of Keelys commitment to prison, which he told the gatekeeper reminded him how Galileo was thrown in a dungeon when he said the world was round. The young man wanted to see Keely or have him released. He did neither.
11/8/1895 - It is reported that Mr. John Jacob Astor has recently purchased a large interest in the Keely motor from a person who for some years past has been an enthusiastic advocate of Mr. Keely. This report reminds as that Mr. Keely has failed thus far to notice a challenge published in June last by Electricity, a well known trade journal. This challenge is reproduced below:
"We will undertake to repeat, without recourse to other than well-known physical agencies, every phenomenon which Mr. Keely will produce by his so-called newly discovered force or agencies. To enable us to do this, we ask no especial privileges within the arcana of Keelys workshop. We ask only be permitted to see the experiments performed as he will show them to other experts, in order that we may know the task that is before us. If Mr. Keely will give us this opportunity, we will agree to repeat everything which he does, before the same committee of experts, provided that they are men of recognized standing in the scientific world, within sixty days."
This challenge is now five months old. Mr. Keely informed the Directors of his company last week that "before the end of the year" he would "positively be all through with his work to prove conclusively that" he has devised "a practical commercial working engine" operated by his new force. If our memory serves us, he has made several announcements of this kind since the company was organized, twenty-one years ago. He can afford to give one day to the experts representing this challenging trade journal. The terms of the challenge, together with his own recent suggestion as to an inspection by other experts, show that not more than one day of his time would be required.
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