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NYT - BRIDGEPORT, Dec. 28, 1884.- A story is current here that a veteran machinist named Baker, an old resident of Bridgeport, has just returned from Philadelphia with a sensational story to tell. He is represented as having been for the past two years an employee at the workshops of the Keely Motor Company, in Philadelphia, as the representative of a New York capitalist, by whom he was to be paid for the discovery and exposure of Keelys much advertised secret. Now Baker returns to denounce Keely as a fraud and give the outlines of a Book which be promises to write for the edification of Wall street and other parts of this too confiding world. Baker claims to have been drawing $200 a month from the New-Yorker while pursuing his investigations and to have had the full confidence of Keely. Keely, he says, was very careful in engaging him, keeping him at the most unimportant employment until he felt that the man was trustworthy. Baker said it required a year and a half to discover the secret. This is Bakers description of the motor to a reporter. "The motor proper consisted of a heavy outside covering of metal shaped to deceive the spectator in every way he may look at it. The outside looks as if the machine consisted of a large massive iron cylinder with valves, wheels, and outside piper. These are supposed to assist in the act of generating the famous new force, when in fact the outside shape has little to do with the working parts. Those parts are on the inside. The force is, pure and simple, air, the least bit tainted with a chemical to deceive, as everything else is made to do. The air is pumped from 7 to 21 steel tubs on the inside of the shell. The tubs are of sufficient strength to withstand a pressure of from 10 to 30,000 pounds. There is mechanism inside the shell that permits the compressed air to pass from one chamber or cylinder at a time into a distinct and separate cylinder which contains the piston that operate the flywheel of the machine. By this method the machine can be kept running five minutes or perhaps longer, and yet show very little change on the pressure gauge. The plan is to allow only one-third of the air to escape from one cylinder, and then that one is disconnected, and so on until but one cylinder has been used to that extent, when the machine is stopped and a great show is made, as, of course, the indicated pressure is exactly the same as it was before the wheel went around. Nor a drop of water is used at any time. The water story is all bosh." Such in substance is a long story as it is told by Baker, who alleges that Keely is far from being a practical mechanic and never talks to one, though when a stockholder comes around Keely deluges him with a mixed fantastic jargon, using a hundred terms or more that no mechanic or scientist ever heard before. Baker avers that the idea of a motor was given to him in Newark, N.J., as long ago as 1867, when Dr. George A. Prindham, then of Newark, now of Philadelphia, constructed a machine in many respects like the Keely motor at the fire engine works of Gould Brothers, in Railroad-avenue, Newark, Keely, he says, captured the idea by haunting the shops. Baker omits to make public the name of the New-York capitalist in whose interest he has been playing the detective on Mr. Keely
FORCED TO SELL 40 SHARES OF KEELY MOTOR STOCK FOR $5.
NYT - November 15, 1887 - The monotony of real state sales at the Liberty-street Exchange was broken yesterday by an offering of five claims on behalf of a man with whom fortune coquetted until she tired of him and then left him to a world that has been indeed merciless. Nearly every one who was in speculation 10 years ago knew about James E. Kelley. For 40 years he had butted his luck and ingenuity against all kinds of risks. Sometimes he was rich and at times he had to borrow to meet his losses, but whether his tide was high or low his happy, buoyant disposition never changed. He seemed to have hope enough to see a bright future beyond any reverse, however serious. In 1872 he made a calculation of his fortune and found himself worth easily above all liabilities $500,000. Kelley had started life as a circus manager. He was interested with Barnum and other noted managers at one time of another, and did a good deal in that live on his own account. Making money, he put other irons in the fire. Anything that promised a profit caught his fancy. About 1875 he found himself cramped for money. His investments were not doing well, and in efforts to better himself he plunged deeper in debt. Then his creditors began to push him. He kept his head bravery above water until 1877, when a creditor swooped down upon a circus company in which Mr. Kelley had a major interest and which was then traveling in Georgia, and sold it out to satisfy a chattel mortgage. The outfit for the circus had cost about $200,000. It realized $10,000 or $11,000. This blow crushed him and he went into bankruptcy. For several years past he has importuned his Assignee, William Forse Scott, to try to collect some of the money due him. In many cases claims were outlawed. In others, Mr. Scott discovered that they were faulty. At last he decided to offer some of his claims at auction. Four of these where either outlawed or worthless. The other was 40 shares of Keely Motor stock. Less than score of people gathered at the auction stand of Leviness & Brown when the claims were offered yesterday. There was no bid on the first claim. The first and second were offered together, but failed also to provoke a bid, as did the first three together. When the first four were put up, including the 40 shares of Keely Motor, there was a reluctant bid of $5 for the four. No one raised the bid, and the claims were knocked down. Then the bidder refused to take them, and William A. Albert, a lawyer, of 71 Broadway, assumed the delinquents place and offer. Mr. Albert bought the last claim for $25. The five claims, which once represented to Mr. Kelley quite $40,000, had gone for the pitiful sum of $30- not enough to pay the costs of the sale.
NYT - April 29, 1896 - It is an interesting coincidence that while the recent convention of the Theosophists was in session the Keely Motor Company was reorganized and announcement was made that the motor would soon be tested on a street railway car. We are still inclined to regard with favor our own suggestion, made a few days ago, that the new Mahatma who has taken charge of the occult business of the Theosophical Society, and whose identity is concealed from the world at large and Theosophic rank and file, may be no less a person than Mr. CLAUDE FALLS WRIGHT, the young Secretary, who has been so freely describing the unknown wonder-workers supernatural powers; but we are not unwilling to consider evidence tending to show that the new Occult Guardian is JOHN E. W. KEELY. During the recent convention the society exhibited a high regard for KEELY, and we pointed out a few months ago that KEELY was known to be doing business on a mahatmic basis. His "polar-depolar sympathetic force," and interchange of polar and depolar sympathy" are clearly the mahatmic "thought waves" under other names, and it is admitted that the "astral" forces or manifestations which are the stock in trade of the Mahatmas. Wherever these personages reside, whether on the tops of the Himalayas or in a New-York flat, are to be observed in KEELYS workshop. KEELY is also affected by such "conditions" as those which sometimes interrupted the memorable "materializations" which Mme. BLAVATSKY and Col. OLCOTT drew inspiration for the establishment of the Theosophic Society and cult. He said to his inquiring guests in Philadelphia on the 17th day of January last: "I am always a good deal disturbed when I begin one of these exhibitions, for sometimes, if an unsympathetic person is present, the machines will not work." And at the same time the most faithful, credulous, and generous of KEELYS supporters explained that the motive power discovered by the old gentleman was really "the will of God," and that KEELY could move railroad cars merely by looking at them and talking to them, without the aid of any machinery whatever. It is stated now, however, that he prefers to have the assistance of a little box, "eighteen inches long by eight inches wide," fastened to the front platform of the car, but connected in no way with the running gear. It should be said that, as reported by the officers of his company, he has abandoned the vaporic ether system" and now uses the "vibratory" method, which is another name for "the polar-depolar sympathy." This charge, we suppose, could not be avoided, although his followers had expended about $250,000 in perfecting the application of the force now laid aside. But if he can, as he says, "run a street car crowded to the roof with a machine no bigger than your hand," or merely by talking to it, the new "basis" in better than the old one. At the recent convention KEELY was mentioned with expression of profound respect by leading Theosophist who have been permited to know the name of the new Mahatma. Dr. J. D. BUCK of Cincinnati, acting President of the society after the death of Mr. JUDGE, and Chairman of the convention, referred as follows to KEELY in a learned paper which he had prepared for the edification of the assembly: "No one holding firmly to the mechanical theory of the universe has advanced a single step in any real discovery or apprehension of the essential truths of cosmic or human evolution. "The single exception is J. E. W. KEELY of Philadelphia. J. E. W. KEELY seems to combine the intuitions of the seer with the practical knowledge of mechanics, and is at once a scientist and a philosopher. Though he has nowhere completely formulated the old philosophy to which I have referred, his conception of the constitution of matter and the correlation of force is in complete harmony with it. In his apprehension of the working powers of nature he has no equal in his generation. "If science would change its working hypothesis, the Keelys of science would doubtless become more numerous. [This seems reasonable.] The Soul of the World, or Universal Spirit, lies at the heart of every atom, guiding and directing it movements. There is thus derived the introductory impulse to motion, to which Mr. KEELY refers, and, as he truly says, beyond which no finite mind can go; further than this, we must fathom the essence of the Supreme Spirit." It is admitted that the new Mahatma was present in the convention. We have not been able to ascertain whether Mr. KEELY was in this city at the time, but it seems to us that the new Occult Director and honored associate of KOOT HOOMI and MORYA must be ether KEELY or young CLAUDE FALLS WRIGHT. Owing to certain mysterious predictions proceeding from the societys group of "chelas," we are now inclined to believe KEELY is the man. It has been stated authoritatively that the new Guardian has a great "oportunity" because "the world will soon have a striking demonstration of the new era," and that "the recent discoveries as to the ethereal character of matter and the material character of ether" make the "beginning of a new cycle." These, we think are veiled allusion to the reorganization of the Keely Motor Company and the impending application of KEELYS polar and depolar sympathy to street cars.
NYT - May 5, 1896 - We ventured to suggest a few days ago that the newly discovered Mahatma - known, however, only to the select and occult few - was either the young Theosophist Secretary, Claude Falls Wright, or the Philadelphia Thaumaturgist, John E. W. Keely, and - referred to some circumstantial evidence which seemed to point to the renowned motor-maker in the City of Brotherly Love. Mr. Wright must now be excluded, for at the marriage ceremony in which he appeared on Sunday last as one of the high contracting parties the new Mahatma was present as officiating Occultist, but so concealed by veils and robes that his identity was not disclosed. This impressive and mysterious person with Theosophic rites united these two interesting beings who, we are told, have been seeking each other for the last 5,000 years through a long series of reincarnations. Are this Mahatma and Keely one and the same person? It may be so, for we notice that President Hargrove, the young English adept, in his long address at the beginning of the services made frequent reference to vibration and that vibratory force which Keely manipulates so profitably. We pointed out a few days ago that at the annual convention Acting President Buck had eulogized Keely as a great Theosophic mechanic and seer, because he was about to usher in a new cycle by applying the vibratory essence of the atom to street cars as a motive force. And President Hargrove, having spoken on Sunday of what was going on in Egypt 5,000 years ago - "the time when our present teacher and one other in our midst were leading workers" - went on to say: "In those days they understood the meaning of vibration; they dealt with essences instead of appearances. Remember, then, that what you will witness is not a show; that the garments and emblems worn here are not for display, but are used to hide the personal form and to start vibrations by means of color and motion that will be far-reaching in their effect and beneficial to all concerned. Remember, too, that the sounds you will hear are not to provoke applause or to please the ear; they, too, are vibrations, and they, too, belong to the magic of antiquity, which it will before long become our duty to revive." To what did these remarks refer, if not to Keelys "vibratory force," his "polar and depolar sympathy," his "thoughtwaver," and his "astral essences"? Is it not clear that Mr. Hargrove had in mind, when he spoke of those "beneficial" vibration and the approaching "revival" of vibratory magic, the impending utilization of Keelys motor on the street cars of Philadelphia and New-York? Was the venerable form of John E. W. Keely concealed in those flowing robes and behind that veil? We offer these question for what they are worth.
NYT - PHILADELPHIA, Penn., Dec. 21, 1898.- The will of John Ernst Worrell Keely, the inventor, was admitted to probate today. It bequeaths the entire estate, which has a value of about $10,000, to the widow, and also appoints her executrix. No reference is made in the will to the mysterious motor upon which Keely had been working for so many years. The stockholders of the Keely Motor Company must now await the pleasure of Mrs. Keely for an explanation of the motor, there being generally entertained a belief that the inventor imparted to his wife information on the mystery which will be of value to the company.
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