B. B. Britts

From Kook Science

Prof. B. B. Britts
B B Britts - portrait (c. 1901).jpg

c. 1901

Alias(es) Bancroft Barney Britts
Born 15 April 1865(1865-04-15)
Richland Co., Wisconsin
Died 7 April 1924 (59)
Portland, Oregon
Known for Claims to have invented a perpetual motion machine

Barzillai Bozarus "Barney" Britts[i] (April 15, 1865 - April 7, 1924), also known as Bancroft B. Britts,[ii] was an American inventor who claimed to have designed a perpetual motion machine harnessing wind power, which he sometimes called a Millennial Motor.

Press Coverage

  • "A Poetic Solicitation", Buffalo Advocate (Buffalo, Kansas): 2, 17 Mar. 1899, 

    B. B. Britts of this city claims that he can make a perpetual motion machine, having discovered the secret of the soaring of the buzzard and the eagle, if he can only find somebody to furnish the required capital. He has written to Thomas A. Edison but failed to get a reply. He also wrote to President McKinley who replied in printed form that he had taken the matter under consideration. Just a short time ago he wrote to Queen Victoria and he thinks she must be pretty busy as she has not answered yet. He submits the following appeal in rhyme:

    Verily, verily, I say unto you,
    That this I write is very true.
    If Christian, infidel or Jew,
    Will risk 100 pounds on me,
    It won't be long till he will see,
    That I will do as I agree,
    And build a machine good and stout,
    Which will make power; and no doubt,
    Turn the mechanical world about.
    For as sure as the waves of the ocean,
    I have the right and proper notion,
    To make unquestioned perpetual motion.

  • "WANTS BRIDGE WITH THOUSAND DOLLARS. Omaha Man's Purpose Is to Promote His Newly Invented Perpetual Motion Machine. NOT PARTICULAR ABOUT LOOKS. Will Marry Any Kind of Woman Who Will Furnish Cash for Greatest Thing Ever Devised.", St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Mo.): 36, 13 Oct. 1901, 
  • "BRITTS AWAITS HIS BRIDE - Enthusiastic Inventor Issues Another Call for a Maid with a Dowry", Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, Neb.): 7, 31 Oct. 1901, 

    LOVELAND, Colo., Oct. 27. — To the Editor of the Bee: I received your publication of the 17th containing my article of the 14th. I don't see why such wisdom spread out in black and white don't catch me a maid with $1,000 or $2,000, when an old country duke without any sense, dressed in black and white, can catch them with $2,000,000 or $3,000,000. But such is life far west. So I came over to the Land of Love to sweeten up on the sugar beet business. Then, mayhap, I can catch them with two or three millions, too, that is if you keep me published and posted. If prose don't bring them, let's try them with poetry. Here goes:

    Verily, verily I say unto you
    This homely poetry is "gospelly" true,
    If saint or sinner, Christian or Jew

    Will risk $500 dollars with me,
    In very short order you will see
    That I will do as I agree

    Make a machine very stought,
    That will make power and no dought
    Turn the mechanical world about.

    Should I not write I might have fits,
    For I am champing in my bits
    To work up the plans of B. B. Britts

    For as sure as there's an ocean,
    He has the only right notion
    That will accomplish perpetual motion

    But to you it may seem
    Quite foolish I "ween"
    To propose to make power without any steam

    But the wisdom of man
    Would be quite a sham
    Without inspiration from the great "I am."

    Inspiration from above,
    Like the Saviour's dove,
    To minds of men that's ruled by love.

    Please don't treat our Lord cold,
    But come on with our gold,
    And show how the world we are not to bold.

    Now to the maid of princely "air"
    That has a few 100 dollars to spare,
    Hurry up and I'll make you a multi-millionaire.

    If the people of this world will not help me make the "millennial motor" I will never ask any more through the press for help. I shall return from whence I came and say unto Our Father I proffered to make all things free to our people, but they would not. Therefore, we must need turn on the fireworks according to the proclamations of St. Peter — or satan, the devil — I would remind you that St. Peter is satan according to our Saviour's own words recorded in Matt., 14th chapter, 33d verse, "And I said unto Peter, get thee behind me Satan, thou art an offense unto Me." Now St. Peter, i.e. satan, prophesied that earth and heaven would be burned up and destroyed, 2 Peter, 3d chapter and 10th verse. But Jesus prayer for "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Matt., 4th chapter and 10th verse.

    And we understand that in heaven all things are free, lily white robes are free, golden crowns are free, silver fluters and gold slippers are free, and the street of the city was pure gold, rev., 21st chapter, 21st verse; plenty of fruit and no more curse, rev., 22d chapter, 2d and 3d verse. Whosoever is on the Lord's side send me what they can afford and I will make the "millennial motor" and repay them 100 fold.

  • "TO HARNESS CYCLONES. Plan to Utilize the Zephyrs Which Blow Across the Praries.", Muncie Evening News (Muncie, Ind.): 2, 2 Nov. 1901, 
  • IR (2 Jan. 1903), "Barzillai Bozarus Britts", Neodesha Register (Neodesha, Kan.): 1,, "Professor Barzillai B. Britts took the evening train here last night for Missouri. His home is in Neodesha and he came to Iola to lecture, but was unable to find a hall in which to address the multitude. He told a Register reporter that he is a machinist but that he decided to go to lecturing 'to obtain notoriety.' This, he thought, would help him to get money to place on the market his perpetual motion machine, a simple, clever device which is set going by compressed air and then keeps compressing air and then keeps compressing air and runs itself forevermore. He wanted to tell Iola people about it, but an unkind fate interfered. And so he has gone to Missouri and Iola's chance of sharing his fame is lost. His unusual name, Barzillai, is a Biblical one, and his lecture has a religious title, 'Power from on High.' — Iola Register." 
  • NDR (20 Jan. 1903), "Stop Poking Fun.", Neodesha Daily Register (Neodesha, Kan.): 1,, "The Register says: Brazillai B. Britz is going to speak tonight at the court house. He has an idea. It is a great one. By a clever device he starts an engine going. The engine compresses air in a cylinder. The compressed air runs the engine and the engine keeps compressing more air. There you have perpetual motion. Simple, isn't it. Barzillai, like the true philosopher he is, has a mysterious way about him. He is not like the ordinary man. When he talks he stutters. What he says is not within the understanding of ordinary mind. But tonight he promises to take all those present into his confidence. It is a great opportunity, and he charges no admission. He hails from Neodesha, this should not be charged against him. He left as soon as he could. And the Record says: Porf. Brazillai B. Britz, the 'forerunner of the new dispensation' as he styles himself, sasy that he has about the best flying machine that has ever come over. All he lacks is a paltry $200 to make the machine work and 'make the world as happy as it was in the Garden of Eden, before the fall,' he explains." 


  1. Sometimes given as Brazillia/Brazzillia/Brazillan/Brizillian Bancroft Britts, and other variations.
  2. Per two patents, US1176198A (a Heel and Instep Stiffener) and US1338969A (a Punch, co-filed with his brother, Peter W. Britts), giving his name as Bancroft B. Britts.