From Kook Science
Barnard Town (June 6, 1824 - January 2, 1903) was an American resident of Montpelier City Farm (at Montpelier, Vermont) who was locally reported to have claimed discovery of the secret of perpetual motion, a project he had been working at for twenty years.
- "BARNARD TOWN", Vermont Watchman and State Journal (Montpelier, Vermont): 1, 9 Sep. 1896, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/490835422
BARNARD TOWN, a resident at the town farm in Berlin, has been spending his substance for many years in a vain attempt to discover the secret of perpetual motion. He now claims that he has solved the problem, and invites any one to visit the poor farm and see his machine in operation.
- "Barnard Town, of the poor farm...", Montpelier Evening Argus (Montpelier, Vt.): 4, 18 Aug. 1899, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/402730707/
Barnard Town, of the poor farm, is still at work on his machine for perpetual motion in spite of his 70 odd years. He says he has it so that it will almost run itself. He says he has been offered a million dollars for the machine when it is completed, and has asked Overseer George Wheeler to pick out a pair of nice horses for him so that he can drive out when the time comes. He has been at work on the machine for 20 years.
- "Perpetual Motion Machine.", Burlington Clipper (Burlington, Vt.): 2, 21 July 1900, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/355363992/
Barnard Town, who for the past five years has been an inmate of the Montpelier city farm, has caused a furore in that locality, because of his alleged discovery of the secret of perpetual motion. For some years he has been working on such a scheme. It is claimed he has now perfected the contrivance.
Overseer of the Poor Wheeler witnessed the working of the machine. He says while the secret of perpetual motion may not have been discovered by Town, yet he believes he has made the nearest approach to it yet made by any inventor.
Town's machine is very crude and necessarily built at little expense, but is elaborated upon would prove to be a wonder. It is square and reel like in form with ball bearings and the motive power is a series of springs so arranged that the machine starts at slow motion. Gathering momentum and power it soon reaches such a velocity that it requires several men with a heavy piece of timber to brake it and bring it to a stand-still when it has to be locked to keep it from running its career.
- "RECENT DEATHS. Barnard Town.", St. Albans Daily Messenger (Saint Albans, Vt.): 3, 5 Jan. 1903, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/444364809
After twenty years' unsuccessful endeavors to perfect a perpetual motion machine Barnard Town, aged 79 years, died at Montpelier poor farm January 2. He had constructed a wonderful machine of springs and wheels which held his theory of perpetual motion, but his plans never materialized. He had been supported by the town for nearly ten years; his wife died six years ago and his nearest relatives are nieces and nephews.