Emil Johnson

From Kook Science

Emil Johnson (c. 1873 - September 22, 1947) was a Swedish-born stonemason and labourer who was adjudged to be insane by the Kansas authorities in 1899, reportedly on the basis of his having started seeing visions and hearing voices after beginning work on a perpetual motion machine (and a flying machine). Johnson seems to have remained incarcerated at the Topeka Insane Asylum (Topeka State Hospital) in Topeka, Shawnee Co., Kansas until his death in 1947.

Press Coverage

  • "Now in the Asylum", Phillipsburg Herald (Phillipsburg, KS): 3, 4 May 1899,, "Emil Johnson, a Swede stonecutter at Topeka, invented a flying machine and a perpetual motion device; he saw visions and heard voices; he denied any relationship to his wife and children, and he is now confined in the insane asylum to collect his thoughts. He had apparently been all right until he began to put together wheels and strings and pulleys and things to make perfect his great invention."