Frank Hazzard

From Kook Science

Franklin Hazzard was an American inventor who was reported to have designed a perpetual motion machine, sometimes referred to as the Hazzard Motor, in early 1880s while resident in Smith county, Kansas. The Hazzard Self Propelling Machine Company was incorporated in 1881 by D. E. Kelley, W. D. Jenkins, and others, selling stock to local Kansans for a brief time, for the ostensible purpose of manufacturing the machine, though quickly went bust once Hazzard failed to secure a patent for his invention and subsequently disappeared.[GH]

Press Coverage

  • KFP (22 Apr. 1881), "Hazzard Self Propelling Machine Company", Kansas Free Press (Smith Center, Kansas): 5,, "[Hazzard] had a meeting at Cawker City, last Monday. An organization was perfected with the following officers: D. E. Kelley, Pres., Harvey Wilson, Vice-Pres., W. D. Jenkins, Sec'y, C. E. Frazier, Treasurer. The capital stock is $25,000, divided into 500 shares of $25 each. Frank Hazzard the inventor, sells this company the State of Ohio, for $25,000, and they are to furnish $3,000 in six months to perfect a model, the other payments to be made after success is assured. R. M. Pickler Esq. has been retained as attorney for the company. The boys have strong hopes and great expectations of some day being Jay Gould's or Vanderbuilts, all the bad luck we wish them is that they will make a million a piece, and have to give us half of it." 
  • Gaylord Herald (21 Jan. 1892), "HAZZARD MOTOR", Kensington Mirror (Kensington, Kan.): 2,, "The Mirror would like to knew what ever became of the perpetual motion machine in this county, the stock of which Billy Jenkins, Squire Axton, Cale Frazier and other old-timers held, and dropped thir wad. Can any of the 'old reminiscencers' tell anything of it? — Kensington Mirror.    Here! Way back in the distance of the dim past one Frank Hazzard, an ethereal genius, discovered that perpetual motion machine. Frank lived in Gaylord, if one may bo said to live who has no visible means of support. At that time the 'old reminiscenser' who writes this clicked the type and pulled the press for Webb McNall, who owned the Herald. Webb was in Topeka that winter as master-at-arms or some-thing-or-other of the Kansas house of representatives, and having full swing we boomed Frank's invention as it deserved, being a Gaylord production. It 'took,' as they say about vaccination, and we soon had the inexpressible joy of seeing our elaborate descriptions of the 'Wonder of the 19th Century' appear in the metropolitan journals with editorial comment of a more or less — generally less, if we remember right — encouraging nature. A stock company was formed, composed of the 'capitalists' named by the Mirror and Dan Kelley, Harvey Pratt and others, of this place, stock was issued and sold like hot cakes, mostly, however on promises to pay, the writer of this receiving $100 worth, fully paid up, for his 'services.' Harvey Pratt and the inventor went to Washington to secure a patent, the invention being too valuable to trust to the mails. Someway that was the last we ever heard of it. Harvey and Frank came home, but they maintained a silence in regard to the patent that could be seen at long distance with the naked eye. A few weeks later, a young man with blue eyes and yellow hair, wearing a striped shirt and a downcast countenance might have been seen walking out of town with all his earthly possessions tied up in a red cotton handkerchief. That young man was Frank Hazzard, the inventor of the great perpetual motion machine. Never having been heard of since, the stockholders reluctantly came to the conclusion that the principal of perpetual motion was in his legs instead of his machine, and that he will go tramping on forever, like the Wandering Jew. Some time ago Billy Jenkins wrote us to enquire if the 'young man' whom Congressman Turner was forever seeking and never finding was not Frank Hazzard, but we could give him no light on the subject. That's the beginning and the end, the first and last of an invention which was to make millionaires as plentiful out here on the buffalo sod as they are supposed to be in Wall street. Of the boys who where 'in it' only Harvey Pratt and the writer remain in Smith county. Billy Jenkins and Squire Axton are at Whatcom, Washington, Cale Frazier is supposed to be somewhere in the land of the living, Dan Kelley is in Waterloo Iowa, and Frank Hazzard, the inventor, is marching on. Our certificate of $100 paid np stock is laid away in the archives, not so much on account of its commercial value as a reminder of the fact that we were at that time a different kind of fool than ever before or since."