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Hans August Larsen

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Hans August Larsen
Hans August Larsen (også kendt som Himmelmesteren fra Sandby) - portrait.jpg
Undated, c. 1925-1935
Born 16 August 1864(1864-08-16)
Lindelse, Sandby, Lolland, Denmark
Died 8 October 1943 (79)
Sakskøbing, Lolland, Denmark

Hans August Larsen[i] (August 16, 1864 - October 8, 1943) was a Danish eccentric, resident in Manitoba and Minnesota during the early twentieth-century, self-described as a spiritualist, hypnotist, and mind-reader (Spirritualist & Hipnotist & Minwreeder). While in North America, Larsen claimed to have devised a method of perpetual motion as well as a submarine torpedo that he claimed "would make the nation that purchased it master of the world." In Danish sources, he was sometimes known as Himmelmesteren fra Sandby ("The Master of Heaven from Sandby") for his himmelmaskiner, mechanical devices that depict the solar system and movements of the planets.

Timeline

1896-1910 (Balsam Bay, Manitoba)

1911-1916 (Aspelin, Minnesota)

Perpetual Motion

Submarine Torpedo

  • "Hans August Larsens mystiske Opfindelse" (in Danish), Minneapolis Tidende: 12, Minneapolis, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045534/1916-09-28/ed-1/seq-12/, "Winnipeg, Man., den 2de Sept. Hans August Larsen af Mid­dle River, Minn., vil kanske sælge fin mystiske Opfindelse, som han siger vil dræbe Tusinder af Tyskere, hvis fæstet til en Undervandsbaad, for en ringe Sum af $5,000,000. Dette fortalte hart Brigadegeneral Ruttan idag. Han er imidlertid ikke faa ivrig for det og vil ligesaa gjerne sæl­ge til den tyske Regjering, naar hatt har havt „sit aftalte Møde med Keiseren”, i Tilfælde den kanadiske Re-gjerittg ikke vil fjøbe. Hvordan Minnesota-Manden idethesetaget fom saa langt som til General Ruttatt er en Gaade sor Myndighederne." 
  • "Hans Will End War in Jiffy For $5,000,000 - Calls at War Office With Invention But Officers Short on 'Change'", Winnipeg Tribune (Winnipeg, MB): 1, 19 Sep. 1916, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/44206753 
  • "$5,000,000 SECRET ON BACK HE BALKS AT 5 CENT BILL", Owensboro Messenger (Owensboro, KY): 7, 15 Oct. 1916, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/376052459, "Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 14. - Carrying on his back an invention which he valued at $5,000,000, Hans August Larson, of Middle River, Minn., made so much trouble over five cents in a Gateway restaurant that he was taken to municipal court and fined $10. Larson startled Minneapolis by announcing that he had invented a submarine torpedo that would make the nation that purchased it master of the world. He went into the Seymour restaurant, priced beefsteak and potatoes, and then sat down to eat. The meal over, the cashier told him his bill was 35 cents. Larson insisted it was 30 cents. 'No steak in the world is worth 35 cents and you can't fool me,' said Larson. In court Larson handed Municipal Judge C. L. Smith a written oath declaring he wanted his body to shrivel and his voice to be destroyed if he didn't tell the truth. He said he was overcharged and that was all there was to it. At the end of his story he was fined $10." 

Later Years (1920-1943)

Larsen was deported from the United States in 1920, and returned to Denmark, being placed in the care of the state, first at a group home at Sandby, Lolland, and later at Sakskøbing, Lolland, where he resided until his passing in 1943.

Selected Compositions

Reading

Notes

  1. His name is given as Hans August Larson in most North American sources.