From Kook Science
Michael (Michele) Patrono was an Italian-born mechanic who was reported to have invented a perpetual motion machine that exploits gravity to generate energy. The Universal Industrial Society (a.k.a. Societa Industrial Universale) was incorporated in 1895 at Newark, New Jersey for the ostensible purpose of financing development and manufacturing the machine, though this seems to have quickly fallen apart following a confrontation between Patrono and the shareholders after only existing for a few months.
- "PATRONO BUILDS A MOTOR. IT IS RUN BY ITS OWN FORCE AND FURNISH POWER. When It Has Run for a Year It Must Be Repaired, Then It Will Go Another Year - His Italian Fellow Countrymen Buy 815 Shares to Meet the Expenses and Patrono Works for $7 a Week.", The Sun (New York, N.Y.): 7, 4 Apr. 1895, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/469285458
- "A PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE COMPANY Incorporated in Newark to Manufacture an Italian's Invention.", New York Times (New York, N.Y.): 10, 26 Apr. 1895, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/20429171, "NEWARK, N.J., April 25. — Articles of incorporation were filed with the County Clerk this afternon by the Universal Industrial Company, whose object will be to make perpetual motion machines. The incorporators are Joseph Dughi, Cesare Basilea, Victor Bianchi, Luigi Ottolina, Vincenzo Ciocia, Joseph Aste, C. Forte, C. B. Ughetta, and Ezio I. Olivio. Fifteen hundred dollars of the capital stock of $15,000 has been paid in. There is a clause in the articles which permits the company to increase the capital stock to $1,000,000. The machine which the company will manufacture was invented by Michael Patrano, an Italian mechanic of this city. The inventor claims his machine will run a year on the gravitation principle, when, with some repairs, it can be made to repeat the performance. No one but the inventor and the men of the new company has yet seen the machine."
- "A LIFE STAKED ON THE MOTOR - Patrono Will Kill Himself if His Machine Fails - INVENTOR PREPARES FOR A TEST - An Italian Has Toiled Secretly for Months on a Perpetual Motion Contrivance and Promises to Revolutionize Mechanics.", Camden Daily Telegram (Camden, N.J.): 1, 30 Apr. 1895, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/446248886
- "PERPETUAL MOTION. An Ex-Artillery Officer of the Italian Army Constructing a Machine — If Unsuccessful, the Inventor Will Commit Suicide, He Says.", Boston Post (Boston, Mass.): 18, 4 Aug. 1895, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/72252433
- "$200,000 Invested", Neenah Daily Times (Neenah, Wis.): 2, 16 Aug. 1895, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/444944976, "In Newark, N. J., Michael Patrono has been wrestling with the problem of perpetual motion. Capitalists have actually invested $200,000 in his undertaking, which shows that even capital has foolish moments. An exhibition of the motor was to have been given a few days ago, but all of a sudden Michael discovered a missing principle, which he calls an inexhaustible force. That missing principle may be as hard to find as the missing link of the Darwinites. Perpetual motion seems to be only a perpetual folly."
- "INVESTMENT IN GENIUS. Patrono's Backers Want to See Wheels Go Around or Seize His Quicksilver.", Davenport Morning News (Davenport, Ia.): 3, 22 Aug. 1895, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/36953562, "They met Friday night in Bianchi's Columbia hall, in Market street, Newark, and unambiguously wanted to know several things — first, what had been done with the $6,000 or thereabouts for which they had been assessed without so much as getting a glimpse of the perpetual-motion machine. To this Patrono replied that drawing paper was costly, to say nothing of his time spent in preparing his papers for the patent office and guarding his secret from emissaries of monopolies, who would be glad to filch the child of his brain, which was to revolutionize all industry. He enlarged on this point and asked for more money, for he wished to hire a room in which he could hide his machine more securely. But visions of shares at sixteen times par and dividends every month had been growing dimmer. Patriotic sympathy with the illustrious-to-be Patrono had ebbed. These unsympathetic subscribers made this cold, hard, businesslike proposition. 'Show us something for our money and we'll put up more dollars.' 'Then this company is insolvent?' said Patrono tentatively. A storm of noes flattened out this proposition. Then someone proposed and had carried, a motion that a committee be sent to Patrono's shop to carry away 500 pounds of mercury, said to be essentially to the working of his motor. Patrono, protesting that the quicksilver was his own property, strode out of the hall. The shareholders decided by vote that they would continue the organization. The committee called at Patrono's shop yesterday and demanded the mercury. Patrono urbanely invited them to leave him to his own meditations. He wrote to the society that he would not do any more inventing for it, as its members had broken their agreement. He told me that he had a revolver and would use it if anyone came after the quicksilver."
- "Mount Vernon.", New York Tribune (New York, N.Y.): 12, 12 Feb. 1900, https://www.newspapers.com/image/78352658, "Acting City Judge Bennett has decided to hold Michael and Pietro Patrono, the two Italian cousins who had an encounter last week, to await the action of the Grand Jury on the counter charges of murderous assault. Both have furnished bonds and are again at liberty. It is understood that the members of the local mission have interested themselves in the case of Michael Patrono, the one who accidentally shot himself with a poisoned bullet, and will endeavor to secure his release. A young woman who is working in the mission in writing to the Tribune says: 'Michael Patrono, who is a talented Italian mechanical engineer and inventor, has been shadowed for almost two years and constantly threatened with assassination by two cousins, who are brothers. He has applied in vain to have them bound over to keep the peace and for permission to carry some weapon to defend himself. Many can testify that Michael has avoided in every way meeting these men and that his life has been in continual danger. He says that he fully expected to be assassinated.'"