Morton F. Ericson
From Kook Science
Morton F. Ericson (c. 1864 - October 1, 1897) was a Swedish machinist who was reported to have committed suicide by hanging, an act attributed in the press coverage to his inability to "solve the problem of perpetual motion," in addition to despondency from the failure of his various other inventions and a recent firing from the Featherstone Iron Company. The only detail offered regarding the machine itself was that it was "a bulky contrivance, made up of cogs and weights."
- "HANGS HIMSELF TO A DOOR: Body of Morton F. Ericson, an Inventor, Found in His Room. Despondency and a Perpetual Motion Scheme Lead to the Act. Apartment Is Crowded With Mechanical Devices Which He Contrived.", The Chicago Chronicle (Chicago, IL): 1, 14 Oct. 1897, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/121281568/hangs-himself-to-a-door-body-of-morton/
- "INVENTOR KILLS HIMSELF. Life Lost Its Charms When He Failed to Solve Perpetual Motion.", Evening Bulletin (Maysville, KY): 1, 15 Oct. 1897, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87060190/1897-10-15/ed-1/seq-1/
CHICAGO, Oct. 15. — Morton F. Ericson, a young recluse, hanged himself at 146 Milton avenue because he could not solve the problem of perpetual motion. The police found his body after he had been dead for some time.
Numerous models and devices were found in the room. One of them was a fruit cleaner, another was a bootblacking machine. Ericson had made application for several patents, and at the time of his death he had a patent pending for a lifesaving device, for use in an elevator shaft. It consists of a series of floors in the shaft, which the elevator opens and closes as it passes up and down the shaft. Ericson's perpetual motion machine is a bulky contrivance, made up of cogs and weights.