Oscar von Holtzschuherr
From Kook Science
|Oscar von Holtzschuherr|
|Alias(es)||Otto von Holtzschuherr|
Jassy (Iași), Principality of Moldavia
|Died||1933 (aged 82–83)|
|Nationality||American (imm. c. 1867)|
|Affiliations||Royal Arch Mason|
|Spouse(s)||Mary J. [Hodge] Von Holtzschuherr (m. 1892)|
Oscar (Otto) von Holtzschuherr[ii] was a druggist in Ottumwa, Iowa of claimed royal descent, described as having the title of Count, who was reported to have invented a perpetual motion machine in 1896, inspired by the work of an unnamed woodcutter who lived behind his home.
- "PROBABLY HAS WHEELS. A Foreign Count in Iowa Says He Has Discovered Perpetual Motion.", San Francisco Call (San Francisco, Cal.): 1, 26 Mar. 1896, https://www.newspapers.com/image/8087317
- "WHEEL NEVER STOPS - Ottumwa, Iowa, Man Asserts He Has Perpetual Motion. Otto Von Holtzschuherr Discovers the Puzzling Principle at Last. Invented Bicycle Used in Applying It to Mechanism. Weight Which Overcomes the Force of Gravity in the Box. Citizens of the Town Greatly Excited Over the Singular Sight. General Belief in the Success of the Invention.", Chicago Chronicle (Chicago, Ill.): 1, 28 Mar. 1896, https://www.newspapers.com/image/668107418
- "IOWA IN BRIEF.", Opinion-Tribune (Glenwood, Iowa): 9, 23 Apr. 1896, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/33433246, "Count Oscar Von Holtzschuherr of Ottumwa, who is accredited with being the discoverer of perpetual motion, has written a letter to an old Creston friend, in which he says he does not think he will ever divulge his secret, as it will throw millions of people out of employment, and he is afraid he would be assassinated."
- "WILL HE DIVULGE IT? Secret of Perpetual Motion May Never Be Explained.", Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa): 12, 26 Apr. 1896, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/127748491/, "I am in a deep quandary; really do not know whether to divulge my secret or keep it buried in the innermost recesses of my bosom. I have such horrible dreams; they nearly drive me mad. I see millions of people that depend on their daily bread in industries (which have been done away with by my invention) roaming through the streets and alleys, armed with pitchforks, muskets, ice tongs, picks, sabers, bombs, ropes and all kinds of conceivable weapons; barefooted, clad in rags, disheveled hair, emaciated so that their bones rattle in their frames; accompanied by bloodhounds and curs chanting: 'Show us the man that has robbed us and our children of our daily bread. He is rolling in gold, and we are naked and starving. Show us that man; show him to us!' You can imagine how pleasant this is. Don't you think that it would be the most cruel blow that has ever been inflicted on suffering humanity to force upon them a real and everlasting perpetual motion? Well, I really have given you pointers enough to enable you to accomplish the great problem yourself. My friends have engaged a padded cell in Mount Pleasant for me, so you need not worry about me. When I get really bad I shall be well taken care of."
- His marriage certificate of 15 March 1892 gives an age of 42; U. S. Military Service record of 1894 gives an age of 43; U.S. Census of 1930, dated 5 April, gives an age of 81; while Iowa State Censuses in 1895, 1905, 1915 give his ages as 42, 53, 63.
- Most reports gave his name as Otto rather than Oscar, while some reports gave his surname as Holtschuherr and Holtzshuerr.