Stanley I. Hitchcock
From Kook Science
Stanley Isaiah Hitchcock (November 17, 1888 - 1970) was an English inventor who, in June 1910, filed a patent in Britain for a magnet-based self-acting motor, for which he received fleeting world-wide press attention as the latest inventor of a "perpetual motion" machine after the patent was published, a year later in 1911, in no small part due to Hitchcock's having been featured in a popular article by Hiram Maxim, famed inventor of the Maxim automatic machine gun.
- GB191013984A. Improvements in and relating to Self Acting Motors. 8 June 1911, filed 9 June 1910. "Self-driving machines. A wheel, c, bearing armatures, d, is under the attraction of magnets, e, on tangential carriers on pivots, e', which are linked to tappet levers, h, so as to be rocked into and out of the path of the armatures." https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?FT=D&date=19110608&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP&CC=GB&NR=191013984A&KC=A&ND=5
Sir Hiram Maxim, Has the Secret of Perpetual Motion Been Found at Last? (191?)
WE have always looked upon perpetual motion as an “ignis fatuus,” and have placed it in the same category as the elixir of perpetual youth and the philosopher’s stone. But now, it appears, if we can believe report, that a young inventor, Mr. Stanley Hitchcock, of Upper Norwood, England, has really invented a perpetual motion machine that actually works!
Hundreds of perpetual motion machines have been brought before me during my long professional career. Most of them were operated by a falling weight. These were all quite useless. Then an inventor appeared with an apparatus in which the weights only had to be lifted once in order to fall twice, but it required a high order of faith to believe this.
The editor of the Scientific American published an illustrated article about thirty-five years ago, in which he gave me the credit of having invented the best perpetual motion machine he had ever seen, which I present herewith. If this machine does not work there is no truth in mathematics.
It will be observed that on one side we have a lot of nines (9) which are going down, and in doing go they raise a corresponding lot of sixes (6) on the other side, that they are changed at the top from sixes into nines absolutely without friction; therefore, the tendency to rotate is just in proportion as nine is greater than six — there is one-third more going down than coming up; nine is certainly greater than six, therefore it is hard to see how a machine of this kind can fail to work.
There was the Keely motor of world-wide fame, which first appeared about thirty-five years ago in Philadelphia. Keely claimed to be able to convert musical notes directly into dynamic energy. The best experiment that he made, and the one that caused the greatest amount of astonishment, was when he took a cylindrical glass jar about four inches in diameter and a foot high, passed it around for every one to examine, then, placing it on a sheet of glass on top of a small pedestal, which he called a resonator, and putting inside a light sheet copper ball of slightly less diameter than the glass jar, he was able to make the ball dance and rise up from the bottom of the jar.
He would sound many notes on his fiddle which had no effect at all, and then he would strike a certain high note that would make the ball jump up and stand suspended in the air. To show that it was not suspended by small wires or thread, a sheet of glass was placed on top of the jar.
I know engineers myself who were greatly puzzled at this exhibition. Nearly every one thought that the rising of the ball was due to the musical note sounded. The solution, however, was very simple.
The arch-juggler Keely had a very large and powerful magnet in the pedestal under the glass cover, and whenever he sounded a certain note his concealed confederate switched on the alternating current, and the copper ball had its choice either to get out of the way or to have a very violent current set up in it. Evidently it did not like the current, so it got out of the way.
Keely was not a man of learning. He was, however, a master manipulator of fantastic terms which no one understood — in which their potency lay. He talked to his followers of “polar sympathy,” “interatomic ether,” and “molecular disintegration.” He argued that all space was the playground of atomic worlds, controlled by a force as mighty as that which holds planets in their courses; that when those moving atoms in the ether were disturbed and brought into orbitic chaos the giant power which had controlled them became released, and could be harnessed to run every motor, to turn every wheel and spindle in the world.
And, modestly, Mr. Keely claimed to have learned how to bring about this necessary etheric and atomic chaos and to capture the resulting vibratory power and put it to work driving his motor.
Truly, a simple-and easy proposition — and, of course, Keely only needed time and money to perfect his motor. He got both. With them he accumulated more or less trouble. Explosions in his factory, a brief sojourn in jail for contempt of court in refusing to disclose his “secret,” waning interest on the part of some of his patrons, the sneers of cold-blooded scientists.
But all this time the motor had failed to bring about the little atomic riot which was to lead to the capture of the unseen force. It always lacked a finishing touch; a little more time must be had for experimenting, and a little more money.
It appears that Mr. Stanley Hitchcock’s machine is in a totally different category, but the published accounts are, I must admit, rather contradictory. We are told at first that the energy is derived from magnets, and, later on, that “The motor revolves in response to the same forces that make the world go round.”
Now, as a matter of fact, it is not magnetism that makes the world go round. The matter of which the world is formed was set spinning many millions of years ago by a collision that took place between two enormously large bodies that were moving at extremely high velocities — result, the solar system.
It is very gratifying to me to know that Mr. Stanley Hitchcock was one of my pupils. I have seen him in regard to his wonderful invention, and he informs me that on one occasion he started up the motor, locked it safely in a room, and went away to the seaside for some weeks. Eventually the neighbors complained of the dreadful noise that the motor was making day and night.
When he returned home the motor had stopped; the bearings were all worn out. The noise that the neighbors had complained of was the squeaking due to the want of lubrication, As it was a very powerful motor, it is very fortunate that when the bearings ran dry of oil they did not generate heat sufficient to set the house on fire; however, when they were melted down the machine stopped.
I asked him why he refused to show the machine. He said it was on account of the patents. He could not show it until he had filed his application and had got it accepted. The Patent Office, on account of its lamentable stupidity, refused to accept his specification because of its title, “Perpetual Motion.” However, he changed the title to “Self-Acting Motor,” and he thought there would be no further trouble.
Of course I asked Mr. Hitchcock if he was dead sure that the machine had actually run and generated power, and he assured me over and over again that it had.
I asked him if he was not deceiving himself, and he said: “Certainly not.”
I said, “Come, now, Stanley, tell me the exact truth. This whole thing seems to be absolutely impossible. Tell me again, are you really dead sure that it did actually work? Did it really go by itself and develop power?”
He then said: “Sir Hiram, it did work of itself and develop power, and what I am telling you is as true. as the Gospel.”
He was very sincere, and I fully convinced that the last part of his statement can be implicitly relied upon.
- "ALMOST PERPETUAL MOTION. Extraordinary Things Claimed for Young Englishman's Invention.", New York Times (New York, NY): 42, 12 Nov. 1911, https://www.newspapers.com/image/20355107
- "Another Perpetual Motion Machine.", Fergus County Democrat: 3, 21 Nov. 1911, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84036220/1911-11-21/ed-1/seq-3/
Sir Hiram Maxim has discovered a discoverer of perpetual motion, so he says. Sir Hiram prefaces less than half a column about the latest discoverer with more than a column about past failures, in the course of which he alludes to a perpetual motion machine of his own invention, about which he says: "If it does not work there is no truth in mathematics."
A central shaft carries a boss on which are fixed six (or eight, as Sir Hiram seems to prefer) equidistant arms. On one end of each pair of arms is fixed a nine pound ball, and on the other a six pound ball. There is thus always a preponderance of three pounds on the right hand side, which, of course, keeps the system revolving with a gain of thirty to fifty cent power!
"Hitherto," he says, "we always looked upon perpetual motion as art 'ignis fatiius,' and have placed it in the same category as the elixir of perpetual youth and the philosopher's stone. But now, it appears, if we can believe report, that a young inventor, Mr. Stanley Hitchcock, of Upper Norwood, England, has really invented a perpetual motion machine that actually works.
"It is very gratifying to me to know that Mr. Stanley Hitchcock was one of my pupils. I have seen him in regard to his wonderful invention, and he informs me that, on one occasion he started up the motor, locked it safely in a room, and went away to the seaside' for some weeks. Eventually the neighbors complained of the dreadful noise that the motor was making day and night."