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An article from 1888

Author Unknown

         This paper is from Scientific American - August 4, 1888 - page 69

                                  Keely Outdone?

       Several newspapers have  referred  to a new invention by one William
       Timmis, which, if successful, will revolutionize motive power.

       The inventor is  an  unpretentious   English  mechanic  residing  in
       Pittsburg, Pa., who  claims  to  have  invented a machine  by  which
       untold motive power can be stored or used without the expenditure of

       The story goes  that he has been engaged for two years in perfecting
       the invention, and  is  now  negotiating   with  the  government  of
       England, Russia, and the United States for the sale  of the right to
       use his discovery,  which, if after examination it proves to be what
       he claims, will revolutionize the motive powers of the world.

       He claims to  be able to create a  pressure  of  20,000  pounds  per
       square inch -  more  than  sufficient  to propel the  largest  ocean
       steamer afloat or to move eighty laden freight cars in one train.

       The machine seems  to  be  simply  an AIR COMPRESSOR of the simplest

       It consists of ONE SMALL CYLINDER  (six horse power), with a BALANCE
       WEIGHT of 75 pounds, which runs the entire apparatus;  another SMALL
       CYLINDER, 5 inches in diameter, with 7 inches STROKE, compresses the
       air into the tank from which the power is utilized.

       Under the piston  plate  the  inventor has placed TWO LAYERS OF BARS
       which is the SECRET OF THE INVENTOR.

      The advantages he  claims  are  durability, economy, and simplicity.
       Experts have examined the machine and pronounce it a success.

       In submitting his design to the governments named, Mr. Timmis claims
       that the PNEUMATIC GENERATOR can not  only be applied to war vessels
       AS A MOTOR, but can be used as a defense against hostile  attacks by
       means of air chambers placed behind the armor plating.
       Vangard note...

           What can we deduce from such a meager description of the device?
           Well, for  one,  compressibility  of  a  fluid, in this case gas
           (air), is usually done with  a  one  way  valve  leading  into a
           storage chamber.    This  storage  chamber  holds   the   highly
           compressed fluid  until  it  is  gradually  released  to drive a
           piston or rotary device with  the  idea  of  providing  a motive

           When the  compressor  "squeezes" the air to a sufficiently  high
           density (pressure),  it travels through a valve into the storage
           tank.  As  the  tank  pressure   increases   through  continuous
           accumulations of small portions of gas packets,  it becomes more
           and more  difficult  for  the compressor to continue to add more
           air to the tank.

           One of the major keys is the pressure release level of the valve
           allowing the air to flow from the compressor into the tank.

           Some valves are adjustable with  a  spring  loaded gasket.  When
           the compressor  "squeezes" a given volume of air,  it  overcomes
           the valve spring pressure and the air passes into the tank.

           Eventually we  have  quite a large amount of force stored in the
           tank.  This force can be released  suddenly  or as slowly as the
           operator desires.

           This Mr. Timmis apparently uses the intense magnetic  ATTRACTION
           (or repulsion)  of  the bars ON THE PISTON to cause a tremendous
           increase in the velocity and  therefore  the  compressibility of
           the gas WHEN IT IS IN its compressive stroke.

           The 75  pound weight might act as a thrust multiplier  which  is
           further amplified  by the magnetic attraction on the compressive

           With the new super high flux magnets that have been developed in
           Japan, we  might have a most interesting  means  for  generating
           very high pressures with a negligible energy input, if any.

           Remember that  the  amplitude  of  the  stored   force  must  be
           sufficient to provide a decent HP level on a controlled release.
           However, the   ACTUAL   ACCUMULATION  to  the  eventual  maximum
           pressure capacity of the storage  tank can take place using VERY
           SMALL INCREMENTS of compression.

           The trick is to build up very high pressures using  MICRO-BURSTS
           of sufficient intensity but with a VERY SHORT DURATION.  This is
           one of the possible techniques which might eventually be used to
           tap the Zero Point Energy.

           Another possible   means  of  achieving  this  is  a  very  high
           intensity electromagnetic spike  applied  to  a coil at JUST THE
           RIGHT MOMENT as the piston goes INTO AND THROUGH its compressive

           One might  experiment  by  adjusting  the pulse  width  and  the
           amplitude to  achieve  the  optimum  amount of saturation of the
           coil in relation to the attraction of the piston.

           Indeed, it is not beyond credence  to  make  the piston somewhat
           magnetic to further increase the compressive force.

           In addition to this, one could cause the magnetic  field TO FLIP
           AT JUST  THE  RIGHT  MOMENT  which  would cause a much increased
           attraction with a complementary  much increased repulsion as the
           piston reached the "Top of Stroke".

           The addition  of  a  weighted  mass serves as  a  "flywheel"  or
           balance wheel  to  ensure that the piston does not stall when it
           reaches the top of stroke.

           If this paper inspires you to  work  on  such a project, we urge
           you to share your progress and results with others.   As  it was
           willingly given as inspiration to us, so it is given to you.

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