Model T Magnetic Engine - 04/06/97
Recently, KeelyNet was provided with some anecdotal information that
linked John Keely to Henry Ford, Sr.. I have been holding off on posting what
was said because our contact offered to write the story up with as much detail
as he could provide. It is now almost two weeks since the conversation and
nothing has been forthcoming, so from a 'webtime' perspective, it is due.
Please understand this is just another intriguing 'spook story' at this point.
It is not being presented as fact, but as it was told to me and I thought
you'd also like to read about it.
The Model T used a hand-cranked magneto starting system to provide the spark
that exploded the gas to move the pistons. This is how a lawnmower produces
the spark needed to keep its engine running.
The flywheel as I understand it, had very strong magnets embedded in it. The
bell housing that surrounded the flywheel had coils of wire which would
produce a nasty high voltage spark when the flywheel rotated the magnetic
field past the coils. This spark is what ignited the gasoline in the
The magneto type starting system had to be hand cranked to get the motor
running, and the burning gasoline would keep it running once started.
When automobiles were first being developed, there was serious competition
between the various inventors vying to be first to market and in a big
The vested interests did not want automobiles because it would change their
world, requiring them to alter their business stance or adapt to a new world
where competition would run rampant. Competition means hard work to stay even
or get ahead of the pack, so life is easier when everything is crystallized
and fixed. The comfort zones were well established and would be maintained
any way they could.
The first year model Ts built by Ford had a special flywheel and housing that
was said to have been designed by John Worrell Keely and sold to Henry Ford.
Ford bought the design as a form of insurance because of all the harassment
he was getting from vested interests not wanting to see him succeed.
After 20,000 to 30,000 cars went out, Ford was threatened by oil and gas
interests trying to coerce him to shut down production. It was not made clear
who these forces were or why they were trying to put Ford out of business.
After the first year of manufacturing Model Ts, efforts were renewed to shut
Ford down. At this point, Ford then gave THEM an ultimatum, either leave he
and his family alone or he would send every Ford Model T owner a set of cow
magnets which fit in special slots that were cut into the bell housings on the
first year run of cars. This bell housing was cast into the engine block and
not a separate unit as on modern vehicles.
The flywheels were the hand cranked units having Vee magnets. They were
magnetos that when cranked, moved the magnets past a coil to produce a very
high voltage/current to spark the plugs. It produced a vicious spark.
Once the cow magnets were placed in the slots, the hand crank was turned and
the flywheel would spin on its own, generating up to 40 HP and completely self
You had to get the flywheel spinning to a minimum rpm before the magnetic
drive effect would take place.
Ford told his opponents that all Model T owners would then be running their
cars for FREE, not requiring any gasoline or other fuel. And that the
principle would be copied and applied to all machinery.
Once Ford's opposing forces verified the truth of this, they instantly ceased
all attempts at intimidating Ford and his company succeeded beyond their
My contact said there were three fellows who got wind of this story several
years ago. They secured a first-run Model T and found it did indeed have
strange slots on the bell housing. Magnets were inserted and when they
cranked it, the flywheel began to spin on its own.
Based on this initial verifying experiment, they eventually produced a 40hp
version which was self-running, using the same magneto system.
A demonstration was scheduled in a larger city and two of the men drove the
prototype to the demonstration, the third man was ill and could not attend.
The demonstration went off without a hitch and was enthusiastically received.
Plans and contacts were made for duplicating the prototype for further tests
that would be followed by marketing.
As the two men were driving home late that evening with their prototype, their
vehicle was run off the road.
The next day, their vehicle was found overturned, both bodies lying in a ditch
with their throats slit and the prototype was gone.
The third man who had been too ill to attend the demonstration packed up
everything and went into hiding.
Word is, this man is still alive, very paranoid, yet he has not given up on
the principle and has gone even further in his development of the principle.
I found several pages on the web which provide further insight into this
story. One in particular provides information indicating that Ford intended
the Model T to be run on ETHANOL, not gasoline, because it was a renewable
fuel. This could have been the bone of contention with the gas/oil companies.
Check out ETHANOL for
The original vehicle produced in 1903 was the Model A, of which about 1,700
were produced. Check out
MODEL A for first run details.
For a history of the car in question, check out Ford Model T
Various other files relating to Henry Fords life and the history of the Ford
Motor Company can be found at
Ford Bio 1,
Ford Bio 2,
yet another at Ford
and a puzzler called Did You Know?
There was another file that provided some details on the legal battles between
an inventor named Selden, who had patented the concept of the 'horseless
carriage' and thus had a hold on any motorcar. It is located at Ford History.
One final URL that was quite amusing and indicates that electric starters on
early automobiles were not in use until around 1920 is located at Hand Cranking.
Henry Ford Sr. was born July 30th, 1863 and died on April 7th, 1947. Keely
died in 1898. So there is a nearly a 40 year period when they could quite
possibly have known each other.
Ford did make trips to Manhattan and being of an inventive mind would have
heard of Keely, who was written up in many papers and magazines from 1872
until his death in 1898. It is not too much of a stretch to envision Ford
attending one or more of Keely's many public demonstrations (as did Tesla who
I have NO DOUBT copied much of Keely's discoveries using electric current
instead of mechanically produced vibrations, but that is another story soon to
Also note that many prominent businessmen and socialites were Keely sponsors
and supporters which would also have gotten the attention of the young Ford
since he was also trying to establish a business and would take any edge he
You are probably wondering how Keely could have come up with a self-sustaining
magnetic engine design since he worked primarily with acoustics. Quite simple
really, since his motors used acoustic forces to drive them, it follows that
the pattern is the same for any ALTERNATING energy flow, including
Here are two version of his motors, Keely
Motor 1 and Keely Motor 2.
The various claims for PMMs (perpetual motion machines), whether magnetic or
gravity driven, always require a restorative kick to keep it running. This
follows for the current Hamel device where he uses wobbling cones to restore
the rotational force.
A flywheel or weighted arm mounted on a horizontal shaft so that it rotates in
a vertical plane, will fall by the force of 'gravity' and inertia will push it
past the 180 degree point and up to about 270 plus degrees. At that point,
you have to use a 'kicker' to push it past the 360 degree point so that the
rotation will perpetuate.
Just like pushing someone in a swing, if you time your pushes just right, you
can drive them in ever higher arcs and eventually over the 360 mark.
Panasonic manufactures an ultrasonically driven motor that could provide a
template for a permanent magnet version and there is a patent for an
automobile engine which uses vibrating plates.
Years ago, back in the late 60s or early 70s, there was a fellow out in
Lubbock, Texas, who had a model car about 18 inches long. It had a very large
electrically driven tuning fork with linkages attached to the tines of the
Because it was electrically driven, it only used a 9 volt battery and the
inventor claimed you could use a 6 volt lantern battery to run your
automobile. The key was that it used the resonance of the fork to produce
high amplitude mechanical forces. That mechanical drive was diverted to the
wheels of the car. The guy never patented it because he was bought out by a
large oil company.
One other point about the Model T claim is the engine used a weighted
crankshaft, that was why the vehicles would vibrate from side to side due to
the inertial kick of the weight. I am also told that these engines could also
idle at very low rpms, something on the order of 100 or so revolutions per
This story is definitely out there but should be fairly easy to prove. We are
checking into it as much as we can with our limited resources.
Perhaps someone out there has access to a Model A or a Model T and can examine
the bell housings on these vehicles. At this point, I think the weighted
crankshaft would be necessary to the operation of the magnetic engine since it
would provide the restorative force.
If you have any more information about this, please either Email to KeelyNet or mail
hardcopies to KeelyNet
PO BOX 870716
Thanks for your assistance.
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