An Appeal in Behalf of the Continuance of Keelys Researches

Keely and His Discoveries, Chapter XVI - 1891


"There is a distinct advantage in having one section of scientific men beginning their work untrammeled by preconceived notions." - Engineering.

"A knowledge of scientific theories seems to kill all knowledge of scientific facts." - Professor Schuster.

"Tizeau found that the speed of light is increased in water which moves in the same direction as the light. This result must be due either to the motion of matter through the medium, or to the fact that moving matter carries the ether with it. The whole question of matter and motion as a medium is a vital one, and we shall hardly make any serious advance before experiment has found a new opening." - Professor Schuster.


During the summer of 1890, Mr. Keely was harassed by threats, said to proceed from disappointed stockholders in the Keely Motor Company, of suits at law for "obtaining money under false pretences." After making many unsuccessful attempts with the editors of leading magazines in London, Boston, and New York, to bring before the public the claims of Mr. Keely for sympathy in his colossal work, the proposals of an editor, on the staff of the London Times (who had the year before introduced himself to Mrs. Bloomfield Moore to obtain information of Keely) to make known the researches of the persecuted discoverer and his need of assistance, at that time, were accepted. The programme, as laid out by this editor, was to use his extended influence with the leading journals throughout Great Britain, and to have brief notices of Keely inserted; to be followed up with a magazine article, for which the material was furnished. Later this arrangement was modified by the editor, who then proposed to write an essay for some influential journal, handling the various molecular and atomic theories; pointing out wherein Keely's views were original; and showing their revolutionizing tendencies. This work, which was to have been commenced in November, was delayed until all need was over. When the editor wrote to Philadelphia in January, 1891, that he had been unable to commence his work for want of sufficient material (enclosing questions to be answered by Mr. Keely before he could set about it), the answer returned was that the threatened troubles were over, That Keely gained the protection of men of science, and the order for the essay was countermanded. At this very time a subscription was in circulation to raise money from disaffected stockholders for the purpose of bringing the threatened action at law, in case Mr. Keely did not resume work on his engine, instead of pursuing researches in order to gain more knowledge of the operation of this unknown polar force in nature.

It was at this juncture that the late Professor Joseph Leidy, that eminent man of science who had been the first to recognize the importance of Keely's discovery to the scientific world, arranged with the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania that an appeal should be made to the trustees, the faculty and the professors of that institution, to permit Keely to continue his researches for science under their protection.

Accordingly, on the 14th of January, 1891, a paper entitled "Keely's Discoveries" was read at the house of Provost Pepper. The answer sent by one of the professors, in reply to Dr. Pepper's invitation, probably expressed the views held by all the distinguished men who assembled to listen to the appeal, which was to the effect that the professor would be present to hear the paper read, if the Provost wished it; but, if he came, he should make it very unpleasant for the reader, as he has no faith in Keely nor in his discoveries. All those who were present listened with attention, and among the few who became interested in the claims of Keely as a discoverer, was the professor who had made this remark. The preamble to the appeal was read by the Provost, Dr. Pepper.


Before commencing to read my paper I wish to lay before you the object of this effort to interest men of science in the researches of a man who, in the cause of justice alone, is entitled to have his life's work fairly represented to you. Some of our men of science have, unwittingly, been the medium by which great injustice has been done to Mr. Keely; and to others also, by placing me before the world as a woman whom the Keely Motor Company management has robbed of large sums of money; whereas, in truth, I have never been in any way involved by the Keely Motor Company.

In the winter of 1881-82, Mr. Keely, who has dependent upon "The Keely Motor Company" for the means to continue his researches, as to the nature of the unknown force he had discovered, was virtually abandoned by the Company. Himself as ignorant as were its managers of the source of the mysterious energy he had stumbled over, he was driven to despair by their action; and, when I was led to his assistance, I found his wife's roof mortgaged over her head, and that, his honour assailed, he had resolved to take his life rather than submit to the indignities threatening him. At this time I had taken from my private estate ten thousand dollars, to found a small public library to my father's memory in the town of Westfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. After convincing myself that Mr. Keely had made a great discovery, I felt that if this money could save his discovery, jeopardized as it was, it was my duty to so appropriate it. At that time, Mr. Keely thought half of the amount so appropriated would be all that he should require; but, unfortunately, his efforts were for years confined to the construction of an engine for the Company that had abandoned him. Later, he commenced researches which resulted in the discovery that he had unknowingly imprisoned the ether; greatly increasing my interest in his work.

The plan to which I shall allude in my paper, as framed by Professor Leidy for Mr. Keely to follow, and approved by Professor Hertz, of Bonn, and Professor Fitzgerald, of Trinity College, Dublin, may be summed up as one that permits Mr. Keely to pursue his researches on his own line, without further investigation, up to the completion of his system in a form which will enable him to give to commerce with one hand his model for aerial navigation, and to science, with the other, the knowledge that is necessary for extending its researches in the field of radiant energy - which Mr. Keely has been exploring for so many years. I ask the prestige of your sympathy, as well as for your interest in Mr. Keely's work, on this basis; and if in one year you are not convinced that satisfactory results have been attained for science, I will promise to leave Mr. Keely in the hands of the "usurers and Shylocks of commerce," who have already forced him into renouncing seven-eights of his interest in what the Keely Motor Company claims as its property.

At present I do not desire from anyone endorsement of Keely's discoveries. Until his system is completed he wishes to avoid all discussion and all public mention of the anticipated value of his inventions. Mr. Keely's programme of experimental research, as laid down by himself last March, when I first proposed to furnish him with all the funds needed to carry it out, comprises its continuance until he has gained sufficient knowledge of the energy he is controlling - which is derived from the disintegration of water - to enable him to impart to others a system that will permit men of science to produce and to handle the energy, and enable him to instruct artisans in the work which lies in their province; viz., the construction of machines to apply this costless motive power in mechanics.

The prestige of your interest in Mr. Keely's labours can alone secure to him freedom to pursue researches on his own road; a course pronounced by Professor Joseph Leidy, Professor Hertz, and Professor Fitzgerald, to be "the only proper line for him to pursue."

The building of an engine is not in Mr. Keely's province. His research completed to that point which is necessary, for perfect control of the force, practical application will follow. The result of his experimental work for nine months on this line been such as to revive the interest of the speculative management of the Keely Motor Company, to that extent that Mr. Keely is now offered the support of its stockholders if he will resume construction of an engine; and this after more than seven years of failure on the part of the company to furnish him with one dollar to carry on "the enterprise."

The official Report put forth in January by the Keely Motor Company managers annulled my contract with Mr. Keely; but he is willing to abide by it, if I am able to continue to furnish him with the necessary funds. This position of affairs has forced me to the front, to ask whether you will place it in my power to renew the contract with Mr. Keely; or leave him under the control of men who seem to be oblivious of the interest of the stockholders of the company in their "clamor" for an engine. When this system is completed, in its application to mechanics, the present mode of running engine with shafts and beltings will disappear, creating a revolution in all branches of industry.

Looking at my request from another point of view, do you not think it due to extend to Mr. Keely an opportunity to prove all that one of your number is ready to announce as his conviction in regard to the claims of Mr. Keely? You all know to whom I refer - Professor Joseph Leidy. "Oh, Leidy is a biologist," said an English physicist not long since; "get the opinion of a physicist for us." If I did not wish for the opinion of physicists, I should not have appealed to you for help at this most critical juncture. But I also ask that no opinion be given by any physicist until Mr. Keely's theories are understood and demonstrated, by experiment. Yes, Dr. Leidy is a biologist, and what better preparation could a man have than a study of the science of life to enable him to discern between laws of nature as invented by physicists, and nature's operations as demonstrated by Keely?

The science of life has not been the only branch to which Dr. Leidy has given profound attention; it is his extensive and accurate knowledge of its methods, limits, and tendencies, which prepared the way for that quick comprehension of possibilities, lying hidden from the sight of those men of science whose minds have rested (rusted?) in the dead grooves of mechanical physics. In Dr. Leidy we find entire scientific and intellectual liberty of thought, with that love of justice and truth which keeps its possessor from arrogance and intolerance, leading him with humility to "prove all things and hold fast to truth." To such men the world owes all that we have of advance since the days when science taught that the earth is flat, arguing that were it round the seas and oceans would fall off into space. In Dr. Leidy's name and in justice to him I ask your sanction to and approval of my efforts to preserve Keely's discoveries for science;- discoveries which explain, not only the causes of the planetary motions but the source of the one eternal and universal force.

An Appeal in Behalf of Science.

A paper read by Mrs. Bloomfield Moore at the house of Provost Pepper on the evening of January 14th, 1891, before members of the board of trustees and professors of the University of Pennsylvania.

Each day he wrought, and better than he planned,
Shape breeding shape beneath his restless hand;
The soul without still helps the soul within,
And its deft magic ends what we begin. George Eliot.

I hope that I do not seem to be too presumptuous in my effort to awaken an interest, on your part, in the discoveries of Keely which have aroused a marked degree of attention among some of the most learned men in Europe.

I should hardly have ventured to ask the prestige of your support to be given to Mr. Keely, in his further scientific researches, were it not that one of your number fully realizes I think, the important nature of these researches. You all know to whom I refer - ProfessorJoseph Leidy. In his book, "Fresh Water Rhizopods of North America," he says, in his concluding remarks: "I may perhaps continue in the same field of research and give to the reader further results, but I cannot promise to do so, for though the subject has proved to me an unceasing source of pleasure I see before me so many wonderful things in other fields, that a strong impulse disposes me to leap the hedges to examine them." I have reason to know that, had Dr. Leidy not followed this impulse, our age might have been robbed of its birthright.

It was not until I appealed to Professor Leidy and Dr. Willcox, to convince themselves whether I was right or wrong in extending aid to Mr. Keely, that their decision enabled me to continue to assist him until he has once more made such advances, in experimental research, as to cause the managers of the Keely Motor Company to believe that his engine is near completion, and that they can dispense with outside assistance hereafter.

But I know as it has been in the past so will it be again, and that, as the months glide away, if no engine is completed, the company will once more desert the discoverer; while, if he is allowed to pursue his researches, up to the completion of his system under your protection, his discoveries will be guarded for science, and the interest of the stockholders will not be sacrificed to the greed of speculators, as has so often been done in the past.

As I have had occasion to say, elsewhere, after the warning given in the history of Huxley's 'Bathybius', Professor Leidy would not have risked his world-wide reputation by the endorsement of Keely's claims, as the discoverer of hidden energy in intermolecular and atomic spaces, had he not tested the demonstrations until fully convinced of the discovery of a force previously unknown to science, and of the honesty of Mr. Keely in his explanations. Therefore, following the advice of Professor G. Fr. Fitzgerald, of Dublin, I do not ask for further investigations. Until Professor Leidy and Dr. Willcox came to the front, in May, 1891, Mr. Keely had no influential supporters, and was under such a cloud, from his connection with speculators, that to advocate his integrity of purpose and to uphold the importance of his work, was enough to awaken doubts as to the sanity of his upholders.

We are told by Herodotus that science is to know things truly; yet past experience shows us that what has been called knowledge at one period of time is proved to be but folly in another age. Science is to know things truly, and the laws of nature are the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Throughout the universe the same laws are at work and regulate all things. Men interpret these laws to suit their own ideas. The system which Keely is unfolding shows us that there is not one grain of sand, nor one invisible corpuscule of floating matter, that does not come under the same law that governs the most mighty planet, and that all forms of matter are aggregated under one law. "The designs of the Creator as expounded by our latest teachers," writes Gilman, "have required millions of ages to carry out. They are so vast and complex that they can only be realized in the sweep of ages. One design is subordinated by another without ever being lost sight of, until the time has arrived for its complete fulfilment. These designs involve an infinitude of effort, ending often in what, to our view, looks like failure, to be crowned after a series of ages with complete success at last."

In this long chain of physical causes, says Dr. Willcox, seemingly endless, but really commencing with that one link that touches the hand of Him who made all matter, and all potencies that dwell within matter, this cosmical activity has been ceaseless, these cosmical effects numerous past conception, by which universal nature has slowly unfolded and become the universe of to-day.

In this way both Christianity and science unfold their truths progressively. Truth, like the laws of nature, never changes; yet truth as an absolute thing, existing in and by itself, is relatively capable of change; for as the atoms hold in their tenacious grasp undreamed-of potencies, so truths hold germs potential of all growth. Each new truth disclosed to the world, when its hour of need comes, unfolds and reveals undreamed-of means of growth. As the Rev. George Boardman has said of Christianity, so may it be said of science; Being a perennial vine, it is ever yielding new wine.

A philosopher has said that if ever a human being needed divine pity it is the pseudo-scientist who believes in nothing but what he can prove by his own methods. In the light of Keely's discoveries, science will have to admit that when she concentrates her attention upon matter, to the exclusion of mind, she is as the hunter who has no string in reserve for his bow. When she recognizes that a full and adequate science of matter is impossible to man, and that the science of mind is destined ultimately to attain to a much higher degree of perfection than the science of matter - that it will give the typical ideas and laws to which all the laws of physics must be referred - then science will be better supplied with strings than she now is, to bring her quarry down.

It is Professor Leidy's and Dr. Willcox's second strings, to their bows, which will enable you to secure to science the richest quarry that has been within its reach. I know that the experience of Professor Rowland, as related by him, must have had the effect to prejudice you against Mr. Keely. Professor Fitzgerald writes to me on this subject: "I am sorry that Mr. Keely did not cut the wire, wherever Professor Rowland asked to have it cut, because it will undoubtedly be said that he had some sinister reason for not doing so, whatever his real reasons were; but, of course, when one cuts a bit off a valuable string one prefers naturally to cut the bit off the end, as Keely did, rather than our of the middle." This very wire which Mr. Keely did cut at one end, twice, for Professor Rowland, one of the pieces falling into my hand, is now in Professor Fitzgerald's possession. It was the offensive manner of Professor Rowland when he seized the shears, telling Keely it was his guilty conscience which made him refuse to cut the wire, and that it must be cut in the middle, which put Keely on the defensive, causing him to refuse to allow Professor Rowland to cut it.

It would seem that the professor in the John Hopkins University, from his remarks on that occasion, thought, instead of an experiment in negative attraction, that Keely was imposing upon the ignorant by giving a simple experiment in pneumatics, familiar to all schoolboys. Professor Rowland did not realize how low he was rating the powers of discernment of a professor in the University of Pennsylvania who had witnessed Keely's experiments again and again, when his instruments or devices were in perfect working order. Mr. Keely, who was ambitious to show Professor Rowland that his disintegrator had no connection with any concealed apparatus, had suspended it from the ceiling by a staple. The hook had given way, and the jar to the instrument in falling to the floor disarranged its interior construction on that day. To those who have not witnessed any of Keely's experiments, under favourable conditions, his theories naturally seem vague speculations; but not one theory has Keely put forward, as a theory, which he has not demonstrated as having a solid foundation in fact. Some of our men of science once settled the problem of the origin of life to their own satisfaction, only to learn in the end that speculation is not science; but this very problem is one the solution of which Keely now seems to be approaching.

It would become a matter of easy analysis writes Keely, if the properties governing the different orders of matter could be understood in their different evolutions. The force of the mind on matter is an illustration of the power of the finer over the crude, but the law making the crude forms of matter subservient to the finer or higher forms, is an unknown law to finite minds.

Bickle (Buckle?) has asserted that the highest of our so called laws of nature are as yet purely empirical; and that, until some law is discovered which is connected with the laws of the mind that made it, our knowledge has no sure basis. So saturated has Mr. Keely's mind been with his discovery of this law that he has contented himself to remain ignorant in physics, as taught by the schools; and also with simpler matters it would seem; while testing and building up his hypotheses into a system which no one but himself can complete, and which without completion must be lost to the world. I should form a very poor opinion of the mind that would accept an hypothesis as anything more than the signpost at cross roads, which points to the direction that may be taken. In physics the very first fact to which the learner is introduced is already sophisticated by hypotheses. Every experiment in chemistry is but a member of a series, all based upon some one or other of many hypotheses; which are as necessary to the construction of a system as is the scaffolding which is used in building an edifice. If the scaffolding proves unsound it does not affect the edifice, as it can be at once replaced with material more solid. So an hypothesis, which is merely a conjecture or a suggestion, cannot affect the solidity of a philosophy or a system. It must be tested and found to support all the facts which bear upon it, and capable of accounting for them, before it can be accepted as a theory.

It is my wish to have the professors of the University of Pennsylvania meet at my house the founder of a system which, in my opinion, embraces a pure philosophy: to listen to his theories, and to elicit from him such information as to the nature of his researches, in what is called electromagnetic radiation, as I trust will convince them that I have not been pursuing a will-o'-the-wisp during the years that my mind has been concentrated on the work in which Mr. Keely is engaged. The bearings of this work are so various that I shall not have time to touch upon more than the one which interest me beyond any or all of the others; namely, its connection with the medical art. Appreciating as I do the life of self-denial which physicians who are devoted to their profession must lead, and having in their ranks relatives and many warm friends on both sides of the ocean (one of them, my nephew, Dr. Jessup, is here to-night) I trust that what I say of the medical art will not be misconstrued.

The great sorrows of my life have come upon me through the ignorance of medical men, who, I know, followed their best judgment in the course of treatment that they pursued in the illnesses of those dear to me. When my children were in their infancy I had reason to embrace the opinions of Professor Magendie, as set forth in one of his lectures before the students of his class in the Allopathic College of Paris. These are his words: "I know medicine is called a science. It is nothing like a science. It is a great humbug. Doctors are mere empiric when they are not charlatans. We are as ignorant as men can be. Who knows anything about medicine? I do not, nor do I know anyone who does know anything about it. Nature does a great deal; imagination does a great deal, doctors do devilish little when they do no harm."

Later in life, in 1871, I was sent, while suffering with neurasthenia, from Paris to Schwalbach Baths by Dr. Beylard, who recommended me to the care of Dr. Adolph Genth; to whom, in my first interview, I said: "I wish for your opinion, and for your advice, if you can give it to me without prescribing any medicine." He replied: "With all my heart, Madam, and I wish to God there were more women like you; but we should soon lose our patients, if we did not dose them." A terrible excuse for the use of those agencies which Dr. John Good has said have sent more human beings to their graves than war, pestilence and famine combined.

One of Mr. Keely's discoveries shapes his theory that all nervous and brain disorders may be cured by equating the differentiation that exists in the disordered structure. When his system is completed, medical men will have a new domain opened to them for experiment. Gross material agencies, such as drugs, will be replaced by the finer forces of nature: light, as taught by the late Dr. Seth Pancoast of our city, and magnetism, as experimented with by the late Professor Keil of Jena, showing the efficacy of the ordinary magnet in the cure of certain infirmities, - these experiments were communicated by him more than fifty years since to the Royal Society of London.

Paracelsus taught that man is nourished and sustained by magnetic power, which he called the universal motor of nature. In Switzerland, in Italy and in France, the light-treatment is now being tested; red light used in cases of melancholia; blue light in cases of great nervous excitement, operating like magic in some instances. Dr. Oscar Jennings, the electrician at St. Anne's Hospital for the Insane in Paris, tells me that students, versed in Biblical lore, declare that the esoteric teaching of the Book of Job enunciate a system of light-cure. Ostensibly because of my faith in the importance of Keely's discoveries, as opening up new fields of research to medical men, an invalid daughter (suffering from puerperal mania after the birth of her third child) was taken from me, in conformance with orders of the Swedish guardian of her monied interests in Sweden, and I was summoned before the Police Direction, in Vienna, and required to bind myself not to experiment upon my child. It is well known to the London experts in mental disorders, the most distinguished of whom I have consulted, that my daughter's treatment, while she was under my care, had been confined to giving no medicine, forcing no food, and such changes from time to time in her surroundings as she needed, with a few electric baths.

The orthodox practice of medicine is nothing more and nothing less than "a system of blind experiment," as it has been called.

At the opening of a clinical society in London, Sir Thomas Watson said: "We try this and not succeeding we try that, and baffled again we try something else." Other eminent medical men have given utterance to these aphorisms: "The science of medicine is founded on conjecture and improved by murder;" "Mercury has made more cripples than war;" "Ninety-nine medical facts are medical lies;" "Every dose of medicine is a blind experiment;" "The older physicians grow the more sceptical they become of the virtues of their own medicines." Dr. Ridge said: "Everything in nature is acknowledge to be governed by law. It is singular, however, that while science endeavours to reduce this to actual fact in all other studies, those of health and disease have not hitherto been arranged under any law whatever."

Keely's system, should he live to complete it, will show that nature works under one law in everything; that discord is disease, that harmony is health. He believes that nervous and brain disorders are curable; but he will never have the leisure to enter this field of research himself, and it will be left for physicians to pursue their experiments to that point where they shall be able to decide whether he is right or wrong. This is why I seek to interest medical men in Keely's belief; his theories of latent energy he is able to handle without help, and to demonstrate a solid foundation for them on facts. "Nothing can lie like a fact," said Velpeau. But nature's laws are infallible facts, and the facts referred to by Velpeau are of the order of the fallible ones enunciated by science, such as "The atom is indivisible." "The atom is infinitely divisible," says Keely, repeating Schopenhauer's words, whose writings I dare say he has never read.

Professor George Fr. Fitzgerald, of Trinity College, Dublin, in closing a lecture delivered before the British Association last March, on "Electro-magnetic Radiation," enunciates a assistance. They know enough - those who are interested in his discoveries - to know that they can help him in no other way.

Professor Hertz of Bonn, said to me: "Keely must work out his system himself to that point where he can instruct physicists to repeat his experiments." Picking up a photograph of Keely's instruments of research, grouped together, he added: "No man is likely to be a fraud who is working on these lines."

Science is alert, on tiptoe as it were, waiting for the one mighty explanation of the force, "behind the framework of nature," which has hitherto "eluded its skill;" and which the system of Keely makes clear to the understanding, demonstrating that one power, one law, reigns throughout creation; the immaterial controlling the material, after the divine order and law of creation that the immaterial should govern the material - that the whole realm of matter is under the dominion of the immaterial. But "the known always excludes the unknown" when in opposition to it. As in past generations, so now in ours, physicists have said: "We will not waste our time in looking at facts and phenomena which cannot be accepted in opposition to established principles of science and to known laws of nature; and which, even if we beheld we should not believe."

The recognition and practical application of new truths are, as has been said, notoriously slow processes. Harvey's beneficent discovery excited vehement opposition from his contemporaries. Professor Riolan combated this discovery with as much obstinacy as violence; even denying the existence and the functions of lymphatic vessels. Harvey himself united with Riolan in opposing the discoveries of Aselli and Pacquet respecting the lymphatic system. Jenner's discovery met with the same opposition, and more than forty years elapsed before the suggestion of Sir Humphrey Davy became of practical use. Mr. Wills was so affected by the ridicule which he encountered in his experiments with nitrous oxide in destroying physical pain, that he abandoned them. Nearly half a century later Dr. Morton was assailed by several of our journals in America for the use of ether in producing anesthesia; as also was Sir James Simpson for his use of ether and chloroform.

The scientists excommunicated Dr. Wigan, who had proved by anatomical examination that each brain-hemisphere is a perfect brain; that we have, in fact, two brains, as we have two eyes and two ears. His experiences as a physician were declared to be impostures or delusions; his deductions fallacious. They could not be true, because they were inconsistent with the established principles of physiology and mental science. And with such experiences in the past, we should keep in mind that the power of nature are so mysterious and inscrutable that men must be cautious in limiting them to the ordinary laws of experience. Proclus wrote of the power of mind or will to set up certain vibrations - not in the grosser atmospheric particles whose undulations beget light, sound, heat, electricity - but in the latent immaterial principle of force, of which modern science knows scarcely anything.

What is beyond their own power, men cannot comprehend to be in the power of others. Said Sextus: "If by magic you mean a perpetual research among all that is most latent and obscure in nature, I profess that magic, and he who does so comes nearer to the fountain of all knowledge."

Sir Isaac Newton said: "It is well known that bodies act upon one another by the attractions of gravity, magnetism and electricity; and these instances show the tenour and course of nature, and make it not improbable that there may be more powers of attraction than these. For nature is very consonant and conformable to herself."

With such intimations of the hidden force that is ever in operation, "behind the framework of nature," shall we, because it is hidden from science, refuse to listen to the explanations which Mr. Keely is now prepared to give? All nature is a compound of conflicting, and therefore of counterbalancing and equilibrating, forces. Without this there could be no such thing as stability. In nature nothing is great and nothing is little, writes Figuier. Sir Henry Roscoe says: "The structure of the smallest particle, invisible even to our most searching vision, may be as complicated as that of any of the heavenly bodies which, circle around our sun." If you admit this, as stated by one of your own orthodox scientists, why refuse to admit the possibility of the subdivision of all corpuscles of matter, which Keely declares can be done by certain orders of vibration, thus showing up new elements? I do not ask endorsement of Keely's theories; but if physicists did not think it possible to rupture the atom, would they be calculating the chances of doing so, as Professor Fitzgerald has done?

Why not admit that certain tenets of science may prove to be nothing more than hypotheses, too hastily adopted as theories, and that Keely has succeeded, as he claims, to have discovered the order of vibrations, which by increasing the oscillation of the atom, causes it to rupture itself? This introductory impulses is given at forty-two thousand eight hundred vibrations, instead of one hundred millions; which, having been reached by Professor Hertz, failed to tear apart the atom, and convinced Professor Fitzgerald of the "long way off" that they still are from rupturing it. But even this conclusion was arrived at under an erroneous hypothesis; for the atomic charge does not oscillate across the diameter of the atom, and its possible radiating power was calculated on this hypothesis.

Again, as to the canons of science, which are proved by Mr. Keely's researches to be erroneous: take the one which teaches that molecular aggregation is ever attended with dissipation of energy. From whence, then, comes the immense force which is liberated from the constituents of gunpowder by its exciter, fire? - which is a certain order of vibration. Concussion, another order of vibration, releases the hidden energy stored in the molecules of dynamite, which tears the rocks asunder as if they were egg-shells. Still another order of vibration, which Keely has discovered, dissociates the supposed elements of water, releasing from its corpuscular embrace almost immeasurable volumes of force.

The discoverer of this law of nature has long been harassed and made to feel like a galley-slave chained to a rock, while with Prometheus aspirations he is seeking to bring down fire and light from heaven for his fellow-men.

When Professor Leidy followed his impulse to leap the hedge which divided his special field of research from the domain that Keely was exploring, his was the first effort made by a man of science to save to the world "the hidden knowledge" bestowed upon one who, in my opinion, is alone capable of completing his system in a form to transmit this knowledge to others. I doubt not that this will seem to you as the language of fanaticism; but my convictions do not come from things hoped for. They are the result of the evidence of things seen, year after year, for nearly a decade of years.

As a school-girl, fifty years ago, I had the privilege of attending courses of lectures at Yale College, where experiments were given in natural philosophy and in chemistry; which kept up the interest that was awakened in earlier years; when, with my mineral hammer and basket, my father took me in his walks, laying the foundation of that love of true science which has made the discoveries of Keely of such intense interest to me.

Superficial as was and still is my knowledge of science, in its various branches, my interest has never abated; and thus, by my course of reading, I have kept myself abreast of the most advanced writers of modern thought, preparing the way of the help that I have been able to give Mr. Keely by putting books into his hands which, after more than twelve years of blind struggles to grapple with the force he had stumbled over, helped him to comprehend its nature, sooner than he would have done had he been left to work out his conjectures unaided, he tells me.

Marvelous as is the extent of Keely's knowledge of vibratory physics, I doubt very much whether he knows enough of mechanical physics to perform the trickery which Professor Rowland accused him of attempting. "Of course every one is looking for a trick where Keely is concerned," writes a Baltimore man; and, so long as speculations in the stock of the Keely Motor Company are authorized by the managers of that company, or efforts made to dispose of it before any practical result is attained, so long will Keely be unjustly suspected of being in league with them to obtain money under false pretences.

It was after six or seven years of failure on the part of the stockholders of the company to furnish Keely with one dollar, even, that I made a contract with him in April, 1890, to supply all that he needed for the completion of his system; having first received the assurance of Mr. Keely's lawyer that he would carry out the united wishes of Mr. Keely and myself. At that time this announcement was made in the public journals:-

"There has been placed in the hands of Professor Leidy a fund for the use of inventor John W. Keely. The stipulation attached is that no use shall be made of the financial assistance for speculative purposes. This provision, which is made in the interest of the Keely Motor Company as well as for science, will end with the first attempt to speculate on the stock by exhibitions given of the operations of unpatentable engines. Professor Leidy holds the fund at his disposition, and will pay all bills for instruments constructed for researching purposes."

The report issued last month by the directors of the Keely Motor Company annulled this contract; and it now remains for your board to decide whether I shall, in behalf of science, continue to supply Mr. Keely with the means of continuing his researches, under the protecting auspices of the University of Pennsylvania, or leave him in the hands of those who are so blind to their own interests, as holders of stock in the Keely Motor Company, they cannot be made to see that their only hope of commercial success lies in the completion of the system that Keely is developing; and that the course proposed by Professor Leidy, and commended by Professor Hertz and Professor Fitzgerald, for Keely to follow, is the only one that will ever enable him to complete it.

This system is as much a work of evolution as is any one of the slow operations of nature. "Truth can afford to wait:" she knows that the Creator of all things never hurries. In these twenty years of toil Keely's patient perseverance has been godlike. It is the sharpest rebuke that could be uttered to those whose impatient "hue and cry" has been, "Give us a commercial engine and we will immortalize you;" - grinding from him, meantime, seven-eighths of his interest in his inventions.

But in his labours Keely finds a recompense that, as yet, "the world knows not of;" for day by day he sees the once, to him, obscure domain lit up with ever-increasing glory; a domain the boundaries of which are the boundaries of the universe: the entrance into which promises the fulfilment of the hopes of those who look forward to "a time when we shall no longer go to the blind to lead the blind in our search to make life worth living; but, instead, be able to promote, in accordance with scientific method and in harmony with law, the physical, intellectual and moral evolution of our race."

As of Newton, with the change of one word only, so one day will it be said of Keely:-

All intellectual eye-our solar round
First gazing through, he by the blended power
Of laws etheric, universal, saw
The whole in silent harmony revolve.
What were his raptures then! How pure! How strong!
And what the triumphs of old Greece and Rome
With his compared? When Nature and her laws
Stood all disclosed to him, and open laid
Their every hidden glory to his view.

On the 23rd of March, following the reading of this address, Professor Koenig, who had become deeply interested in Mr. Keely's researches, wrote:-

"With regard to the experiments, which I saw at Mr. Keely's, I venture upon the following suggestion, as test of the nature of the force Mr. Keely is dealing with. The revolution of the compass as a result of negative polar attraction. It is stated in Mr. Keely's paper that he finds gold, silver, platinum, to be excellent media for the transmission of these triple currents. Now it is well known that these same metals are most diamagnetic, that is, unaffected by magnetic influences. If, therefore, a needle be made of one of these metals and suspended in place of the steel needle, in the compass, and put under the influence of Mr. Keely's force, it ought to revolve the same as the steel needle will under magnetic and polar and anti-polar influence. If Mr. Keely could make such a needle revolve, it would convince me that he is dealing with a force unknown to physicists."

To this requirement Mr. Keely replied: "To run a needle, composed of non-magnetic material, by polar and depolar action is a matter of an infinite impossibility as would be the raising of a heavy weight from the bottom of a well by sucking a vacuum in it, or the inhalation of water into the lungs instead of air, to sustain life."

However, at Dr. Brinton's suggestion, Mr. Keely took up a line of research that was new to him, and succeeded in making a needle of the three metals, gold, silver and platinum, rotate by differential molecular action; induced bynegative attractive outreach, which is as free of magnetic force as a cork.

Professor Brinton had so mastered Keely's working hypotheses as to say, early in April, that he was sure he could make them understood by any intelligent person-writing of them: "All that is needed now is to show that Keely's experiments sustain the principles that underlie these hypotheses. As soon as Professor Koenig is prepared to report on the purely technical and physical character of the experiments, I shall be ready to go into full details as to their significance in reference to both matter and mind. It will be enough for me if Dr. Koenig is enabled simply to say that the force handled by Keely is not any one of the already well-known forces. Let him say that, and I will undertake to say what it is."

On the evening of the 20th of April, the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, with others who were invited, met at Mrs. Moore's house to hear the report of the "observation" of Mr. Keely's researching experiments. The result was not made public; at it was desired, by all concerned, that nothing should be made known which could in any way influence the price of the stock of the company, to which Mr. Keely is under obligations; and which, as far as marketable value is concerned, is quite worthless until his system is completed to that point where some one device or machine can be patented. But, after Professor Koenig had made his report to those assembled, and Professor Brinton had read his abstract, all that had been asked for Mr. Keely, in behalf of the interests of science, was concerned to him. Mr. Keely has been able to continue his researches, up to the present time, without the delays which actions-at-law would have occasioned.

Professor Brinton, before making public his "Abstract of Keely's Philosophy," wishes to add two parts, one on the difficulties in the way of physicists in understanding Keely's theories; the other on the relations of the conditions of the interetheric order to the laws of mind.

The address of Mrs. Moore, type-copied, was sent to various editors and men of science in Philadelphia, as well as to leading capitalists; and, in this crisis of Keely's connection of the stockholders of The Keely Motor Company, some of these editors rendered substantial aid in making known his critical position; most notably the Inquirer, owned by Mr. Elverson, and the Evening Telegraph, owned by Mr. Warburton, with the result that a decided change in public opinion took place, after these journals announced, in April, that Professor Koenig had tested the energy, employed by Keely, with the most sensitive galvanometer of the university, in the presence of Professor Leidy, Professor Brinton, Doctor Tuttle (a Baltimore physicist) and others, finding no trace of electricity; and by other tests no magnetism. The two professor who thoroughly investigated Keely's theories, and observed his demonstrations, were chosen because they possessed the qualities of mind which Herbert Spencer said constitute the first condition of success in scientific research , viz. "an honest receptivity and a willingness to abandon all preconceived notions, however cherished, if they be found to contradict the truth."

Professor Leidy and Dr. Willcox, during their observations of Keely's progressive experimental researches, had expressed no opinion of Keely's theories, other than that they did not correspond with their own ideas; but Professor Koenig boldly said, "I not only think Mr. Keely's theories possible, but I consider them quite probable." Professor Brinton, who made a study of Keely's theories, so mastered them as to be able to suggest to Keely a new line of research, required by Dr. Koenig in the tests proposed; and the synopsis of Keely's philosophy, prepared by Dr. Brinton, has made Keely's hitherto unintelligible language intelligible to men of science. See Laws of Being

Not withstanding this favourable result, a New York journalist, under a fictitious name, pretended to have discovered that Keely is a fraud, using well-known forces; which statements were published (with woodcuts of instruments discarded by Keely two years before) in the New York Herald and The Press, in Philadelphia. It is amusing to see how "history repeats itself;" for, in the year 1724, in a letter to the Royal Society, Hatzfeldt attacked Sir Isaac Newton in much the same spirit. One would suppose in reading what Hatzfeldt has written of an invention of his time, that it had been written, word for word, of this ignorant investigator of Keely's experiments in researching. After commenting upon the corruption of human nature as shown, in his day, by want of veracity, and the tendency to vicious misrepresentation, he says: "If the said machine was contrived according to the weak sense and understanding of those who pretend it to be moved in other ways than that declared, it would have been discerned before this.

"And those who pretend it to be moved by water, or air, or magnetism, one of which (meaning water) even our most famous author did in the beginning affirm it to be moved by, is so very weak that I don't at all think it deserving to be considered.

"And what is still worse, to pretend it to be a cheat is a manner of proceeding which is neither consistent with equity nor common sense. As long as arts and sciences have the misfortune of depending on the direction of such like persons, no progress toward truth can be made, but I shall make it sufficiently appear that there is yet more truth behind the hill than ever has been brought to light. There be persons who, when disappointed of gain, turn their shafts against those who have circumvented them.

"All those who know anything of philosophy know that gravity is generally (and chiefly by Sir Isaac Newton and his followers) denied to be essential to matter, which I shall not only prove the contrary of, but I shall likewise show the properties in matter, on which the principle depends, to be the most glorious means to prove the existence of God, and to establish natural religion."

Is it not rather remarkable that, after a sleep of nearly two centuries, it is again claimed that gravity is inherent in all matter?

It has been very generally supposed that Keely is working at haphazard, at it were; in other words, that he has no theory to go upon. Professor Brinton writes of Keely's theories: "Mr. Keely has a coherent and intelligent theory of things, or philosophy on which he lays out his work and proceeds in his experiments." March 6th, the same professor writes: "Keely's paper on Latent Force in intermolecular spaces is clear enough and instructive, but the average reader will find the perusal up-hill work, from lack of preliminary teaching. Naturally, Mr. Keely, whose mind has been busy with this topic for years, and who is more familiar with it than with any other, does not appreciate how blankly ignorant of it is the average reader. Also naturally he writes above the heads of his audience."

A correspondent in Invention, London, writes December 12, 1891: "We have at various times in these column alluded to the investigations of the Philadelphia scientist, J. W. Keely, and this researcher-who is now stated to be engaged in finding a method whereby the power* which he professes to have discovered can be employed as a motor in the place of steam - is just now the object of considerable attention in the press of the United States. To summarize the present state of the criticism to which this man is subjected, we may mention that for some time past The New York Herald, among other papers, has been printing a series of articles that have been recently prepared by an American inventor named Browne, professing to show how Keely has, for nearly twenty years, been deceiving expert engineers, shrewd men of the world, some few university professors and others, by the use of compressed air, obtaining testimonials of his discovery of an unknown force in nature. In reading his articles any one who has seen the photographs - as the writer has done - of the researching instruments discarded by Keely, in past years, and those that he is now employing in their place, cannot fail to detect the misstatements and misrepresentations made.

Mr. Browne (?) even overrides the testimony of the late Professor Leidy, Dr. Willcox, Dr. Koenig, Dr. Brinton - the Baltimore Physicist - Dr. Tuttle, and the engineers Linville and Le Van, all of whom have tested the force used by Keely, and admitted that no electricity, no magnetism, no compressed air is used. Without endorsing in the slightest anything that Keely has discovered, or claims to have discovered, we think that, with the English love of fair play, both sides should always fairly be heard before either is condemned, and as Mr. Keely has consented to instruct a well-known English physicists in his method of producing the force handled, there is every change of the truth being known, and the correct state of the matter divulged to the scientific world at large, when, mayhap, this rival inventor may have to retract his assertions or stand a suit for libel. We do not say it will be so - we only assert it may be. Professor Brinton, who has made a study of Keely's methods, writes this month to a friend in London:- "The expose of Keely's alleged methods continues each week. Some of the proposed explanations are plausible, others are plainly absurd. They only serve to attract renewed attention to Keely. I have written to the editor to ask him to arrange a meeting for me with the writer, but I have not yet been able to discover the Mr. Browne,* of Brooklyn, who is the suppositions author."

Mr. Keely has chosen the successor of Professor Tyndall, at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, as the physicist to whom he will communicate his method. This will be welcome news indeed to scientists on both sides of the Atlantic, and the result will be awaited with anxiety alike by both the friends and foes of Keely. We shall watch for the result, as will our American confreres.- Wm. Norman Brown.

See Also

Keely and His Discoveries

Page last modified on Sunday 01 of May, 2011 10:14:34 MDT

Search For a Wiki Page