An article from 1888
This paper is from Scientific American – August 4, 1888 – page 69
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 fuel.
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 sort.
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 CONTAINING ELEVEN DIFFERENT MINERALS, the MAGNETIC INFLUENCE of 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.
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
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.
An article from 1888