PAINE'S ELECTRO-MAGNETIC ENGINETue Aug 7, 2012 08:4022.214.171.124
PAINE'S ELECTRO-MAGNETIC ENGINE
[Scientific American, XXV, 21, 1871]
To the Editor of the Scientific American:
Having noticed several articles in your paper with reference to Paine's electro-magnetic machine, I believe I cannot do better than describe a visit which I paid it about three months ago.
Entering the office in company with a friend, at about twelve o'clock one day, I was told that the machine was not running then, but would be in operation at one.
Proceeding there alone, at about that time, I was, after the formality of sending up my name, conducted by a small boy, through numerous by-ways and passages, to the second story of a back building, where I was met by the illustrious inventor and a few select friends.
Mr. Paine began by showing the small model machines, which he set in motion by a battery of four cups, of about a gallon capacity each.
These models revolved very well, but apparently with no power, for they could be stopped easily. I then began to reason with him on the absurdity of his position, and adduced in my support the experiments of Joule, Mayer, Faraday and others.
He, evidently, had no very high opinion of these, and pronounced the conservation of force an old fashioned idea, which had been overthrown in these enlightened days by his " experiments," though what the latter were I have never determined.
After conversing some time, to no purpose, he prepared to over- throw me and my authority at one blow, by an exhibition of The Machine.
This was standing in front of a chimney, on one side of the room, with the axis of its wheels parallel to the wall.
The wheel to which the magnets were attached was, unlike the models, inclosed in a cast iron case, which enveloped it closely above, but spread out into a rectangular base below. The latter rested directly on the floor.
The axis of the wheel projected on each side, and, to one end, a pulley was attached, and to the other, the brake for operating the magnets.
The machine had the general appearance of a fan blower with an enlarged pulley.
The battery was attached to two binding screws, fixed to a standard on the chimney, and the current was supposed to pass from these, along wires, to the break piece, and thence to the magnets.
A belt on the pulley connected with a shaft overhead, whence another belt proceeded to the pulley of a small circular saw.
As soon as the connection was made with the battery, the whole apparatus began to move, and soon the saw attained great velocity, shaking the building with violence.
The latter effect was caused by a heavy fly wheel on the saw arbor, which probably was not well balanced.
When well in motion, boards were applied and sawed with the greatest ease.
To show the excess of power, they were sometimes placed on edge and passed over the saw, so as wholly to envelop it, and the cut made from end to end, without the velocity being at all diminished.
On throwing off the belt from the saw, the machine still proceeded at the same velocity, with entire indifference to external resistance.
On mentioning this to Mr. Paine, he informed me that when the saw was attached, and the resistance greater, the increased pull on the magnets brought them nearer together, by bending the heavy iron frame; and, as magnetic attraction varies inversely as the square of the distance, it only required a small change of distance to account for the increased power.
I clearly indicated that I was skeptical on this point, and suggested that it would also work without variation if the power proceeded from some well governed steam engine in the neighborhood.
On this he intimated that, if I were not careful, a force might proceed from his body which would act in conjunction with gravitation in causing me to be projected through the window, and strike with violence on the ground below.
The exhibition being over, on going down stairs in company with the rest, I tried the door of the room below, but found it locked, and the windows covered with papers.
I desired to get in, but was met with the assurance that the room was rented by a man who was then absent.
This, I believe, is the last visit paid by an outsider to this wonderful invention.
I have been there several times since, but there has been no admittance to me, or to any one else.
I have since been to the owner of the building, and find that Mr. Paine rents the room to which I sought admittance, and also rents power in that same room, which is directly below that containing his machine.
The engine from which the power comes generally stops work at twelve and starts again at one, but sometimes works all day.
My visits there have established the following facts: First, That my friend and I were denied admittance at twelve o'clock, but were invited to come at one.
Second, That the shaft in the room below does not revolve between the hours of twelve and one.
Third, That the room below, containing power, was rented by Mr. Paine, but that he kept it carefully locked, and misguided me as to the tenant.
Fourth, That the working parts are concealed in an unnecessarily strong case, well adapted to the concealment of another source of power.
Fifth, That part of the apparatus is attached to the wall, so that the machine must always occupy the same position on the floor.
Sixth, That the models have not a power proportionate to their size.
Seventh, That the machine runs at the same velocity, whether producing one horsepower or a fraction of a horsepower, and this without a governor.
These are the facts of the case.
Where the power of the machine comes from I am unable to say.
Is there some secret connection between this machine and the shaft below, and does the battery serve only to make this connection?
Or does the battery, when applied, connect the apparatus with a larger battery?
I leave these questions to others; but, unless the reasoning and experiments of a host of our greatest men be false, and unless the greatest development of modern science be overthrown, this machine cannot but derive its power from Some extraneous source.
In a late communication to your paper, Mr. Paine sets himself up as the peer of Faraday, Tyndall and others, and gives as the reason, his long devotion to science.
He evidently does not consider that to be ranked with such men requires something more than devotion; it requires brains; brains to discriminate between true science and quackish nonsense; brains to discover and originate.
And pray what fact, among the thousands of science, does Mr. Paine pretend to have proved Beyond doubt?
Let him answer.
As to Mr. Paine's " science," I assert that it is a tissue of error and ignorance, from beginning to end.
Even his vaunted invention of metallic foil, wherewith to envelop his magnets or wire, can operate in no other manner than to the detriment of his machine, as any such metallic coating lengthens the demagnetization, which is the very thing to be guarded against.
This is due to an induced current, which forms in the coating, and, being in the same direction as the primary current, operates in the same manner to keep up the magnetism.
His reason for the machine's keeping at the same velocity also shows great ignorance of the subject.
In the first place, the law of magnetic force, under these circumstances, is stated entirely wrong.
For this case, the true law is complex, but most nearly approaches to that of inversely as the distance, instead of as the square of the distance.
(See Joule, and also Tyndall, in the London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine for 1850.)
And, in the second place, approach of the poles would not necessarily increase the efficiency; in this kind of machine there is a distance of maximum efficiency; and if the magnets revolve at a distance greater than this, the attraction becomes too small; and if at a less distance, the times of magnetizing and demagnetizing the magnets become too great, and the machine goes too slowly.
The distance in this machine is, undoubtedly, within the limit, for Mr. Paine prides himself upon its smallness, and so further reduction, could it take place, can act in no other manner than the opposite of that claimed.
But it is my opinion that all the force brought to bear on the magnets could not move them one two- hundredth of an inch, when attached to such a frame.
As to Mr. Paine's disregard for the conservation of force, I have little to say.
His assertions are made directly in the face of this principle, and yet he has never adduced one experiment, or even a plausible reason, to prove what he says.
He takes you into a building where shafts are revolving by the vulgar power of steam, and directs you to look while he evokes power from nothing.
You must not touch anything; you must not enter the room below; you must not be there while the engine next door is at rest; but you must simply look, and by that renowned maxim of fools, that " seeing is believing/' you must believe that the whole structure of science has fallen, and that above its ruins nothing remains but Mr. Paine and his wonderful electro-magnetic machine.
HENRY A. ROWLAND, C. E.
Henry Augustus Rowland (1848-1901)
Newark, N. J.
Read modern theory of operation of Mr Paines 1871 ELECTRO-MAGNETIC ENGINE.
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