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Topic: Keely Chronology Stack
Section: Keely Bearded in His Den
Table of Contents to this Topic
KEELY BEARDED IN HIS DEN
TOO MUCH NECROMANCY AND TOO LITTLE SCIENCE.
LIEUT. ZALINSKI'S VISIT TO THE PHILADELPHIA CONJURER UNSATISFACTORY
WHAT COMPRESSED AIR WILL DO.
NYT - 12/16/1884 - Lieut. E.L. Zalinski stood, smilling and serene, on the piazza of his house at Fort Hamilton yesterday afternoon. He was carefully attired in brand-now apparel, much of which, he declared, had come into his possession when Mr. Cleveland was announced as future President of the United States. Indeed, as the Lieutenant vigorously asserted, Fort Hamilton had gone straight for the Democratic ticket, and was consequently in a high state of exultation. Only one unfortunate officer had ventured to bed on Mr. Blaine. The wretched man was now the subject of universal compassion, and Lieut, Zalinski had delicately suggested that he buy his hats and clothes by the case, as the quantity which he will be forced to purchase in order to satisfy his creditors would fully justify a wholesale transaction.
"And now," said Lieut, Zalinski, forgetting the absorbing subject of the recent election," I may tell you that I have been to Philadelphia to visit the redoublable Keely of vaporic force notoriety. I have bearded the great untamed in his own den." LIeut, Zalinski's eyes twinkled at the pleasant recollections he apparently recalled, and the seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.
"After the experiments at Sandy Hook, as I suppose you know," he said, "there was some little controversy. The papers discussed the subject, and the old opinion in relation to Mr. Keely's alleged force did not seem to have suffered any very striking contradiction. Well, the Keely ites had been using Col. John Hamilton's name very considerably, and at last they invited him to come to Philadelphia, to bring with him some of his friends, and to give his opinion of Mr. Keely in that illustrious gentleman's own workshop. Col. Hamilton was ill. He was unable to avail himself of the kind invitation. He nowever, recollected your humble servant, and seemed to think that I was the fittest man to take his place. The Keely people seemed to think that I was prejudiced against the great Philadelphia wonder, and that had better not come. I think I succeded in showing them that not one particle of prejudice existed in my mind; that if Mr. Keely was what he claimed to be I would be the first man to acknowledge it, and that if he had a new scientific agent I wanted that agent as much as he did. To be brief, Col. Hamilton's place was ceded to me. I went to Philadelphia."
If Lieut, Zalinski's genial features could have been guilty of wearing a sardonic expression, they certainly wore it at that moment. His smile would certainly have made an interesting analysis.
"Well," he continued, "Mr. Keely and his friends treated me right royally, and I certainly had every inducement to open my heart and believe. I did open my heart, but- Well, let me relate things chronologically. I viewed Mr. Keely's efforts in science for some time, and then I felt my time hade come. I noticed that Mr. Keely was unwilling to have his force measured honestly and fairly. There was a large reservoir which he was going to attach to an engine and make the locomotive run. You are aware that he claims his ability to generate force in a few seconds to any extent. Well, I suggested to him that it would be fairer and a much more complete test of his power if he would first open all the cocks of this fiask, so that everything in it could escape, and then recharge it by his generator.
"Ha! ha!" laughed Lieut, Zalinski. "He said he could not do it. It would take two hours, and the flask had been carefully negatized. Please note the word negatized. It is a unique expression. Well, that is proof positive that his claim of being able to generate force in a few seconds fell to the ground, isn't it?
"Well, I remained down stairs while the engine to be worked was down stairs. Mr. Keely appeared to be very uneasy as I prowied about the down-stairs regions. Finally, he came to me and announced the starling fact that there was an accidental break in a pipe, and that he mustput off the experiment, as he could not work the engine on that account."
Lieut, Zalenski's mirth interrupted him at this point. "Now," he resumed,"when I started for Philadelphia I was careful to take with me a 10,000-pound gauge. That was my little equipment. This, as I suppose, you know, or if you don't must take my word for it, is a standard instrument. Well, as soon as the Keely people saw this gauge they said to me. You had better not show it to Keely. It would him! I wanted justice. One of his partisans, however, informed Mr. Keely that I had brought this gauge with me, and the great man replied that he would not use it. In the course of his experiments he said he had got 50,000 pounds pressure. But-observe the but-he then remarked that he had broken all the pressure gauges he had. Consider I have spoken those last words in italics, please. I then quietly rejoined that I had a pressure gauge which was only capable of registering 10,000 pounds. Said I, 'I would like to have you put it on, and break it for me.' Mr. Keely made no immediate reply to this. Shortly afterward, however, he remarked, with an air of feeble assertion, 'I do not believe in pressure gauges, any how.'"
The subject appeared to be excruciatingly funny to Lieut, Zalenski, "It is to be noted," he continued, "that not a single series of experiments was carried on continuously. A full and proper test of the correctness of his claims as to the power he is said to possess would be to start afresh outside of a shop, generate the force, and use it continuously, not only for a tew seconds, but incessantly for several hours; in fact, for a day or more, under competent supervision.
"Don't think that this was not suggested to him. That would be doing me an injustice," said the lieutenant, laughing. "I suggested it to Mr. Keely. But no'er a word said he. I am quit convinced that the gentleman who are supporting Mr. Keely honestly believe that he has a power. But he has been working at this alleged power for years and years and if he really does possess it, surely he ought to be able to utilize it now. Much that he did ar Philadelphia smacked of the legerdemain business, and the spectators were now allowed to examine all the details of the business, even to that extent which a well-regulated of his reputation to allow.
"For instance, Mr. Keely made a globe revolve by means of a tuning fork. All the world wondered. That was all there was to it. Its enlightenment was deemed necessary. When he fired his gun much of the mechanism which was ostentatiously shown at Sandy Hook was omitted. More than that, he also omitted all that hocus-pocus tapping of the cylinders, which at Sandy Hook made the spectator imagine that he was going to conjure a few hundred yards of ribbon from his mouth in the most approved style. He certainly indulged in a great deal of inexplicable manipulation, and I have no iden what he meant by it except the hocus-pocus iden."
"Now," said Lieut, Zalinski, "I have been informed that a gentleman interested in the Keely motor concern has offered to give me $1,000 gratuity if I could accomplish as much as had been done by Mr. Keely at Sandy Hook. This offer has not been presented to me in tangible form, but I don't mind telling you that I will perform the experiment without compensation, asking simply the loan of the plant used at Sandy Hook, or funds sufficient to construct one, which shall be out wardly a counterpart of Mr. Keely's apparatus. The flash used may readly contain a pressure of 2,000 pounds por square inch and much more. The velocities attained would indicate a possible pressure of about 700 pounds per square inch, when the diaphragms were broken and the short expelled. The volume of the bore of the gun, and the probable chamber fondly supposed to contain vibrators, vitalizers, and such remarkable scientific articles, was so small, compared to the volume of the compressed air contained in the flasks used, that the percentage of reduction of pressure was very small. A considerable number of rounds could readily be fired without a reduction of the pressure below that required to burst the vulcanite diaphragms. Increasing initial velocities may readily be obtained by placing either more or stronger diaphragms in the gun. In this way the pressure accumulated in the gun chamber will be greater before rupture of the diaphragms can take place, thus giving the higher velocities of projection."
Lieut, Zalinski spoke very deliberately, and his technicalities had been evidently carefully considered.
"I question Mr. Keely's ability," he resumed, "to fire the gun continuously for 100 rounds, maintaining the same high velocity without discharging his flask. Should the trial be made, as previously proposed," said the Lieutenant, "I would suggest that it be arranged to commence the experiments sufficiently early in the day in order that there may be ampletime for a satisfactory continuance of the firing. This was not the case at Sandy Hook, as you are well aware. It would also better establish Mr. Keely's claim to an increasing rather than decreasing pressure if a place were provided in the flask where a standar pressure gauge, furnished by some disinterested persons, could be attached. Don't forget the disinterested persons, please," added the Lieutenant, laughing.
"One more point. As a guarantee that the interior-shall I call it arrangements?-of the gunhave not been changed, so as to make the conditions more favorable, and also for purposes of direct comparison. I would like Mr. Keely to bring his flask charged with the so-called etheric force and fire at first. I will then recharge de flask with compressed air-I stick to my compressed air-and producesimilar phenomena. The relative force imparted to the projectors can be measured either by penetration into wood, or other media, by ranges obtained under a given elevation, or by the measurement of initial velocities. As the vaporic force is so simply generated-ahem!-it would appear to be a slight matter for the company to take steps for the institution of this trial, and this demonstrate practically Mr. Keely's ability and their own faith in his power to produce transcendent results.
"Science is not easily revolutionized nowadays. Somethig more serious than tapping on cylinders and mecromantic airs are required to satisfy the world that it is in the possession of a force which has hitherto escaped the attention of learned men. Mr. Charles B. Collier has criticised my statements rather harshly. He has denied the conrrectness of my remarks and questioned my ability to attain the same results as those attained by Mr. Keely by means of compressed air. All that would have been more valuable if the Keely people had acceded to my request when it was first urged, and permitted me to make the trial when I first placed myself at their disposal.
"But," continued the Lieutenant, with an affable smile, "I have been to Philadelphia now and can still smile in derision. I repeat my offer and don't want the $1,000 which the interested individual has been stating that he iswilling to bestow upon me. Virtue is its own reward. So will compressed air be in this case. Ha! Ha! And the energetic gentlemanlaughed in the same strain in which the cat was heard when she feelingly exclaimed, Hi! Hi! I have eaten the canary!"