The Original 1928 Prototype

This peculiar device was found in an abandoned house near Elmyra, New York in 1961 during its demolition.

The only information concerning it was a yellowed label affixed to one side of the case identifying it as *The original 1928 prototype."

In the thirty years since its discovery no one has been able to fully delve the purpose of this mysterious apparatus. Soon after it was found it was discovered that a, six volt DC current introduced across the terminals would cause the transparent roller to shift back and forth at random and a tiny corona discharge would form between two needle sharp points below and to the left of an eight sided prism of unknown purpose. A high static charge would build around a metal stud which protruded through the case right next to the knife switch which activated the mechanism. After a few years, even these cryptic functions ceased. The device is now, apparently, broken.

At least three attempts have been made to duplicate the device, all of them failures. The first raised the temperature of every glass object within three feet by one degree centigrade and then burned out, the second did nothing that anyone could detect. The third was an "improved" model built as a research project by an MIT student in 1982. When powered up it started to behave like the original before it, like the original, permanently stopped working. The student who built it claimed that he saw something move in the tiny glass plate held in the metal cone above the roller before it stopped. No one else saw it.

The original device now resides in the Smithsonian institution in Washington, D.C. as part of a display of xenolites.