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
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,
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.