John Ernst Worrell Keely

John Ernst Worrell Keely

Born Sep 3, 1837

John Ernst Worrell Keely was a US inventor from Philadelphia who claimed to have discovered a new motive power which was originally described as "vaporic" or "etheric" force, and later as an unnamed force based on "vibratory sympathy", by which he produced "interatomic ether" from water and air.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of John Ernst Worrell Keely.


1837 Birth Born in 1837.


1869 32 Years Old 1 More Event
Wilson alleged that he had only recently become aware that the machine called the "Keely motor" was the same as the one constructed in 1869 and assigned to him. … Read More
1872 35 Years Old In 1872, Keely invited scientists to attend a demonstration at his laboratory at 1422 North Twentieth Street Philadelphia, of a machine which he asserted was motivated by a new and hitherto unknown force. … Read More
1874 37 Years Old On November 10, 1874, Keely gave a demonstration of an "etheric generator" to a small group of people in Philadelphia. … Read More
1875 38 Years Old The New York Times reported in June 1875 that Keely's new motive power was generated from cold water and air and evolved into a vapor "more powerful than steam, and considerably more economical". … Read More


1878 41 Years Old Today, Philadelphia has forgotten all about its infamous resident. Even Keely's old house has completely disappeared and the site is now a private parking lot for the property next door. A model of Keely's engine was in the collection of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, and an "Etheric Force Machine" of his dating from 1878 is in the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont. … Read More
1881 44 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1881, Keely met Clara Jessup Bloomfield Moore, the wealthy widow of a Philadelphia industrialist who had the year before established the Bloomfield Moore art collection. … Read More
Keely was reluctant to reveal his secrets, and filed a demurrer on 20 January 1882 to the bill in equity presented against him by the Keely Motor Company's stockholders. … Read More
1883 46 Years Old 1 More Event
On 28 August 1883, at the monthly meeting of the Company's directors, it was announced that Keely's engine would be ready for operation around the first week in September, and that a final inspection of it by the Trustees would be conducted on 29 August, at which the stockholders were expected to be present. … Read More
1884 47 Years Old 1 More Event
When the promised stockholders' meeting was held on 1 February 1884, another postponement was announced at Keely's request. … Read More
1885 48 Years Old On 6 June 1885 Keely gave what he called "an exhibition" of his motor at his workshop at North Twentieth Street, Philadelphia. … Read More
1886 49 Years Old On 26 March 1886 Keely performed a demonstration before a committee of scientists and engineers from New York, where he obtained a pressure of 2,700 psi apparently by using a single pint of water, and then doubled the pressure by adding more water. … Read More


1887 50 Years Old The stockholders of the Keely Motor Company met on 14 December 1887, and expressed their confidence in Keely's ultimate success. … Read More
1888 51 Years Old 1 More Event
On 3 January 1888 an injunction was granted against Keely on behalf of complainant Bennett C. Wilson, who said that in 1863 he had entered into an agreement with Keely, whom he had originally engaged to varnish furniture. … Read More
Finally, on 28 January 1889, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania handed down an opinion reversing the order committing Keely to prison for contempt, and ordered his discharge. … Read More
In June 1895 the trade journal Electricity published a challenge to Keely, in which they said that they would undertake to repeat every phenomenon produced by Keely within 60 days. … Read More


1897 60 Years Old On 18 June 1897 Keely demonstrated his new etheric engine to the General Manager of the Manhattan Elevated Railway, the Chief Engineer of Western Union, and a representative of the Metropolitan Traction Company. … Read More
1898 61 Years Old 1 More Event
Keely died at his home in Philadelphia from pneumonia on 18 November 1898. … Read More
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