The following are excerpted somewhat at random and will serve to give some idea regarding his instruments and his manner of work. It should be understood that he was a very careful man and had no intention of allowing his invention to become the "property" of someone else by pilfering the ideas or plans and arriving first at the Patent Office. It is possible these excerpts are the only satisfying descriptions of his instruments and manner of work, although they are far from being as definite as one would desire, who should intend to reproduce his work.
"The audible has been so conquered in my instruments as to place me in touch with the inaudible. I have only to ascertain the terrestrial chord masses to be able to run sympathetic machinery. When I have mastered these mechanical difficulties I shall be able to control this most subtle force."
12/17/1885 "Am setting up the circles for computing the different lines of etheric chords, used in setting up the vibratory conditions to obtain continuity. My chief trouble is in chording up the masses of the different parts composing the negative centers in the inner one-third volume. This neutral center is only established free from influences of gravity when rotating at 100 revolutions per minute, with the vibratory circuit running at 100,000 per second. January should complete the sympathetic graduation."
"The pressure of the violin bow giving the introductory chord impulse (focalizing chord) vitalizes the whole machine. The chords will all be set in progressive sympathy from the first octave to the fortieth."
To resonate the infinite variety of mass chords that exist, Keely invented what he terms "compound mechanical devices". These seem to have consisted of strong metal spheres, with or without internal or external accessories, depending fundamentally on the laws of sphere resonance. A sphere of the proper size was caused to act as a "sympathizer" with the "dual force" with which Nature works.
By means of etheric vibrations Keely caused a small cannon to fire a lead ball 1/2 inch in diameter, which passed through an inch board and flattened itself to a disk of about three inches in diameter against the wall. The material for this explosion, which made a very loud report, was simply one or two drops of water.
March 22, 1885 he wrote: "Details of the present engine are as perfect as possible for the first lead. It is in the form of a sphere about thirty inches in diameter and weighs 800 lbs."
From 1872 to 1882 he pursued the line of invention instead of discovery constructing and destroying machine after machine. He spent 2 years more attempting to devise an automatic control, which was partially successful in 1884.
His vibraphone, which was probably a telephone transmitter, collected the sound waves when the "wave plate" was struck. Keely claimed that even as the vibrations resembled in its construction, the human ear, his Liberator resembled the human head.
The area of the piston on the special lever constructed to register his enormous pressures, which usually ranged from 20,000 lbs. to 30,000 lbs, per square inch, was only 1/2 inch. The tube through which he allowed the ether to pass in its way to the piston of the lever, was exceedingly small about the size of a pin head.
In November, 1884 he demonstrated successfully an experiment which he had worked out theoretically but which had failed on several previous attempts. Two persons took firmly hold of an "iron rod". One person stood on a circular sheet of metal, from which piano wire stretched to, and touched, a plate of glass, which in turn insulated a small globe. The description given, indicates the globe was centered axially on the iron rod. Another glass plate insulated the globe, presumably on the other hand. The globe rotated when both persons, took hold of the opposite ends of the iron rod, and rotation ceased when Keely, who was one of the operators, took hold of the other operator's left hand with his right hand. Keely stated the reason for this to be "The reception flows became independent of the circular chord of resonation set up mechanically. The power of rotation comes on the positive and power of negation breaks it up." He stated the reason the sphere revolved was because of the "receptive concussion of two forces, positive and negative, coming together, seeking their coincidents, producing rotation by harmonious waves, not by harmonious streams in this case." He stated the introductory settings were entirely different from those of the musical sphere and that sound waves had nothing whatever to do with rotation of the globe.
Keely describes another experiment as follows: "The mass for experimentation chords 'B flat.' We first will liberate the negative radiating bar (Probably the power-disk on his magnetic engine. This was probably actuated by a bar running to its center, through which the vibrations were propagated) on the disk. Then one end of a very fine trexar, the size of a fine hair, is connected to the resonating sphere (his 'compound mechanical device) and the other end to the mass chording B flat, which is to be experimented upon. When we liberated the negative radiating focalizing bar on the disk from its dampening rod, we associated it with the magnetic defocalizing one (disk or bar). There are seven ranges of bars in all. We next liberate from its dampening rod the second harmonic bar for the sixths the focalizing chord. Lastly, we liberate or undamp the enharmonic ninths." By his connecting the Trexar with the resonating sphere we understand that intensification of resonance of the mass to be experimented upon was affected by two-directional vibratory transmission occurring through this Trexar.
"We now attach the Trexnonar to the magnetic dispersing ring over the negative sevenths cluster (of disks) and the other end to the high polar negative attractor."
"The siren is then rotated until I observe by rotation of the neutral center indicator that concordance is established with the mass by the sphere resonator. A single tap on the chladna wave plate produces pure evolution of energy." It would seem that this chladna wave plate either acts through dissonance, causing disturbance of equilibrium and throwing the experimental mass on the sympathy of the resonator, in which case it is so constructed as to generate a discordant series of vibrations, or it is harmonic and must then be supported by resonators through all the octaves, consisting of either tubular spherical forms, disks or rods. However, he mentioned nothing of this.
"Setting the instrument to the proper triple introductory positions will induce either attractive focalization or positive radiant dispersion, resulting from the relation of these vibrations to the mass chord. This is disintegration induced by intensified oscillations of the combined interatomic and electromagnetic waves."
His Generator was invented to multiply the vibrations under the disturbance of equilibrium by mediums of different specific gravities, air as one water as the other. From 1882 to 1884 his Generator was six feet long and correspondingly wide and high. Its arrangement was not automatic and therefore not mechanically useful. He was able after this to dispense with complicated mechanisms by fine adjustments.
His next apparatus was the "Liberator" in which no water was used, but the equilibrium disturbed by a medium thoroughly vibratory in its character. His difficulty with the Generator was the humidity of the vapor, which did not give its theoretical value in work. The substance he used in his Liberator was devoid of humidity but the vibrational concussion of the air proved an even greater difficulty so he went back to the use of water. The vapor produced from the Liberator was free of all humidity, of greater tenuity, giving perfect and high lines of action. Its plan was conceived during his desperate struggle to effect a simultaneous action between the molecular and atomic leads, necessary for continuation of energy release and was suggested by the saying "Nature works with dual force, but at rest she is a unit." Keely says success, to be obtained, only requires "A uniform speed under different velocities and the control of reversions."
It was in 1885 that he [Keely] invented and constructed the Liberator, which is described as "not so large as a lady's small round work table." In 1886 he is said to have reduced this Liberator in size to "no larger than a dinner plate and only three or four inches in thickness." Up to this time his researches had consisted of liberation of the etheric vapor by sympathetic vibration. By means of later experiments he still further modified this instrument to the "size of an old fashioned silver watch."
At this time he states: "The draughts are nearly completed for the compound vibratory engine for continuous operation. The Liberator is as perfect as possible and if the outside adjuncts are in proper sympathy my struggles will soon be at an end."
In 1888 he announced that he had proved the uselessness of attempting to build an engine employing the ether as a motive power, such as we use in steam or electricity, stating that it could only be used as a medium for energy. This he later attempted to accomplish in his magnetic engine.
He elaborated a vibratory system of inducting great range of molecular oscillation in metallic masses by means of sympathetic negative attraction thereafter, by periodic change of vibration of their neutral centers, instantly depolarizing them.
Previous to 1888 he [Keely] had tried in vain to construct an engine that could hold the ether in a "rotating circle of etheric force." At the end of that year he abandoned the idea of his "perfect engine" and thereafter devoted himself to researches. He was then furnished finely made instruments in place of the home made instruments he had heretofore used. Up to 1888 he had not been able to control reversions or obtain continuity of motion. For nearly fifteen years he had constructed engines of different models in attempting to control or use ether as we now use steam before he discovered this was impossible. In his magnetic engine he thereafter sought to use the ether merely as a medium for "sympathetic vibration associated with the polar stream positively and negatively."
Principally by means of differential vibratory settings of silver, gold and platinum (his Trexar) Keely antagonized the polar stream, imitating the readjustment of Nature in equating "sympathetic disturbance" in her "terrestrial ranges" and the "revitalization of what is continually displaced by negative dispersion."
October 1, 1887 he writes, "I see no possibility of failure as I have demonstrated so far as I have gone, that every one of my theories is correct in every particular. If my 'depolarizer' is perfect I will be prepared to demonstrate the truth of disintegration, aerial suspension and dissociation."
His revolving musical globe, which seems to have been the only successful instrument in continuous operation, which he ever made, he never considered or intended to be used as a source of power. It was only constructed to prove the correctness of his theory regarding sound and for demonstration purposes.
In demonstrating the overcoming of gravity, Keely used an air-ship model weighing about eight pounds. When the differential wire of silver and platinum (Bixar) was attached, thereby establishing communication with the sympathetic transmitter, it rose, descended or remained stationery midway in the air, floating as gently as thistledown on the air.
On another occasion, using certain appliances and a belt, Keely moved single handed an engine which was so heavy that engineers said it could not possibly have been moved except with a derrick, and that this would have required the removal of the roof.
Illustrating the enormous pressure he was successful at times in producing, on one occasion during disintegration the 'decarbonized compressors' of his lever, the tubing and the sphere, moved as if composed of putty, 'unshipping' the apparatus. The volume of the sphere on this occasion was 15 cubic inches and the weight of surrounding metal 316 lbs.
"The vibrations used by Keely, which rupture the molecular and atomic capsules must remain THOUGH IN ONE POINT ONLY a secret with the discoverer until he has completed his system and some one patentable invention has been produced. He has proved to his own satisfaction the actual existence of atoms and their divisibility by his methods."