The Gary Magnetic Motor - 04/20/97
To obtain a clear idea of the Gary Magnetic Motor, it is necessary first to
comprehend thoroughly the principle underlying it -- the existence of the
neutral line and the change in polarity, which Mr. Gary demonstrates by his
horseshoe magnet, his bit of soft iron, and his common shingle-nail.
** Note, I was only sent two .GIFs of this, so please don't get on
case if the diagrams don't explain it to your satisfaction..>> Jerry
This article describes Gary's NEUTRAL ZONE MAGNET MOTOR/GENERATOR
Courtesy of our late friend - John Draper
This is a free energy machine that was demonstrated. I have talked to people
knowledgeable in the field of magnetics and they do not know of such a neutral
zone in the magnetic field of a permanent magnet, and present magnetic theory
cannot account for such a phenomena.
This thing definitely needs to be replicated and tested and then perhaps a
rewrite would be necessary for some aspects of magnetic theory.
Gary received Canadian Patent 10,239 March 13, 1879 for
'Improvement on Magneto Electric Machines'
a patent on his Neutral Zone Magnet Discovery.
This is the text from an article published by:
Harper's New Monthly Magazine - March 1879 pages 601-605
GARY'S MAGNETIC MOTOR
With an ordinary horseshoe magnet, a bit of soft iron, and a common shingle-
nail, a practical inventor, who for years has been pondering over the power
lying dormant in the magnet, now demonstrates as his discovery a fact of the
utmost importance in magnetic science, which has hitherto escaped the
observation of both scientists and practical electricians, namely, the
existence of a neutral line in the magnetic field -- a line where the polarity
of an induced magnet ceases, and beyond which it changes.
With equally simple appliances he shows the practical utilization of his
discovery in such a way as to produce a magnetic motor, thus opening up a
bewildering prospect of the possibilities before us in revolutionizing the
present methods of motive power through the substitution of a wonderfully
cheap and safe agent.
By his achievement Mr. Wesley W. Gary has quite upset the theories of magnetic
philosophy hitherto prevailing, and lifted magnetism out from among the static
forces where science has placed it, to the position of a dynamic power.
The Gary Magnetic Motor, the result of Mr. Gary's long years of study, is, in
a word, a simple contrivance which furnishes its own power, and will run until
worn out by the force of fraction, coming dangerously near to that awful
bugbear, perpetual motion.
The old way of looking at magnetism has been to regard it as a force like that
of gravitation, the expenditure of an amount of energy equal to its attraction
being required to overcome it; consequently its power could not be availed of.
Accepting this theory, it would be as idle to attempt to make use of the
permanent magnet as a motive power as to try to lift one's self by one's boot
straps. But Mr. Gary, ignoring theories, toiled away at his experiments with
extraordinary patience and perseverance, and at last made the discovery which
seems to necessitate the reconstruction of the accepted philosophy.
This is illustrated in Figure 1 (which is NOT provided). The
letter A represents a compound magnet; B, a piece of soft iron made fast to a
lever with a pivoted joint in the centre, the iron becoming a magnet by
induction when in the magnetic field of the permanent magnet; C, a small nail
that drops off when the iron, or induced magnet, is on the neutral line.
By pressing the finger on the lever at D the iron is raised above the neutral
line. Now let the nail be applied to the end of the induced magnet at E; it
clings to it, and the point is turned inward toward the pole of the magnet
directly below, thus indicating that the induced magnet is of opposite
polarity from the permanent one.
Now let the iron be gradually lowered toward the magnet; the nail drops off at
the neutral line, but it clings again when the iron is lowered below the line,
and now its point is turned outward, or away from the magnetic pole below.
In this way Mr. Gary proves that the polarity of an induced magnet is changed
by passing over the neutral line without coming in contact. In the experiment
strips of paper are placed under the soft iron, or induced magnet, as shown in
the figure, to prevent contact.
The neutral line is shown to extend completely around the magnet; and a piece
of soft iron placed upon this line will entirely cut off the attraction of the
magnet from any thing beyond. The action of this cutoff is illustrated in Fig.
The letters A and B represent the one a balanced magnet and the other a
stationary magnet. The magnet A is balanced on a joint, and the two magnets
are placed with opposite poles facing each other.
The letter C is a piece of thin or sheet iron, as the case may be, made fast
to a lever with a joint in the centre, and so adjusted that the iron will move
on the neutral line in front of the poles of the stationary magnet.
By pressing the finger on the lever at D the iron is raised, thus withdrawing
the cut-off so that the magnet A is attracted and drawn upward by the magnet
B. Remove the finger, and the cut-off drops between the poles, and, in
consequence, the magnet A drops again.
The same movement of magnets can be obtained by placing a piece of iron across
the poles of the magnet B after the magnet A has been drawn near to it.
The magnet A will thereupon immediately fall away; but the iron can only be
balanced, and the balance not disturbed, by the action of the magnets upon
each other when the iron is on the neutral line, and does not move nearer or
farther away from the magnet B.
It may not be found easy to demonstrate these principles at the first trials.
But it should be borne in mind that it took the inventor himself four years
after he had discovered the principle to adjust the delicate balance so as to
get a machine which would go.
Now, however, that he has thought out the entire problem, and frankly tells
the world how he has solved it, any person at all skillful and patient, and
with a little knowledge of mechanics, may soon succeed in demonstrating it for
The principle underlying the motor and the method by which a motion is
obtained now being explained, let us examine the inventor's working models.
The beam movement is the simplest, and by it, it is claimed, the most power
can be obtained from the magnets. This is illustrated in Fig. 3.
The letter A represents a stationary magnet, and B the soft iron, or induced
magnet, fastened to a lever with a joint in the centre, and so balanced that
the stationary magnet will not quite draw it over the neutral line.
The letter C represents a beam constructed of double magnet, clamped together
in the centre and balanced on a joint. One end is set opposite the stationary
magnet, with like poles facing each other.
The beam is so balanced that when the soft iron B on the magnet A is below the
neutral line, it (the beam) is repelled down to the lower dotted line
indicated by the letter D. The beam strikes the lever E with the pin F
attached, and drives it (the Lever) against the pin G, which is attached to
the soft iron B, which is thus driven above the neutral line, where its
The soft iron now attracts the beam magnet C to the upper dotted line,
whereupon it (the soft iron) is again drawn down over the neutral line, and
its polarity again changing, the beam magnet C is again repelled to the lower
line, continuing so to move until it is stopped or worn out.
This simply illustrates the beam movement. To gain a large amount of power the
inventor would place groups of compound stationary magnets above and below the
beam at each side, and the soft iron induced magnets, in this case four in
number, connected by rods passing down between the poles of the stationary
A "Pittman" connecting the beam with a fly-wheel to change the reciprocating
into a rotary motion would be the means of transmitting the power. With
magnets of great size an enormous power, he claims, could be obtained in this
One of the daintiest and prettiest of Mr. Gary's models is that illustrating
the action of a rotary motor. There is a peculiar fascination in watching the
action of this neat little contrivance.
It is shown in Fig. 4. (sorry, I don't have all the figures mentioned...>>>
Jerry/KeelyNet) The letter A represents an upright magnet hung on a
perpendicular shaft; B, the horizontal magnets; C, the soft iron which is
fastened to the lever D; E, the pivoted joint on which lever is balanced; and
F, the thumb-screw for adjusting the movement of the soft iron.
This soft iron is so balanced that as the north pole of the upright magnet A
swings around opposite and above the south pole of the horizontal magnets B,
it drops below the neutral line and changes its polarity.
As the magnet A turns around until its north pole is opposite and above the
north pole of the magnets B, the soft iron is drawn upward and over the
neutral line, so that its polarity is changed again. At this point the
polarity in the soft iron C is like that of the permanent magnets A and B.
To start the engine the magnet A is turned around to the last-named position,
the poles opposite like poles of the magnets B; then one pole of the magnet A
is pushed a little forward and over the soft iron.
This rotary magnet is repelled by the magnets B, and also by the soft iron; it
turns around until the unlike poles of the permanent magnets become opposite;
as they attract each other the soft iron drops below the neutral line, the
polarity changes and becomes opposite to that of the magnets B and like that
of the magnet A; the momentum gained carries the pole of A a little forward of
B and over the soft iron, which, now being of like polarity, repels it around
to the starting-point, completing the revolution.
The magnets A and B now compound or unit their forces, and the soft iron is
again drawn up over the neutral line; its polarity is changed, and another
revolution is made without any other force applied than the force of the
magnets. The motion will continue until some outside force is applied to stop
it, or until the machine is worn out.
The result is the same as would be obtained were the magnets B removed and the
soft iron coiled with wire, and battery force applied sufficient to give it
the same power that it gets from the magnets B, and a current-changer applied
to change the polarity.
The power required to work the current-changer in this case would be in excess
of the power demanded to move the soft iron over the neutral line, since no
power is required from the revolving magnet under these circumstances, it
being moved by the magnets compounding when like poles are opposite each
other, three magnets thus attracting the iron.
When opposite poles are near together, they attract each other and let the
iron drop below the line. The soft iron, with its lever, is finely balanced at
the joint, and has small springs applied and adjusted so as to balance it
against the power of the magnets. In this working model the soft iron vibrates
less than a fiftieth of an inch.
This rotary motion is intended for use in small engines where light power is
required, such as propelling sewing-machines, for dental work, show windows,
When Wesley Gary was a boy of nine years, the electric telegraph was in its
infancy and the marvel of the day; and his father, who was a clergyman in
Cortland County, New York, used to take up matters of general interest and
make them the subject of an occasional lecture, among other things, giving
much attention to the explanation of this new invention.
To illustrate his remarks on the subject he employed an electro-magnetic
machine. This and his father's talk naturally excited the boy's curiosity, and
he used to ponder much on the relations of electricity and magnetism, until he
formed a shadowy idea that somehow they must become a great power in the
He never lost his interest in the subject, though his crude experiments were
interrupted for a while by the work of his young manhood. When the choice of a
calling was demanded, he at first had a vague feeling that he would like to be
"But," he says, "my friends would have thought that almost as useless and
impractical as to seek for perpetual motion." At last he went into the woods
a-lumbering, and took contracts to clear large tracts of woodland in Western
and Central New York, floating the timber down the canals to Troy.
He followed this business for several years, when he was forced to abandon it
by a serious attack of inflammatory rheumatism, brought about through exposure
in the woods. And this, unfortunate as it must have seemed at the time, proved
the turning-point in his life.
His family physician insisted that he must look for some other means of
livelihood than lumbering. To the query, "What shall I do?" it was suggested
that he might take to preaching, following in the footsteps of his father, and
of a brother who had adopted the profession.
But this he said he could never do: he would do his best to practice, but he
couldn't preach. "Invent something, then, "said the doctor. "There is no doubt
in my mind that your were meant for an inventor." This was really said in all
seriousness, and Mr. Gary was at length persuaded that the doctor knew him
better than he did himself.
His thoughts naturally recurring to the experiments and the dreams of his
youth, he determined to devote all his energies to the problem. He felt more
and more confident, as he dwelt on the matter, that a great force lay
imprisoned within the magnet; that some time it must be unlocked and set to
doing the world's work; that the key was hidden somewhere, and that he might
find it as well as some one else.
At Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Mr. Gary made his first practical demonstration,
and allowed his discovery to be examined and the fact published. He had long
been satisfied, from his experiments, that if he could devise a "cut-off," the
means of neutralizing the attractive power of a stationary magnet on another
raised above it and adjusted on a pivot, unlike poles opposite, and so arrange
this cut-off as to work automatically, he could produce motion in a balanced
To this end he persistently experimented, and it was only about four years ago
that he made the discovery, the key to his problem, which is the basis of his
present motor, and upsets our philosophy.
In experimenting one day with a piece of soft iron upon a magnet he made the
discovery of the neutral line and the change of polarity. At first he gave
little attention to the discovery of the change of polarity, not then
recognizing its significance, being absorbed entirely by the possibilities the
discovery of the neutral line opened up to him. Here was the point for his
For a while he experimented entirely with batteries, but in September, 1874,
he succeeded in obtaining a movement independent of the battery. This was done
on the principle illustrated in Fig. 2.
The balanced magnet, with opposite poles to the stationary magnet, was
weighted so that the poles would fall down when not attracted by the
When it was attracted up to the stationary magnet, a spring was touched by the
movement, and thus the lever with the soft iron was made to descend between
the two magnets on the neutral line, and so cutting off the mutual attraction.
Then the balanced magnet, responding to the force of gravitation, descended,
and, when down, struck an other spring, by means of which the cut-off was
lifted back to its original position, and consequently the force of attraction
between the magnets was again brought into play.
In June, the following year, Mr. Gary exhibited this continuous movement to a
number of gentlemen, protecting himself by covering the cut-off with copper,
so as to disguise the real material used, and prevent any one from robbing him
of his discovery.
The publication in the local newspaper of the performance of the little
machine, which was copied far and wide, excited much interest. But the
inventor was by no means satisfied. He had succeeded in securing a continuous
motion, but not a practical motor.
He had invented a unique plaything, but not a machine that would do man's
work. So he made further experiments in one direction and another, using for
a long time the battery; and it was not until some time after he moved to
Boston (which was about two years ago) that he was convinced that the points
in the change of polarity, with which he was so little impressed when he first
hit upon them along with his discovery of the neutral line, were the true ones
to work upon.
Thereafter his progress was most rapid, and in a little while he had
constructed working models, not only to his own satisfaction, but to that of
those experts who had the fairness to give them a critical and thorough
examination, clearly demonstrating his ability to secure motion and power, as
they had never before been secured, from self-feeding and self-acting
His claim, as he formally puts it, is this: "I have discovered that a straight
piece of iron placed across the poles of magnet, and near to their end,
changes its polarity while in the magnetic field and before it comes in
contact with the magnet, the fact being, however, that actual contact is
The conditions are that the thickness of the iron must be proportioned to the
power of the magnet, and that the neutral line, or line of change in the
polarity of the iron, is nearer or more distant from the magnet according to
the power of the latter and the thickness of the former.
My whole discovery is based upon this change of polarity in the iron, with or
without a battery."
Power can be increased to any extent, or diminished, by the addition or
withdrawal of magnets.
Mr. Gary is forty-one years old, having been born in 1837. During the years
devoted to working out his problem he has sustained himself by the proceeds
from the sale of a few useful inventions made from time to time when he was
forced to turn aside from his experiments to raise funds.
From the sale of one these inventions -- a simple little thing -- he realized
something like ten thousand dollars.
The announcement of the invention of the magnetic motor came at a moment when
the electric light excitement was at its height. The holders of gas stocks
were in a state of anxiety, and those who had given attention to the study of
the principle of the new light expressed the belief that it was only the
question of the cost of power used to generate the electricity for the light
that stood in the way of its general introduction and substitution for gas.
A prominent electrician, who was one day examining Mr. Gary's principle, asked
if in the change of polarity he had obtained electric sparks. He said that he
had, and the former then suggested that the principle be used in the
construction of a magneto-electric machine, and that it might turn out to be
superior to anything then in use.
Acting on this suggestion, Mr. Gary set to work, and within a week had
perfected a machine which apparently proved a marvel of efficiency and
In all previous machines electricity is generated by revolving a piece of soft
iron in front of the poles of a permanent magnet. But to do this at a rate of
speed high enough to produce sparks in such rapid succession as to keep up a
steady current of electricity suitable for the light, considerable power is
In Mr. Gary's machine, however, the piece of soft iron, or armature, coiled
with wire, has only to be moved across the neutral line to secure the same
Every time it crosses the line it changes it polarity, and every time the
polarity changes, a spark is produced. The slightest vibration is enough to
secure this, and with each vibration two sparks are produced, just as with
each revolution in the other method. An enormous volume can be secured with an
expenditure of force so diminutive that a caged squirrel might furnish it.
With the employment of one of the smallest of the magnetic motors, power may
be supplied and electricity generated at no expense beyond the cost of the
The announcement of the invention of the magnetic motor was naturally received
with incredulity, although the recent achievements in mechanical science had
prepared the public for almost anything, and it could not be very much
astonished at whatever might come next.
Some admitted that there might be something in it; others shrugged their
shoulders and said, "Wait and see;" while the scientific referred all
questioners to the laws of magnetic science; and all believers in book
authority responded, "It can't be so, because the law says it can't."
A few scientists, however, came forward, curious to see, and examined Mr.
Gary's models; and when reports went out of the conversion of two or three of
the most eminent among them, interest generally was awakened, and professors
from Harvard and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called,
examined, and were impressed.
More promptly than the scientists, capitalists moved; and before science had
openly acknowledged the discovery and the principle of the invention, men of
money were after Mr. Gary for the right to use the motor for various purposes:
one wished to use it for clocks, another for sewing-machines, others for
dental engines, and son on.
It is as yet too soon to speculate upon what may result from the discovery;
but since it produces power in two ways, both directly by magnets and
indirectly by the generation of unlimited electricity, it would seem that it
really might become available in time for all purposes to which electricity
might long ago have been devoted except for the great expense involved.
Within one year after the invention of the telephone it was in practical use
all over the world, from the United States to Japan.
And it is not incredible that in 1880 one may be holding a magnetic motor in
his pocket, running the watch which requires no winding up, and, seated in a
railway car, be whirling across the continent behind a locomotive impelled by
the same agency.