Peregrinus Magnetic Motor

This file shared with the KeelyNet BBS courtesy of Joel McClain.
First posted as PEREMOTR.ASC - January 16, 1994

Pietrus Peregrinus, in 1269, was a French officer in the Crusades, as well as an inventor whose discoveries have changed the world. It was he who first discovered the "pole" relationships of magnets, and his "North" - "South" nomenclatures remain to this day. He also invented the first graduated and calibrated compass, with which others went about discovering the rest of the world.

Joel's rendition

Original version

Peregrinus also is believed to have invented the first magnet motor, consisting of 17 magnets, and three wheels connected to three gears. The simplicity of the design belies the inventor's understanding of both the mechanical and magnetic principles involved.

Using the gear configuration shown, the naturally occuring magnetic oscillations are damped by the counter-rotation of the large wheel. This permitted the wheels to rotate smoothly. A single "unbalancer" magnet is used to start the rotation, and to continue rotating the wheels at the resonant frequency of the aggregate mass.

I would guess that the speed of the rotation would depend upon the strength relative to the weight of the disks and the friction of the gears. Torque would depend upon the number of "unbalancers", as well as their positioning in the magnetic fields.

This design was translated into English in 1954, and built. After it was proven to work, it was disassembled and destroyed. However, the English translations are still available at the New York City Public Library.