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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A man’s ‘perpetual motion’ machine was making headlines — front-page ones

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

F.L. Minnick, a resident of the Wilson Hotel in Spokane, claimed to have produced a “perpetual motion” machine.

He said, in a written statement to the Spokane Daily Chronicle, that the machine is “very simple.”

“The machine, containing only 26 parts, shows practically 50% surplus power after turning itself,” he wrote. “The machine is built on the compression plan and runs at a very high rate of speed. Power may be increased or decreased at will by increasing or decreasing compression by means of a valve. A machine of this type should mean millions of dollars to the inventors.”

The Chronicle did not weigh in on whether it thought a “perpetual motion” machine was actually feasible – but the editors did run the story on the front page.

From the transit beat: Spokane’s two streetcar companies announced they would be willing to meet with city officials and civic organizations to “settle the jitney-streetcar controversy.”

The two companies had long contended that the city’s authorization of jitneys (private buses and vans) robbed them of passengers and put the entire streetcar system in financial jeopardy.

The companies emphasized they “had always been ready” to engage in such a discussion.

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