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What is an example of an attempted perpetual motion machine?

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Quick Answer

One example of an attempted perpetual motion machine is Asa Jackson's design for a wheel that could turn forever. Asa was a farmer living in the South in the 1800s, and he was very secretive about his design.

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Asa Jackson, born in 1792, was a farmer and amateur engineer who invented a wooden wheel, driven by a system of gears, that he claimed could move perpetually. Jackson was so convinced of the utility of his design that he would disassemble the wheel whenever he was too far away to secure it.

He did not want the secret of his wheel to fall into the wrong hands. During the Civil War, he hid it in a cave to prevent Union forces from finding it and kept it disassembled so that even if they did find it, it wouldn't work.

Unfortunately, Jackson died in 1870 with his machine in a disassembled state. As of 2015, it remains disassembled because researchers are uncertain how it was put together. As of 2015, it is held at the Museum of Apalachia in Clinton, Tennessee as a historical curiosity.

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