A reclusive scientist named A.E.R. Pipewell may have disappeared without much notice during World War I, but to his contemporaries Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison he was something of a legend. Sadly, most of his workshop was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, but recently some of his schematics came to light. An engineer named Alan Rorie put together Pipewell's "perplexing device" known as the "dihemispheric chromaether agitator," which apparently Pipewell believed could travel in time at 1 SPS (second per second). Want to see the time machine being powered up by a steam engine?

In case you hadn't figured it out yet, Rorie is an artist who just made all that stuff up about Pipewell. It's a great story, though, isn't it?


If you want more steam craziness, there is also a great video of Xeni Jardin from BoingBoing TV interviewing the guys from Kinetic Steam Works, who helped out with the Chromaether. She tours their steam engine workshop, and at one point winds up inside a (dormant) steam engine and asks one of the artist/engineers, "So we would be on fire right now?" Pure gold.

The Dihemispheric Chromaether Agitator [Almost Scientific]