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Inventor - Alfred Hubbard

"The Seattle boy inventor of a device which for want of a better name he terms an “atmospheric power generator,” yesterday made good his prediction that he would drive a motorboat with his apparatus as the source of power." At the time, Alfred was 19 years old!

Device (s):

The Hubbard Coil, Alfred Hubbard’s Generator


None we know of


"The Seattle boy inventor of a device which for want of a better name he terms an “atmospheric power generator,” yesterday made good his prediction that he would drive a motorboat with his apparatus as the source of power." At the time, Alfred was 19 years old!

Hubbard Alfred M and motor

Captain Alfred Matthew Hubbard (July 24, 1901–August 31, 1982)

In 1920, Hubbard was publicized in West coast newspapers as having developed a free energy motor. In 1929 he received a patent for a radioactive spark plug device "Internal Combustion Engine Spark Plug", from the United States Patent Office, number 1,723,422, which was manufactured sparingly by at least one U.S. company. It used an electrode doped with Polonium 210, a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 138 days. The supposed "ionizing effect" of Polonium 210 upon the combustion gasses in the spark gap was purported to "improve engine efficiency". According to some accounts, Hubbard worked at various times for the Canadian Special Services, the United States Justice Department, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Office of Strategic Services.

R.B.Bermann wrote: "Alfred M. Hubbard, the youthful stormy petrel of the Seattle branch of the federal prohibition office, may possibly be the discoverer of at least the basic principle behind the [Hendershot] "fuelless motor" which was demonstrated for the first time in Detroit last week, and which is attracting the attention of such aeronautical experts as Col. Charles A. Lindbergh and Maj. Thomas G. Lanphier.

This was claimed by Hubbard himself yesterday. While he said that he has been able to learn none of the details in connection with the Detroit demonstration, he declared that he was inclined to suspect very strongly that the motor was simply a development of the apparatus which e himself demonstrated in Seattle as early as 1919"

I would like to recommend: Alfred Hubbard’s Generator

Alfred M. Hubbard’s Atmospheric Power Generator

In 1920, at the age of 19, Alfred Hubbard built a coil and motor that ran his boat 10 knots an hour on Portage Bay in Seattle on July 29th. He called this ‘fuelless’ unit an ‘atmospheric power generator.’ Hubbard claimed it could operate for years; drive a large car; light an office building; and fly a plane around the world nonstop. Little is known about the Hubbard Coil. “Since Alfred Hubbard worked with Tesla for a short period, it seems likely that his transformer is based on [information from] Tesla.” [Especially since Hubbard failed to build his generator to match the load he put on it in his public boating demo and Tesla is still the only one known “for having revealed the physical laws underlying it.”]

Hubbard Alfred M-and-motor

The Hubbard Energy Transformer

by Gaston Burridge Fate Magazine, July, 1956, pp. 36-42

One of the interesting experiments made with the Hubbard transformer was the propelling of a 18 feet boat around the Portage Bay near Seattle.

A 35 horse power electric motor was hooked up to a Hubbard transformer measuring maybe 12- 14 inches in diameter and 14 inches in length. It furnished enough energy to drive the boat and a pilot at a good clip around the bay.

The demonstration lasted several hours and created a sensation. The test required enough current for a long enough time to rule out any sort of battery, being housed in the device.

The voltage could be … 220 volts. It seems unlikely a 35 horsepower motor would have as a low voltage of 110 volts.

Soon after the demonstration, Hubbard’s name dropped from the Seattle paper and he went to work for the Radium Chemical Company of Pittsburgh — now of New York.

According to Hubbard’s statement in the newspaper he sold a 50% interest in his device to the Radium Chemical Company and went to Pittsburgh to continue developing the device for them.

Hubbard related that the company had demanded more and more equity in the machine until finally he retained only a 25% interest. Evidently pressure was bought upon him to sign over an additional 5%.

This Hubbard refused to do, and in 1922 he severed connection with Radium Chemical Company and returned to Seattle.

At the present time Hubbard is not inclined to discuss his employment period with the Radium Chemical Company nor will he discuss this device or his experiences with it.

My first letter to the Radium Chemical Company was not answered. A second letter a few months later brought a reply from Mr. Grange Taylor, vice president of the concern.

He stated that none of the employees presently with the company and also with it in the early 1920’s could remember anything about the device or about Hubbard himself. Mr. Taylor letter said “there is no information available on the device you mention.”

Circulating the central tube and its appendages are eight coils of wire wound upon what appears to be eight cores of magnetic upon iron. These eight coils stand parallel to the central tube. Their outer windings appear to be connected in series and probably form something corresponding to the secondary of the transformer.

As there seems to be more windings on this secondary than the primary one would suspect following ordinary electrical practice. That the transformer was a step up variety rather than a step down.

That is the secondary voltage would be higher than its primary voltage and consequently its amperage would be less.

Four leads out wires are showing. How they are connected together — if they are remains a secret.

Around the outside of the windings appears to be a wrapping of some dense material, probably meant to shield or turn aside the rays from the radio active materials within. Such a shield would be necessary so to protect those working with the apparatus.

All of this is set between the roll ends that make the device look like a giant spool.

There are no moving parts. The machine operates silently.

As far as can be determined no US patents ever were issued to Hubbard’s covering the device.

The Radium Chemical Company list of patents is long but no title in their list appears to cover such an apparatus as Hubbard’s.

Either the device was not developed to a point where a patent could be obtained or because of seeming friction which developed between the company and Hubbard it was impossible for either to obtain a patent.

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Hubbard Alfred M-and-motor

Alfred is known to have experimented with DMT and other drugs in later years: Captain Al Hubbard

Alfred Matthew Hubbard was known as the Johnny Appleseed of LSD. Born in Kentucky, he had angelic visions as a young boy that reportedly guided him in building a radioactive battery, which he sold for $75,000 in 1919. During Prohibition, he used his skill with electronics to set up a ship-to-shore communications system in the back of the taxi he drove to help smuggle alcohol into the U.S. and Canada. He was caught and served an 18 month prison sentence. However, his skills had not gone unnoticed. A scout from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) recruited Hubbard into the OSS.

Published on 3 Feb 2013

This is a video of a candid meeting at Leary's home with many notable figures of the early days of LSD research including Al Hubbard. Filmed in the 1970's or early 1980's. The conversation is on LSD.