When I wrote about a “revolutionary” energy-making machine being developed in Massachusetts that seems to conveniently sidestep certain laws of physics (here’s the story from last week) one reader mused about 1970s memories of a New Hampshire man who developed an equally miraculous heater involving spinning drums. Well, this is the internet age and nothing really disappears: Another reader found this 1978 article from Farm Show magazine all about it! A few details:
Frenette installed his prototype friction heater in a 10-year-old washing machine. It’s made up of two cylinders spinning in opposite directions. There is a clearance of 1/s in. between the two cylinders which are lubricated by a quart of light motor oil. Spinning action of the cylinders and resulting friction produces the heat, according to Frenette. He claims franchised models will be odorless (they don’t require any chimney since no fuel is burned and there is no flame, soot or odor) and are as quiet as a refrigerator. All models will plug into a regular 110 volt outlet
And, of course, the all-important financial angle:
Others, including a host of small manufacturers and distributors have jumped at the chance to get in on the ground floor of a “breakthrough” development they feel can help solve the energy crisis. They have invested in franchises and hope to be taking orders for Eugene Frenette’s fuelless furnace early next year.
The lack of spinning-drum heaters in today’s world implies that the miraculous device proved less miraculous in reality.
Somebody with the same name (a relative?) is currently selling a “revolutionary” oil burner that, judging from the website, operates like a carburetor, using air to “atomize” the oil so it burns more efficiently.