Harry Grindell Matthews

Jerry_B

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Mr. R.I.N.G. said:
The weird thing is this, though.... the "Death Ray" film alluded to in the Death Ray article on the front page was supposed to be a Pathe film, but I couldn't find any mention of it on the site.... still, it's a great resource...
I found it okay - do a search for 'Grindell Matthews'.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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JerryB: Good call (on both fronts - its such a good resource it decerves its own thread ;) ).

Anyway here it is:

WAR'S LATEST TERROR! Mr. H. Grindell Matthews - the famous inventor - demonstrates his new discovery. An invisible beam that will detonate explosives
Link is dead. The MIA video can be accessed on YouTube:

Description:

Title: "WAR'S LATEST TERROR! Mr. H. Grindell Matthews - the famous inventor - demonstrates his new discovery. An invisible beam that will detonate explosives".

C/U of Mr. M. standing outside his house. M/S of Mr. M. tipping some powder from a tin onto a crate in front of a brick wall, he stands back, there is a small explosion.

Intertitle: " ... or stop a motor engine".

C/U of a strange looking contraption consisting of a pendulum and a fan - a model of a motor engine? What looks like a beam from a torch shines onto the contraption, as the beam hits the fan it stops moving, when the beam is removed it starts, the same happens with the swinging pendulum as the light hits it.
Emps
 

FrKadash

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I thought Mathews (1880-1941) deserved his own thread, I only discovered him a few years ago on Radio 4 and I was fascinated by his obscure life story and inventions. Perhaps most intriguing was his claim of inventing a Death Ray, quoting from wiki:

''In 1923 Matthews claimed that he had invented an electric ray that would put magnetos out of action.[3] In a demonstration to some select journalists he stopped a motorcycle engine from a distance. He also claimed that with enough power he could shoot down aeroplanes, explode gunpowder, stop ships and incapacitate infantry from the distance of four miles. Newspapers obliged by publishing sensational accounts of his invention''.


''1925 photo that purports to show a night demonstration of the ray on the island of Flatholm''

Here's the 2011 episode of Punt PI featuring Mathews, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b014f1cv
 

cycleboy2

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YouTube Video - Harry Grindell Matthews - The Death Ray (1924)


Seems like an interesting chap - Wikipedia Link
Thanks for posting that.

Frankly, he seems to come across as a confidence trickster who somehow managed to wheedle £25,000* out of the admiralty. The fact that none of his supposed inventions – especially the military ones that would have been very handy during a World War – came to fruition, and that he seemed very wary of any genuine analysis of his inventions, all shout 'FRAUD' to me!

* That £25,000 is worth just under £3m today, so it was a fair old sum to spend on something that was never used...
 

oldrover

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Thanks for posting that.

Frankly, he seems to come across as a confidence trickster who somehow managed to wheedle £25,000* out of the admiralty. The fact that none of his supposed inventions – especially the military ones that would have been very handy during a World War – came to fruition, and that he seemed very wary of any genuine analysis of his inventions, all shout 'FRAUD' to me!

* That £25,000 is worth just under £3m today, so it was a fair old sum to spend on something that was never used...
My father knew Grindle Matthews. He had his 'lab' on a farm which I think was called Tor Cloud up the Betws Mountain about ten miles from Swansea, and used to walk into town to the solicitors office ( Clark Duvey, I think they were called) where my father worked. I remember him saying Matthews would come in soaking wet and he'd feel sorry for him and give him the bus fare home. My father was utterly convinced that he was genuine. Thick as a brick my old man.
 
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