From the June 20, 1895 New York Times:
Newark, N.J.–There is trouble here between stockholders of the Universal Industrial Power Company, a corporation organized to furnish capital for manufacturing a machine for producing perpetual motion, and Michael Patrona, the inventor.
As a result of the trouble Patrona is now guarding with a shotgun the little shop where he claims to have the invention almost complete. He is afraid, he says, that capitalists who advanced the money will steal the design.
Patrona is an Italian and came to this country less than a year ago. Through Civela & Ceste of New-York he was introduced to capitalists here, among them Newark’s richest Italians. He represented to them that he had discovered the secret of perpetual motion.
The result of these representatives was the organization and incorporation of the Universal Industrial Power Company. Money was advanced from time to time to pay for castings, machinery, and other supplies, and also for $1 a day which Patrona was allowed while working on the machine. Thus far $8,000 has been advanced.
Patrona called a few days ago for more funds to put the machine together, claiming that all the parts were finished. The stockholders objected to putting up any more money until they had evidence of the success of Patrona’s labors. He refused this request on the ground that he might be robbed of his invention, on which he had been laboring for years. He assured the stockholders, however, that this would be the last call for funds.
The stockholders were just as obstinate as Patrona. As a result he has armed himself with a shotgun, and stands guard at the entrance to the building which holds what he calls his great invention.
Counsel for both sides will try to effect a compromise.•