This machine is a bit of an oddity. It appears to be a device similar to a crystal radio set from the 1920s. It has old electrical parts such as an air gap capacitor, a crude hand wound coil, and a galena crystal that acts as a simple cat's whisker detector. At the heart of this machine is a very unique light bulb that seems to be based on the neon tube bulb. What sets this light bulb apart from normal neon lights is the addition of xenon and argon gas as well as some fine silver powder. The silver powder seems to act as a conductor of some sort. The tiny bulb itself is housed inside a small bottle that contains what's called dry air gas. What exactly dry air gases is anybody's guess at this point. The bottle appears to be sealed with a substance known as water glass. The machine appears to be very old and from the enclosed papers. It is my guess that this cocktail of gases and silver powder allow the light bulb to glow at a voltage much lower than the standard 90 volts required by a neon bulb. I am reminded of a certain children’s science toy from my youth that was a tube with a neon bulb inside that would glow when it was touched to an object charged with static electricity. This device seems to be based on a very similar principle: only it is receiving energy, although we don't know exactly what type of energy. I expect it's electrical energy from the air using its two very unique antennas, which is reminiscent of very early radio devices.
The exact purpose of the device seems somewhat of a mystery. It is unknown exactly what type of signal or thing this was meant to detect. The good news is the machine is quite functional and flickers from time-to-time for unknown reasons. This machine needs a great deal of experimentation and exploration to get to the bottom of exactly what this device is all about.
The workship where bizarre and weird things are made and repaired.
North Fork, CA, USA
(Sierra Nevada Mountains, Near Yosemite)