William Martin, English poet and physicist, c 1820s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Collard after an original work by Henry Perlee Parker. William Martin (1772-1851) falsely claimed to have discovered perpetual motion. He was also an inventor and succesfully developed fan ventilation in 1805 and designed a safety lamp in 1816 . Martin was a highly individual character and in 1814 founded the Martinian Society in opposition to the Royal Society. His published a number of works including: 'W M's Challenge to the whole Terrestrial Globe' (1829).