Bob Neal

Bob Neal is considered by many to be the most credible of the free energy pneumatic power plant inventors.

Invention Summary

What the Inventor Claimed

His compressor could load a 225 psi tank without resisting more than 15 psi.

What the Publicity Stated

My friend A. J. McDonald knew the inventor, but long after the engine was gone. He had been shown a newspaper article about the engine with photo.

Neal's son Floyd was a small child at the time the invention was being developed, and knows that the engine worked. He remembers his father "burning the midnight oil". He said one of his sisters was kidnapped before the U.S. joined the WWII war effort, by Nazis trying to force Neal to sell them the engine.

A 102-year old woman remembers Neal carting the working engine around town on a trailer to show it to people.

Neal's grandchild knows the engine worked through family stories. He said it was too loud to market.

Inventor Biographical


U.S. Patent 2030759 "Compression Unit" issued 1936-02-11 describes a 200 psi tank that is loaded with a many-cylinder piston compressor at a lowered resistance. The working principle is not explained or claimed. The special double valve or equalizer is not one of the patent claims.

U.S. Design Patent 165540 "Purse" issued 1951-12-25 describes a design for a ladies' purse made to look like a Navajo moccasin.

Work Experience

Cotton farming as a young man.

Shoemaker specializing in orthopedic boots and shoes.

Family Background

Born in Byhalia, Mississippi on July 4, 1891. Family moved to Baylor and Fannin Counties in Northern Texas when he was young where they grew cotton. Good Christian family, they put on singing parties and his sisters took singing and piano lessons. Father Howard A. Neal from Pickens County, Alabama, and mother Alice Susan Joyner ("Sallie"). Grandfather Asa B. Neal was probably the brother of local politician Absalom Looney Neal who was the son of Davis Neal, the latter two being prominent farmers and slaveholders in Alabama. Asa B. Neal served in the "Pickens Grays" in the Confederate Army during the Civil War but spent most of his time in military hospitals due to chronic digestive problems. He surrendered himself to the North shortly before the war ended and does not appear in the public record after that.

Bob Neal's real name was Russell Asa Neal. He set out to be a shoemaker at an early age instead of farming like his father and younger brother, Archer Everett Neal. Russell and Archer were the youngest of six children. The other four were Lizzie Edna Cook, Bessie Belle Franklin, Effie and Sallie, all born in Mississippi. Archer was born in Upshur County, Texas

Russell a.k.a. Bob Neal married Mattie Lou Walker. They had a daughter Lois and twin sons Boyd and Loyd who both were injured during World War II. Russell left his first family and started a new family with Ruby Idell Oliver of Hot Springs, Arkansas. His first wife divorced him in 1935. It is not known whether Bob Neal stayed in contact with his first family. He and Ruby had a shoe shop in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, then moved to Hot Springs National Park where Bob was running his own machine shop, with no income, in 1940, living next door to Ruby's parents. By 1942 he had procured a shoe shop in Hot Springs proper. With Ruby he had four children starting in 1931: Floyd, Dorothy, Bobby and Ellie.

After the death of his father, Bob's mother lived with him in Arkansas. When she died, her children in Texas piled into a car and came to Bob's (Russell's) house in Arkansas for the funeral.

In the late 1960s, Bob lost everything in a catastrophic fire. He died in July 1970.


Bob Neal was known to be a perfectionist with "the dryest sense of humor of anyone I've ever known," according to a grandchild.

Legal Problems?

Patent files indicate a question as to his name change. How this was resolved we do not know. It would be speculative but likely that he was not welcome in Texas after leaving his first family, and he might have changed his name at that time. Deserting a family was considered a crime in Texas at that time.

Articles & Graphics

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