Donald Simanek compiled a long, yet undoubtedly very, very partial list of patents for machines that do not and, by their nature, cannot work as described. (Thanks to investigator Timmy Barton for bringing it to our attention.) Here’s one item:
1857 [No. 1330] Peter Armand le Comte de Fontainemoreau of London, Agent. Hydraulic motor. The “bucket brigade” arrangement of buckets or bellows on a belt over two pulleys, with everything below the top pulley immersed in a tank of water. Drawing from Dircks (1861) p. 478. The patent describes it more clearly than the picture.
The apparatus is composed of a number of hollow elastic buckets or bellows, partly immersed in water, made to pass over two pulleys. Each bellows is furnished with leaden weights at the bottom, which forces the air contained in the bellows on one side, to pass by means of connecting tubes into those buckets or bellows that are on the opposite side. The bellows are fitted to slotted links, and connected together so as to form an endless chain, which passes over the two pulleys.