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Here’s a photograph from the January 7 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who claimed that he could create gold from rock. The Paris police were skeptical:

A search turned up a few entries on this Polish alchemist, who was named either Zbigniew Dunikowski or Jan de Hubdank Dunikowski, depending on which source you believe. When his attempt to transform the rock using what he called “Z-rays” failed, the Paris police hauled him into prison for two years.

After being released, he found more people who were willing to back his attempts to transform ordinary materials into gold. He eventually settled in the United States as a political refugee.

Sources:

  • A Time magazine item from later in 1932 on the professor, his Z-tube, and the Z-rays that it allegedly generated.
  • An article, translated from Polish, on Dunikowski and his exploits. It was apparently never clear whether he was attempting to swindle people or whether he really believed that he could make gold.
  • A picture of Dunikowski appeared on the front cover of Le Petit Journal in 1935. Apparently, he was offering France his ability to make gold as a public service. This cover is also a jigsaw puzzle.
  • A portrait of Dunikowski from the same magazine.
  • A recent article from a Lviv publication that describes Dunikowski. He apparently lived there at one time.

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