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Dr. Moses Nebogipfel

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Dr. Moses Nebogipfel
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Real Name

Moses Nebogipfel

First Appearance

The Science Schools Journal (1888)

Original Publisher

The Royal College of Science

Created by

H. G Wells


Appearing in an 1888 story by H.G. Wells entitled The Chronic Argonauts, Dr. Moses Nebogipfel appears in an abandoned, low farm building called the Manse around a half-mile outside the Welsh village of Llyddwdd. The Manse, in the past, served as home for a Calvinist Methodist minister and later purchased by a man named Williams. Subsequent to the murder of Williams, the Manse was left to rot into disrepair. The doctor's method of arrival at the Manse was rumored to have been by skimming, sieve-like instrument which he rides down the nearby mountain, Pen-y-pwll, where upon arrival he descended down the chimney. In another rumor, he was thought to have arrived by train and walked straight to the Manse.

"He was a small-bodied, sallow faced little man, clad in a close-fitting garment of some stiff, dark material, which Mr. Parry Davies the Llyddwdd shoemaker, opined was leather. His aquiline nose, thin lips, high cheek-ridges, and pointed chin, were all small and mutually well proportioned; but the bones and muscles of his face were rendered excessively prominent and distinct by his extreme leanness. The same cause contributed to the sunken appearance of the large eager-looking grey eyes, that gazed forth from under his phenomenally wide and high forehead." 

The doctor begins to receive packages at the Manse, some marked POISON and some full of glassware, chemicals, and other items related to scientific research. This fact succeeds in increasing the suspicions of local villagers. As the experiments of Dr. Nebogipfel progess, displaying increasingly pronounced sounds and visual effects, so too does the loathing of the doctor grow among the townspeople. Eventually, there is a march against the mysterious man, bandying about accusations of "necromancer", "warlock", and the like of similar depredations.

Just as the torch-wielding townsfolk approached the Doctor, who stood with a mysterious black-clad figure either of a man named Williams who had been murdered in 1862 who had previously owned the place, or the thought-deceased Reverend Elijah Ulysses Cook who had in the past resided in the Manse, Dr. Nebogipfel, his mysterious companion, and the platform they stood upon, all disappeared together before the eyes of the aggressive residents.

Later in the story, it is revealed that earlier the Reverend Cook, upon visiting Doctor Nebogipfel to warn him of the immanent danger offered by the angry crowd, was taken into some confusing and amazing situations indicating the Doctor had the ability to travel through time. The Doctor invites the reverend along, and the reverend does not refuse. So begins their journeys through time, utilizing a machine of Nebogipfel's devisement, which the doctor calls the Chronic Argo.


Dr. Moses Nebogipfel is a scientist with a PhD and an inventor. He shows functional skills as a woodworker, metalsmith, chemist, electrician. He is knowledgeable with general building construction and repair.

See also

The Chronic Argonauts @ Project Gutenberg Australia

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