Bachelet, born in Paris, emigrated to the U.S. in the 1880s, became a citizen (1888), moved to California and then Tacoma, Washington, where he worked as an electrician, later as an inventor of electro-magnetic therapeutic devices (for treatment of rheumatism, etc.). He conceived the idea of magnetic levitation and worked for 20 years on its application to a train, a model of which was demonstrated in London in 1914, receiving much public attention and some financial support. In the early 1900s Bachelet moved to New York City and formed a company to further his inventions. However, his interest shifted often from one device to another and he moved to Kingston and then Poughkeepsie, where he died.
Many contemporary newspaper accounts of the public presentation and demonstration of Bachelet's model of a magnetically levitated train in London in 1914. Photographs show the device being viewed by government officials and others, including one of Winston Churchill, one of the Lord Mayor of London with Bachelet, and another of the Duke and Duchess of Teck, 1914. Some photographs are by Brown Bros.
Emile Bachelet Collection, 1890-1973, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Albert E. Bachelet