James Tilly Matthews’ Air Loom
Actual airloom


James Tilly Matthews


Electrochemical pneumatic generator


Can alter the subject’s body


Effects are usually painful and paranoia


Turning on

Collected by

Warehouse 11


Out and About List

Date of Collection

April 15, 1819



James Tilly Matthews was a London tea broker who was imprisoned in France for his Girondist views during the French Revolution. He was released due to insanity and later committed to Bethlem psychiatric hospital, better remembered today as Bedlam. While instituted, Matthews wrote a book describing his situation. In it, he said one criminal gang had infiltrated London with the use of an “air loom”. Run on pneumatic chemistry, it could reportedly stop his blood circulating through magnetic fields and introduce fluids into his skull. Producing these rays to susceptible victims could influence their choices and were also responsible for several military debacles. Many now consider him the first person ever documented to have paranoid schizophrenia.

In Warehouse reality, such a gang did exist. Made up of a variety of criminals and cons, the group was led by an unidentified spy, “Tom Copper”. He was tasked with infiltrating British secrets, likely for the French, by mingling with the lower levels of society. His group managed to obtain or create this mechanical device and used it upon Matthews, who appeared inclined to its effects and knew several higher-ups.

Matthews could sense the existence of the gang and their device, which drew in Warehouse 11 regents. Worried about facing a blossoming criminal enterprise that could possibly end up controlling the next Warehouse, agents were disembarked to England. There, they destroyed the organization but were mostly unable to salvage any relevant information. Most of it came from Matthews, who became psychologically connected to the machine; for his help, the Warehouse bailed him from Bedlam.

During Warehouse 12, two agents traveled to Belgium to attend an auction with several artifacts reportedly for sale. It turned out to be a trap and the agents were held hostage. For their safe return, the kidnappers received four artifacts, including the loom. Agents henceforth have wondered what happened to it and if the group actually knew how to operate it.


The machine is approximately twelve feet long, eight wide and five high. Made of steel, bronze and silver components, it had various glass screens, levers and buttons to change the subjects’ conditions


Requiring multiple users to control it, the “air loom” can physically change a person’s body. It would emit a white ray of light towards the subject that appears on the screens and from there alter their body structure. Although it can run on steam, coal, oil and electricity just fine, its premium fuel seems to be air, separating electrical and chemical bonds in gases and using the released energy.

Strengthening the subject or causing a beneficial change requires precise actions. Most of the time, the loom acts as a torture device, severely disrupting one of the body’s natural functions. This can cause immeasurable physical pain and cause deep paranoia within the user. Also, the subject builds up a psycho-spiritual connection with the device over time. They will eventually be able to understand the existence of such a machine, its properties, the users and even predict ahead of time when it will be used.

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