Chancy Britten
Chancy Britten files for a patent April 30, 1928. The patent has 1 claim and the inventor can not explain how it works. This "electrical wizard" as the newspaper article states, lived in Charlotte Michigan and assigned his patent to the "Britten" light and power company. Chancy was 73 years old at the time of the article. In the picture below you can see Chancy standing beside his apparatus. It is simple copper tubes with wires
More pictures are forthcoming but the patent claim is not helpful. This is a simple device and it was constructed in an odd manner. Below you can see the patent drawing. (1,826,727)  You are looking at a copper pipe mounted on a piece of glass. Inside the copper pipe is the main wire (inner central wire) which has coiled wire wrapped around it. The coiled wire is separated from the copper pipe with insulation. Mica was the preferred insulator. The copper pipe has a partial vacuum. The coiled wire and the inner central wire have their ends connected to the binding post (together). There is a battery and an old receiver not shown.  That is the apparatus in a nutshell, no pun intended.
Here is what he did. A standard house TV type antenna is connected to the negative side of a battery. (He used 4 1/2 volts.) The other side of the battery or the positive side, is connected to the binding posts (7) on one side of the copper pipe(34). The other end of the pipe (4) hooks to a radio (standard broadcast radio). That's it! He tuned in the power and ran his house from this device for years and did NOT use the power company.  I feel certain the pipe does not have to be bent, he just mounted his battery there. The device looks to be insulated from ground. 
What is not known:
He did not say if the "coiled" wire is insulated from the inner central wire. He did not say if the binding posts were insulated from the central wire and coil but it would seem so with all the mica insulation in the pipe. We do know there is 1 lead in and only 1 lead out. This should not be hard to test if the bend is left out of the pipe
Here is a close-up of what is inside the pipe