You points are well made; thanks.
On day one I found two voltage boosters on Ebay that gave more than 100 volts so I ordered both of them from China. The first one I received was a 12v dc to 200 v dc. After connecting it up and adjusting it for 200 v I put a 100k resistor across the output and got 2 volts output! It took a one mega-ohm load to keep 200 v.
The second one (12v dc to 220 v ac) works well. I connected it to the 220v to 120v step down transformer and into a full wave bridge rectifier with a 100mfd capacitor and got 140 v dc; 9.6 volts input. With a 8.4 v NiMH rechargeable battery I get 128 v dc.
So I am happy with that and very surprised that the 50/60 hertz transformer works at all!