We discussed that doing work via motion is something humanity has long known about. But now we know other ways. Consider Otto von Guericke, a German scientist who lived in the 17th century. He was a pioneer in the understanding of vacuums, and invented an efficient vacuum pump in 1650. (A great galley of old vacuum pumps can be found here.)
Guericke did very dramatic experiments to demonstrate the strength of a total vacuum. He would put two copper hemispheres together, pump the air out from between them, and hitch them to teams of horses. Teams of 8 horses connected to each hemisphere could not pull them apart, yet if you just opened a valve and let the air in, they would fall apart on their own.
People figured out how to make vacuums do work. By creating a vacuum in a piston-cylinder device you can make a piston move and do work. However: Guericke’s vacuum pumps required you to pump them with a handle. So the work was still originating with motion: someone’s arm working the handle on a vacuum pump.