In 1960, (or thereabouts) I wandered into the school library and, by chance, selected a book entitled 'Oddities', by Rupert T. Gould. It was an anthology of real life mysteries and it included the story of the legend of Bessler's wheel; it was this account that set me on a path that has continued to this day. I was set on the path by the fact that I knew right away that the legend included what must have been a lie, not by Gould, but by a witness's account.

I subsequently learned that Gould had spent many years in restoring the marine chronometers invented by John Harrison and for which he, John Harrison, was ultimately rewarded with the £20,000 promised by the British Board of longitude for finding a means to accurately establish a ship's position at sea. This offer was published in 17I4 and I had already decided that Bessler's decision to ask for £20,000, also in 1714, an identical sum of money, for the secret of his wheel, had been motivated by seeing a similar sum being offered as a reward, and clearly believed that his invention was at least as valuable.

Even though I could see that there were grounds for suspecting there was a connection between Gould's inclusion of the story of Bessler's wheel in his book, and his work on Harrison's chronometer, I didn't know what it was. Yes, the sums of money were the same, but that fact alone would not have pointed Gould towards Bessler, there had to be some other connection and there was.

In order to thoroughly acquaint himself with the workings of the marine chronometer, Harrison spent weeks studying each part before even beginning to disassemble any of it. He also studied numerous treatises on the subject including works by Huygens and interestingly, John Harris, whose

We tend to dismiss the beliefs of experts from another age, and yet John Rowley himself showed great technical expertise with the amazing variety of instruments he manufactured to order. After having seen Bessler's wheel for himself, he spent the rest of his life seeking the solution for his own satisfaction. Rupert Gould was another, and although he assumed the wheel must have been a fake, it was not for want of trying to prove it was genuine, his own mechanical skills were beyond question Christian Wolf, Gottfried Leibniz, Willem 's Gravesande and many of the witnesses to the wheel's performance were highly articulate men with some of the most brilliant minds of their day and they too became convinced that Bessler's wheel was genuine - it is so easy for us to dismiss their opinions some 300 years after the event, assuming that they lacked our sophistication and ability to see through frauds. The fact is that they were just the same as we are with equal ability to test for themselves the authenticity of Bessler's claims. e should accept their view that the wheel was genuine and get on with seeking the solution. There is no reason why we cannot solve this mystery with some original thinking and Bessler himself said that we all tend to go over the same ground over and over in our attempts to do what he did.

And on a completely different matter -

The infinity symbol (sometimes called the lemniscate) is a mathematical symbol representing the concept of infinity, it looks like the figure eight lying on its side and thus forms another connection with the concept of perpetual motion, non-stop or perpetual or infinite.

As if that were not enough, Bessler's fascination with the number 5 and 55, as evidenced in numerous instances throughout his published and unpublished works, is often shown encoded as a 'W', which he explains is made up of two letter 'V's, or the Roman numeral 5.

I subsequently learned that Gould had spent many years in restoring the marine chronometers invented by John Harrison and for which he, John Harrison, was ultimately rewarded with the £20,000 promised by the British Board of longitude for finding a means to accurately establish a ship's position at sea. This offer was published in 17I4 and I had already decided that Bessler's decision to ask for £20,000, also in 1714, an identical sum of money, for the secret of his wheel, had been motivated by seeing a similar sum being offered as a reward, and clearly believed that his invention was at least as valuable.

Even though I could see that there were grounds for suspecting there was a connection between Gould's inclusion of the story of Bessler's wheel in his book, and his work on Harrison's chronometer, I didn't know what it was. Yes, the sums of money were the same, but that fact alone would not have pointed Gould towards Bessler, there had to be some other connection and there was.

In order to thoroughly acquaint himself with the workings of the marine chronometer, Harrison spent weeks studying each part before even beginning to disassemble any of it. He also studied numerous treatises on the subject including works by Huygens and interestingly, John Harris, whose

*'Lexicon Technicum or Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences'*,was published in two volumes in 1704 and 1708. Both volumes included very favourable comments about John Rowley, Master of Mechanics to the King. It is believed that Rowley made a number of the parts required for Harrison's' timepieces, and therefore he was a worthy subject for research by Gould. It would soon have caught Gould's attention that Rowley had become convinced that Bessler's wheel was genuine, since he had visited Kassel and examined the wheel at the time. Knowing of the high esteem Rowley was held in by his peers, Gould would have wanted to research this story for further information either for the clocks he was working on to discover how Bessler did it. He never found out and sadly commented that 'we must assume an imposition'. But that seems to have been the connection between Gould and Bessler's life. Gould published the results of his research in 'Oddities'.We tend to dismiss the beliefs of experts from another age, and yet John Rowley himself showed great technical expertise with the amazing variety of instruments he manufactured to order. After having seen Bessler's wheel for himself, he spent the rest of his life seeking the solution for his own satisfaction. Rupert Gould was another, and although he assumed the wheel must have been a fake, it was not for want of trying to prove it was genuine, his own mechanical skills were beyond question Christian Wolf, Gottfried Leibniz, Willem 's Gravesande and many of the witnesses to the wheel's performance were highly articulate men with some of the most brilliant minds of their day and they too became convinced that Bessler's wheel was genuine - it is so easy for us to dismiss their opinions some 300 years after the event, assuming that they lacked our sophistication and ability to see through frauds. The fact is that they were just the same as we are with equal ability to test for themselves the authenticity of Bessler's claims. e should accept their view that the wheel was genuine and get on with seeking the solution. There is no reason why we cannot solve this mystery with some original thinking and Bessler himself said that we all tend to go over the same ground over and over in our attempts to do what he did.

And on a completely different matter -

__this for amusement only and I am not suggesting any of it is fact.__Reading a text from a member of my family I was struck by an interesting coincidence. In the message the writer had used a familiar abbreviation for the word 'waiting'. He put W8ing. I was thinking about this when I realised that, according to my personal belief, as Bessler's wheel was driven by a certain configuration of weights and therefore relied exclusively on gravity for its energy, the word 'weight', could also be abbreviated to W8. This, on its own, is not a new concept but what was interesting to me was the fact that, according to von Erlach, 'about eight weights were heard landing on the side towards which the wheel turned', thus providing the connection to the number of weights thought to be working within the wheel - eight. But there's more.The infinity symbol (sometimes called the lemniscate) is a mathematical symbol representing the concept of infinity, it looks like the figure eight lying on its side and thus forms another connection with the concept of perpetual motion, non-stop or perpetual or infinite.

As if that were not enough, Bessler's fascination with the number 5 and 55, as evidenced in numerous instances throughout his published and unpublished works, is often shown encoded as a 'W', which he explains is made up of two letter 'V's, or the Roman numeral 5.

You can find a number of fascinating coincidences in Bessler's works - don't be misled by them!

JC

10a2c5d26e15f6g7h10ik12l3m6n14o14r5s17tu6v5w4y4-3,’.

John,

ReplyDeleteI thought the lemniscate may have a connection to the Mobius Strip, but it wasn't invented until 1858.

So no infinitely rolling weight there !

John,

ReplyDeleteI don't think this is how Bessler did it, but how about this for an idea ?

Have each spoke of the wheel as a smooth iron rod.

Each spoke has a roller on it, like a rolling pin, one side of every roller is weighted, so that the rollers on one side roll down, then when the wheel turns 180 deg., the roller turns 180deg.

On each roller is a grove that goes around and back, in a figure 8 (lemniscate) similar to the groove on a Yankee screwdriver.

In each groove is a ball bearing, so as the roller rolls, the bearing goes back and forth.

Weights moving in and out.

Not bad eh ? I knew I could get a lemniscate in there somewhere ! :-D

Gould's book had a powerful effect on most of us. Yes, the pm virus is a virulent one and, once acquired, requires one to continually search for a solution as the only relieve from its fever. But the fever never completely subsides. It's always there and whole lives have been claimed by it. One author I read described the quest for pm as "quicksand"! The only cure I see is a final solution to the Bessler wheel mystery. Nothing else will suffice.

ReplyDeleteAnyway, in my own research into the details of his wheel's possible inner mechanisms I have found certain

significant numbers that keep coming up. At first I thought I was seeing things, but then I realized that Bessler must have purposely designed his wheels around these numbers! It almost looks like he believed that these numbers had some sort of magic power that would guarantee him success in achieving pm. One of those numbers is 55 which is involved in the tensioning of some of the springs inside of the wheel. Another is 8 which, of course, involves the number of levers per wheel, and another is 13 which is the number that several other of his special number's digits will sum to. Even the diameter of his largest wheels is numerologically interesting. For example, consider the diameter of a 12 foot wheel. It is equal to 144 inches which, obviously, is 12 x 12. If we sum the digits we get 1 + 4 + 4 = 9. Now take half of 144 which is 72. Summing its digits gives us 7 + 2 = 9 again. Half that and we get 36. The sum of its digits is 9 again. Take half of 36 and you get 18. Summing its digits gives 9. Half of 9 is 4.5 and summing its digits is 9. Half of 4.5 is 2.25 and the sum of its digits is 9. Actually, there is no limit to how many times this can be done although below a value of 1.125 the sum becomes 18 which then itself sums to 9. Bessler, being a numerologist, would have been fascinated by this property of 144 and I believe that is why he used this in determining the diameter of his largest wheels. I look for these numbers and several others as I continue my research and consider them as sort of markers along a trail that Bessler left to guide future researchers to the rediscovery of his secret.

John,

ReplyDeletedo these figures equate when using the ell as a measurement ?

I don't think they do Stevo, sorry.

DeleteJC

Glad to hear that John,

Deleteit means I don't suffer from apophenia !

You're right about the numbers being important Ken, however I am not convinced that you've found the answer. It's easy to get led along by coincidence, as I demonstrated above. For instance I note your consideration that the wheel was twelve feet and therefore 144 inches and half that is 72, but you missed that 72 is also a fifth of a circle or a segment of a pentagram. Let me quickly say that this is a coincidence and nothing more. But this is all assuming that Bessler worked in feet and inches whereas he worked in Leipzig ells, a different measurement altogether.

ReplyDeleteJC

Yes, I am well aware that Bessler was using Leipzig equivalents of feet and inches. But, I have found that the particular units used do not change an analysis of the mechanics of his wheels. Angles, ratios, and various mechanical formulas remain valid regardless of the units used so long as they are used consistently when performing the analysis. I find that concentrating on the pure numbers attached to various units is significant. By "pure number" I mean we just look at the digits and ignore any decimal placed between any two of them. For example, he will use a certain pure number for an angle and then the same digits in the same order in it show up in the mass of a weight he used! I can not just dismiss this as random chance. I have, so far, identified about a half dozen of these pure numbers and whenever I see them arise as I'm making my computer model wheels, I consider it an important indication that I'm moving in the right direction. But, even so, my progress is very slow.

ReplyDeleteConnections and Coincidences are a great guidance no doubt but how far have they been a real help to us? Measurements and numbers, besides, playing a vital role, have they provided us a concrete design? Or do they distract us by any chance? Are there any better clues provided elsewhere by Bessler in a more direct way which would enable us to develop a clear picture of the inner workings?

ReplyDeleteI think Ken and Stevo, sometimes approach too close to the secret but suddenly get deviated...there is lot of sense in their contributions no doubt...but still the horizon seems to be beyond reach...this is where lot of introspection is required...

All the great mystery lies in the proper designing of the levers which carry the weights...they travel in a certain path...they remain restless throughout..they are positioned in such a way that they have to move always due to weights at the lever ends...a continuous see-saw effect with some kiiking action..actually, a certain trick played out to harness the power out of gravity...aptly called a wonderful wheel..

As always, John is onto something substantive.

ReplyDeleteWhat might this one's reaction be to the entire's essence?

It is that there ARE NO coincidences other than small ones simply mere and, that all is IS connected.

OCEANS OF WORDS !! ------

The last topic sports some sixty nine (69) posts so-far as mostly worked-up to impressive froths by "Vibrator" and Behrendt, the seeming New Dynamic Duo of bloviate, verbiate speculation of this blog. (To WHERE are such Left Hand mind-bound paths supposed to lead us? To truth?)

Understand . . .

Without knowledge-certain of what the Prime Mover was, and has to be yet again for any thing whatever to self-motivate contra any supposed Laws of Nature, all this fine-skeined verbiage now appearing will continue-on as just so much waste of it's kind.

('Well now of all the f'ing nerve, talking to us - US like that; just WHAT might he be getting at here, and for what reason?)

As to THE missing essential Bessler was crystal clear within that key M.T. number, wherein he stated that the 'imbalanciers' (weight pairs connected by bars crossing the center point of supposed or hoped-for rotatory motion) were shown but, that NOTHING of the Prime Mover was! (There are no quotes to be seen here, just wording as to the precise effected intended, and as required by accuracy.) "It is unworthy of a judge to catch at phrases."

Get it?

In one sentence (following the usual mass profusion of written impressiveness, by which we are so VERY impressed and depressed) the self-styled personage - one "Vibrator" - last touched upon the likely horrible (to most of you, as I suspect) and utterly inadmissible-to-consciousness TRUTH.

(To what might I here be referring? Must one 'do' every single thing? Must I provide you with precise construction details to the whole of the very Bessler Wheel itself? MUST I do everything gratis for ingratis? ". . . seek, and ye shall find . . .")

Until you seeking, thinking chaps find IT . . . you will have nothing . . . absolutely NOTHING but . . . your mind wheels surely will spin. At least there is that, but that alone and naught that's tangible.

As always and of course, CHEERS to y'all !

J.M.

"The Iconoclast, like the other mills of God, grinds slowly, but it grinds exceedingly small." - Brann

I've done much thinking about the nature of the "prime mover" that Bessler referred to in MT 15. In that figure we see four weights mysterious rise (two are at the ends of the rod inclined -22.5 degrees from the 12 o'clock rod) for no reason at all. He tells us that "nothing of the prime mover's source can be seen or deduced." The reason is simply that there is no prime mover in the figure which would have to be present to cause the raised weights to have moved. So what was Bessler's "prime mover"? As far as his constructed wheels are concerned, I believe that the levers and the weights attached to them were, at a certain time in the wheel's rotation, their own prime movers. In other words, he figured out a way to have a lever and its weight function either as a mover of other levers and weights or to be a lever and weight being moved by another lever and weight serving as a temporary prime mover.

ReplyDeleteIf you study M.T. 15,

ReplyDeleteyou will find it turns anti-clockwise, the long thin weights are attached to the previous short weights.

As the short weights on the left fold out, they pull the cord, and raise the thin weights, and vice-versa on the right.

The small L on the bottom is a latch to keep the extended thin weights in place.

So no apparent prime mover.

My latest idea is another take on this design.

Yes, it is one of the few counter clockwise rotating wheels Bessler illustrates. I originally thought the prime mover he alluded to might be spring tension, but it is not possible to attach springs in any way to this design to make it work as illustrated. It's just not physically possible. Interestingly enough, he does begin to discuss spring tension with MT 17 and 18. I consider MT 18 to be very important. It's meant to rotate clockwise and the design causes flat springs to flex on the left ascending side and then, later, their tension is used on the right descending sided to lift the weights back into position against their stops on the wheel's periphery. This is the basic approach that I am currently exploring and I am convinced the one that will finally lead to a solution.

DeleteKen,

ReplyDeletesomewhere on youtube there is a simulation of MT 18, it comes to a stop though.

I suspect the stampers have something to do with this type of design, the quick snatch and release provides a flicking action, like flicking through the pages of a book with your thumb, or similar to twanging a wad of paper from the end of a ruler.

There was guy years ago that build something similar to MT 18 which used eight lead balls for weights that were attached to the ends of long coil springs instead of flat strips of springy steel. The other ends of the springs were attached to the eight inner surfaces of the outer flat walls of an octagonal drum. He claimed it worked and many tried to duplicate the design without success. Finally, he admitted it was a hoax. MT 18, as Bessler illustrates it, is not workable. However, I believe that there is a variation of it that will work. I'm focusing on finding that variation. Anyway, I am not convinced that the stamping mills attached to Bessler's wheels played any role in a wheel's operation. I think, like the pendulums, they were really intended to be distractions. Their pounding sounds meant to mask the sounds being produced inside of the wheels.

Delete