Thursday, 5 February 2015

John Collins is 70 today!

I'm seventy years of age today and in this year, I'm determined to show a proof of principle wheel or how to configure one - and soon.  I am confident that I have the whole solution and it has only taken me 55 years to get here!

I was about 15 when I first read an account of the legend of Bessler's wheel and I spent much of my youth doodling designs which I now know were way off the mark.  When I was about 30  I came across the same book I had read when I was 15 and it re-inspired me to look again into the mystery of Bessler's wheel. I remembered my own scepticism about the assumption that Bessler was a fraud and why, and I determined to get to the truth.  The book was the famous, 'Oddities', by R.Gould and it has served to re-inspire me over the years.

I sought original documents from all over Europe and the USA.  It took years and even when I had copies I couldn't read any of it because it was mostly in German.  I knew I would eventually get it all translated but I did not realise how expensive a task that was going to be.  In the end I advertised in a local paper for someone who was prepared to translate 18th C. German documents for free.

I had about eight replies and although I gave samples to all the respondents, only one stood out. Mike Senior with degrees in 18th C. German - and ancient Greek, astronomy and botany of all things!  He also reads Latin and can quote verbatim from memory, from the ancient Greek texts - and of course speaks fluent German. He is a member of Mensa and regularly has letters published in various science magazines.  Mike has done all my German translations and when he asked me if I wanted a literal translation or did I prefer something more readable that conveyed the spirit of the what the author was trying to say, I chose the latter.  I never realised at that time how Mike's words would be pored over, criticised and sometimes dismissed as inaccurate.  We had no way of knowing that future researchers would seek out clues from the very words used and perhaps I should have stuck to the literal, but it is what it is.

I'm pleased that so many people around the world now have Bessler's words, drawings, thoughts and clues and I hope that they will soon lead to the solution.  The worst thing would be for his work to be lost and for another 300 years pass before the solution was found again.  I really don't think that is going to happen!

So I'm of going out today with my wife and two daughters to celebrate my 70 years and then tomorrow I shall return (at last) to work on my Besslerwheel and finish it!

JC

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33 comments:

  1. Happy 70th Birthday, John! And, have many, many more!
    Stay healthy, if not to solve the Bessler Wheel for us, then to at least see it solved by someone else.
    Hutch (still pluggin' and chuggin' away at the wheel)

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  2. Happy birthday John! Remember that it is because of your background work that we are able to work on this mystery. I will stick to my words and vindicate him, (I promise you) thus vindicate your basic work too.

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  3. Happy Birthday, John. You have already done valuable work in bringing to light those essential documents and in re-inspiring searchers. Myself, during my childhood, I made drawings for "perpetual motion" machines (I do not even remember why) and forgot that research when an adult. Coming by chance to one of your websites, I was pushed to resume the work started a long time ago. Is not it an effective result of your work as well?

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  4. Yes, happiest of birthdays, John. My early experience with pm is very similar to yours: originally being inspired by Gould's book and then decades of frustrating failures trying to find a solution. Only recently can I say with some confidence that a real solution is within my grasp.

    I think that a verbatim translation of Bessler's work should have been included along with the "more readable" version, but I realize that would have increased the size of the books and the time needed for production. Anyway, I work everyday toward making sure all of us live to see the solution because I fear that if it does not come soon, then the world will move on and the Bessler story will be forgotten. That would be a shame.

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  5. Happy birthday! Mr Collins.

    I encountered a book with PM designs in it at about age 12 and I've believed in the possibility ever since. Your biography of Johan Bessler served to fortify that belief and drew me to activly seek the truth. Thanks and all the best.
    Zhyyra

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  6. Hi John ,
    Happy Birthday, I think I mentioned some time ago that I also share this day for my birthday (54) and I have exactly the same plans for today and tomorrow.
    All The Best , Bob

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  7. Hi John,
    Many Happy Returns Of The Day.

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  8. Happy Birthday John (and Alaskabobb)!

    You're around a quarter of the age of Bessler's mystery itself (that makes you seem ANCIENT eh?)!

    Thanks again for returning his works to the world - i'd never have heard of him if not for your invaluable accomplishments.

    Now best foot forward, cross that finish line dammit!

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    1. I'm around a quarter of the age of Bessler's mystery - yes that is surprising, it makes Bessler's time seem closer when compared to my 70 years. My father was 55 when I was born, relatively old, and was born in 1890, which is even closer to Bessler's time.

      JC

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  9. Only a couple of minutes late, but... Many happy returns John. And may this be a glorious year!

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  10. Thanks for all your kind words, guys - and a happy birthday to alaskabob; sorry I had forgotten!

    JC

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  11. I just found an important code for you, John. You're now 70 and Bessler was born in 1680. Now that's significant and here's why. If you divide 1680 by 70, you get exactly 24! This indicates to me that you should see the solution to the Bessler wheel mystery within the next 24 days or months. Let's hope it's the next 24 days!

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    1. Thanks Ken, brilliant! I'd prefer 24 days to 24 months if possible, I'll see what I can do. lol

      JC

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  12. Happy 70th Birthday John!

    I didn't read your Blogg yesterday, for me it was just another day in the workshop working on the templates for my 2015 Bessler 'wheel' attempt. I often wonder what I would be doing in my life now if you hadn't written the book PMAAMS? and correctly pointed out in it that the supposed proof that Bessler was a fraud is itself impossible.

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  13. Hi john,
    Hope you had a Fantastic Birthday, I didn't realise but my sister and my son share your birthday 🎂 as well.
    I was just wondering how many so called Bessler wheels have been made over the years, could you imagine what sort of fangle dangle designs people have come up with?
    Can pictures be added to the website.

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    1. Glad to know I'm to blame, John! ;-)

      Happy coincidence Uneqk, Must be thousands of wheels by now, and I've seen some of those fangle dangl ones, even made some!

      JC

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  14. GratulujÄ™ 70-tych urodzin

    pozdrawiam z Polski R.C.

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  15. Let's see now. 1680 / 70 = 24. Then if we take the digits in 24 and multiply them we get 2 x 4 = 8. And the witnesses to Bessler's wheels claimed they could hear 8 weights "lightly" impacting on their descending sides during rotation! No doubt about it, this is an important year for you, John.

    Meanwhile, I'm once again excited about the latest model wheel I'm working on. I said that there were two springs attached to each lever and I found clues about what their constant values were. However, I was struggling with finding the correct location to attach one of those springs to the drum's interior. Well, last night I again looked at my clues and tried a particular attachment point that had caught my eyes week's ago. I then measured the angles that the spring formed with the lever arm when that lever shifted as it moved along with the drum on the wheel's ascending side. Incredibly, the major angles I measured with a large transparent protractor off of the oversized monitor I use when making wm2d models are found in the DT portraits. There is now a precise match between my model's springs and what the clues indicate. At this point I am only a few steps away from knowing if I've finally found Bessler's design. All I have to do to test the model is connect two of the ascending side adjacent levers together with a single coordinating rope and run the simulation. If the center of mass of the levers and weights stays put on the wheel's descending side as the drum rotates, then this is it! I should know in a few days and, if so, then this would mean that the rediscovery occurred within 24 days of John's 70th birthday! Powerful stuff that numerology. No wonder Bessler used so much of it in his clues.

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  16. Many many happy returns.
    You may want to see this sprung 'hammer men' toy....
    Regards
    Jon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgZFoqKx244

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    1. Cool! The fighters are actually mounted on two platforms, one on top of the other, which slide back and forth with respect to each other as the hand grip is squeezed and then relaxed. That causes the two figures to alternately punch each other. Could it be that the designers of this toy got their inspiration from MT's "toy page"?!

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    2. That is a good find, Jon. I have seen old wooden models similar to the boxers and when I was a young we went to Luxembourg and they were making and selling exactly the same toys made of wood.

      JC

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  17. This thought occurred to me last night. I wondered what Bessler's reaction would have been if someone had provided him with a crystal ball and he had used it to look ahead into the future to see all of the discussion going on over the centuries about his inventions? Would he have been amused at the continuing frustrations of those trying to duplicate his wheels? Would he be saddened that no one had been successful and by doing so finally proved to the world that he was not a liar who had only hoped to reap a fortune from the rich using a fake pm wheel? Would he have regretted that, shortly before his tragic ending, he had not just released the secret so that the wheels could be built freely by any craftsman willing to invest in doing so? Would he have considered his fellow human being to just be too corrupt to receive such a secret? Makes an interesting thing to ponder.

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  18. @ John Collins, Well, yes, you are ‘to blame’ and you must take responsibility for your actions. That said, it was my free choice to get involved and you are definitely not ‘to blame’ for that. I am happy with my choice, if a little concerned that many believe that a bullet in the head is the likely reward for success in this endeavour.

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  19. Albeit belatedly, John, I wish you all good things leading up to your 71st and, on account of all the festiveness here going-on, ' shall behave myself uncharacteristically. (More or less.)

    One's 70th is important as it is a saying of goodbye to the very last expiring tendrils of mid-life and, as well, welcoming all too soon one's approaching octogenarianship, itself prelude to that nonagenarian. (Anything further do let's not consider at this moment? When that time arrives finally, we might then ask our good old KB, just what it was like being in his nineties, way back when.)

    Before that 75th, well before, we all expect, I believe, that glorious EUREKA shout to be hear'd from your pipes, heralding finally the arrival of the great New Age of Infinite Energy. (And, also, lots and lots and lots of crow-eating for the loudly-silent know-it-all, lab coat set! Yes!)

    CHEERS!

    James

    "TIME - Man's most precious coin." - J.M.M.

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    1. Wow! Thank you James, a most splendid salute. But let's not dwell too much on the 80s and 90s; time enough when we get there (if?)

      I hope and believe the Eureka moment will be this year and well before this Summer's solstice, although that moment has nothing to do with the pending celebration.

      JC

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    2. Being in my early 60's at the moment, 70 still seems a long way off to me. However, I do believe that age is just a number and it's really how carefully you've led your life that counts. Attention to diet, exercise, and intellectual pursuits is, imo, critical to reaching the century mark and still being ambulatory and coherent. A lot of my friends that I grew up with are dead now because they made poor "life choices", but I know people that are decades older than me who I actually enjoy talking with. A few years ago I went out to dinner with a woman that was actually in her late 90's and, aside from a minor hearing problem (she refused to wear a hearing aid) and a few wrinkles, she was just as lively and talkative as some of the people I encountered in college decades ago. Chasing the secret of Bessler's wheels (or any subject for that matter) helps to keep us young and "involved". However, it would be nice to finally get this thing wrapped up with a plausible solution. I'm working on it every day.

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  20. A few days have passed since my reply of 9 February 2015 above and, once again, my latest version of Bessler's wheel failed when carefully tested. It could not keep the center of mass of its weights and levers on the descending side during rotation. The only "good" news that came of this is that I was able to study the motion of the levers during the test and I think I see a possible way to correct for the failure and I'm pursuing that now. I am now 100% certain that I have the correct spring constants that Bessler used on both his 3 and 12 foot diameter wheels. However, I'm still struggling to determine the exact way he attached his springs to the levers. That arrangement is absolutely critical to making his mechanics work properly. You either have it or you don't. Right now I don't! Hopefully, that will change in a few days or so. I will soon be passing the 1100 model mark! Reverse engineering anything is a slow and tedious process of trial and error. You make your best guess as to how something might work, experiment to verify it, and then, assuming failure occurs, you must try to determine why and then try again with a slightly different approach. Eventually, if you're lucky, you will find a solution. I'm hoping to "get lucky" before I reach model #1200!

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    1. Good luck with your work Ken, I sincerely wish you well. For all that we have very different ideas and approaches to this problem, much we share in common. "Reverse engineering anything is a slow and tedious process of trial and error" Yes, don't I know it! A visitor to my studio recently remarked that I was "engineering by feel". I like that observation.

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    2. Thanks for the well wishes, John. Sounds like you are doing what I call "intuitive engineering". It can certainly produce results and has in the case of many important inventions such as those produced by Edison. Not having a physical model to handle, I am forced to engage in "virtual engineering" and, of course, that requires me to use computer modeling software. Sometimes I wish I could reach into my monitor screen and feel the torque on my design's levers. Well, each to his own and let's hope this is the year something comes of it all. 300 years is a long time to be waiting for a solution to Bessler's wheels.

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