Sunday 28 May 2017

Johann Bessler's Skill Set.

Johann claimed knowledge in a number of skills, indeed he went out of his way to try to learn as much as he could about every known trade in existence in his time.  How much skill in each craft he actually acquired is impossible to know, but he does claim to have been a quick learner.  Although it takes years to develop fully all the skills required in each trade - and particularly in those days, skilled craftsmen had to work through apprenticeships lasting several years - he only wanted to discover enough about each craft to understand what material and what tools were used and how they might answer his needs.  Consequently he travelled widely searching for design ideas as well as tools and methods of construction.  His claimed list of knowledge about various crafts can be seen as below.

His proudest claim seems to be that he could be called a Cleric, a Doctor and finally a Mathematician, but I'm certain these were self-granted titles to demonstrate his assessment of his personal talents.

In his Apologia Poetica he described how he studied mechanics, and ruthlessly picked the brains of anyone who might be of use. He "toiled endlessly at his creations, sculpting, grinding glass, smelting, casting and turning.  Sculpting provided a range of unique tools, and even grinding glass might require some special revolving holding device.  Smelting and casting could provide for the manufacture of lead and brass weights and turning can apply to both brass-work as well as wood.

He acquired skills in clock-making, glass-blowing, painting pictures and copper-engraving. He learned the art of enamelling and wax-modelling. He became knowledgeable about astronomy, and the surveying of woods, meadows and fields. He worked with gunpowder and constructed guns, claiming that he was a good shot himself. He studied music and learned to play some instruments.  Clearly he did have some knowledge of music as can be seen in his design for a carillon for which he even included a musical score.

His teacher, Christian Weise, aimed to prepare his students for employment at the court or municipal offices and as such he gave them the tools to achieve these positions, hence the odd selection of skills he deemed apt.

Was there no end to this man's accomplishments?  Apparently not.  He became temporarily apprenticed to an Apothecary and learned some medicine and several cures.  I believe that he used one of these cures to cure the mayor of Annaberg's daughter, Barbara whom he subsequently married.

It seems that during his travels he picked up a smattering of several languages - he seem to have had some aptitude in such things - and during an extended visit to Prague became acquainted with a Jesuit priest and Jewish rabbi who taught him somee Hebrew, and ancient hieroglyphics, plus "the language of nature and the writings of angels".

Later in Dresden he pretended that he was an apprentice miller and picked up their milling jargon. In the process he learned much about their techniques such as whetting millstones and replacing their bearings.

The final and perhaps most useful craft he chose to examine was that of the church organ maker, and for this he turned to a relative who was an artist, organ-maker and turner. The organ of that period was probably the largest and most complex machine ever constructed to that time. There was an organ that was in the Invalidenhaus chapel in Karlshafen, which was said to have been built by Bessler. The chapel was used by the evangelical community until they had their own church built at Karlshafen in 1960. At which point the organ was donated to the new church - St. Stephanus Church. A new organ was built by Werner Bosch in 1963 incorporating all the usable pipes from the old Invalidenhaus organ. So it seems the old Bessler organ was destroyed to make the new one! Perhaps they kept the rest of the old parts somewhere?

It seems as though Bessler set himself on this path before he actually had an aim in mind and it might indicate a natural curiosity about all these subjects.  His former headmaster, Christian Weise, has an excellent reputation both as a teacher, administrator and playwright and interestingly he has stated that Bessler was his star pupil. 

So one would think that if anybody was going to solve the problem of designing and building a perpetual motion machine it would be Johann Bessler - and he did.

PS I almost forgot his ability to  speak, write and compose poetry in both German and Latin.  


Friday 19 May 2017

Vertical Axis Gravity-Enabled Wheel?

Johann Bessler's perpetual motion machine took the form of a wheel mounted on a horizontal axle, but it has thought it might be possible to achieve a gravity-enabled wheel mounted on a vertical axle. I'm thinking of windmills on vertical axles (like the one Bessler was building and from which he fell to his death), Savonius windmills, and water wheels where the head of water is low, etc.  

Often convertion from one form of energy will work for another type.  I have occasionally played with some designs but nothing has really hit the mark.  I suppose one could attach several Bessler horizontal-axle wheels to the rim of a vertical axle wheel but seems a little convoluted!

Here are some pics of standard and not so standard windmills in the UK.  This one below, is one type of the traditional design in the UK

This one (below) is near me and dates back to 1632 and is unique but still working (after major renovations!)

This one (below) is used as a water turbine
 This is the Savonius windmill plan and -
 below an actuall working one

These types of vertical axle waterhweels (see plan below) are extensivly used in India where the head of water is very low.
The oldest vertical axle winmills in the world and still working in Iran.

And finally a reconstruction of Hoopers vertical axis windmill 1891 -1828.  See his detailed drawings at

Perhaps these pics might generate some thoughts on the possibility of designing a vertical axis gravity enabled wheel?  Interesting that Johann Bessler was building a vertical axis windmill when he fell to his death from it.  I imagine he had considered the possibility of a verical axis gravity wheel but had not had any success.  Against the idea is the fact that it would take up more space I suppose but it might be worth examining the possibility as such technology could be adapted for uses unthought of so far.


Sunday 14 May 2017

You Can't Ignore the Laws of Physics!

Let's face it, you can't avoid, nor can you ignore, the laws of physics.The chief problem we face in making claims that we have discovered how Johann Bessler designed and built his perpetual motion machine are inevitably, the fact that such machines are believed to be impossible, they conflict with the laws of physics and they go against everything we have been taught about such devices.

When you or I succeed in reconstructing his machine, it should have become obvious to us how and why it works, before we begin the build.  Even then just showing the finished working prototype may not be sufficient to convince the diehard  traditionalists.  We have to explain the reason it works.  So getting to that point should not be delayed until after we've built it - in fact it's a vital ingredient of potential success that we fully understand the how and the why before even designing it.  And yet I get the impression that probably more than 90 per cent of perpetual motionists are still seeking the solution without working out a concept which avoids conflict - and that will lead to success.  In other words they haven't formed a convincing argument that will answer the questions raised by the establishment that such machines violate the laws of physics. This answer should be part of the design process otherwise it can only lead to continued failure.

I think I know how to design a work-around that will circumvent those obdurate laws of physics and that is what each of us needs to attain - a believable concept which avoids the usual consequences of the actions and reactions of gravity and mass in a perpetual motion machine, according to the accepted laws of physics.

Bessler warned that when we design a wheel whose weights moved a little further from the centre on the downward side of the wheel, than those on the rising side, it is doomed to remain stationary.  This looks like good advice.

I assume that those who read this are already convinced that Johann Bessler succeeded  in building his gravity-enabled wheel and that he did not lie.

I think Bessler had little knowledge of why his unsuccessful wheels didn't work, but he did not know that what he was trying was impossible, so he kept going.  At some point the solution or at last a way forward must have occured to him - remember the dream.  Once he had the workable concept it was just a matter of time before he was successful.


Monday 8 May 2017

Some Johann Bessler Information Sources

Here, and on my web sites, I  have always provided links to web sites which in my opinion contain useful information about Johann Bessler and his Perpetual Motion machines.  But from my own experience (and inclinations!) most people ignore the links either because they can't be bothered to look or decide to go there next time - and familiarity with the links tends to lead to their increasing invisibility!

So here is a brief run down on what is on my websites, plus a couple of others containing excellent information and some official sources.  I had a choice back in 1996 of having .com or and I chose wrong! This was my first web site.  It contains a brief account of the legend of Johann Bessler plus links to purchase either printed or digital copies of my book plus the four books by Bessler including English translations.  Short descriptions of each book are also provided.

There are also links to Christian Wagner's extremely critical reviews of Bessler's wheel, but it makes interesting reading- especially as it was written by one of Bessler's hated 'enemies'. This one contains numerous examples of Bessler's codes and their meaning.  I have tried to be objective but where I think my interpretation is more speculative I have said so.  The one thing you can take from this web site is that Bessler definitely used codes and pointed them out, all we have to do is decide whether the other undeciphered codes contain real information which would help us reconstruct his wheel.  From personal experience I can state with complete conviction, yes, there is good information available for those who have the endurance and determination to find it. This site is more general and repeats information about the books.  I have included a brief account of my intentions in having the books and web sites which I hope you will read.  I found so much coded information in Chapter 55 of Apologia Poetica that I had to devote a whole web site to describe my findings.  I know there are people around the world who use this information as a starting point in attempting to decipher the text.  A few years ago I visited Kassel, Fuerstenberg and Karlshafen and took time to see the windmill which Bessler was building when he fell to his death.  This website contains some of my pictures and some interior ones from an estate agency who offered the original building for sale.  I tried to explain as much as I could about my current thinking at the time, about the principles behind Bessler's wheel. I discovered the little known sport of 'kiiking' native to Estonia, which involves swinging on a special device in which a swing is suspended from metal rods, so they are rigid and the rider can swing right over the top of the swing, provided his feet are securely fixed to the seat!  An examination of the rider technique supplies good information which can be used in designing Bessler's wheel.    This just a place where I intend to publish my reconstruction of Bessler's wheel - physical or virtual.  In other words if I succeed it will all be here wih video, pictures and explanations, and if I don't then I'll share everything I've discovered that I haven't published - and believe me it's a lot!  This is the place to go to discuss all thing Bessler.  It has loads of information as well and numerous links to original sources.  This is the best source for accurate information about the dimensions of each of Bessler's wheels, plus you get access to the reworked and updated digital drawings by Bessler which compose his Maschinen Tractate .    This the best German language site and is full of information about the people and the times Bessler lived through.  It has pictures of everyone who became involved in the Bessler legend and also includes photos of the various places he visited.

It must be obvious that from the beginning I gathered a few web sites with meaningful names, but it's an expensive game and I have let several go. What's the point of owning numerous domain names, I have more than enough still? 


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