Wednesday 28 June 2017

Bessler's Wheel - the World's First Working Perpetual Motion Machine.

While I was away on holiday I got to thinking about Bessler's wheel and how important it could be in the near future.  Then I realised how, over the many years I have researched this subject, that I had become so habituated to thinking of it as a viable machine that I believed that it was just a matter of time before it reappeared as an alternative source of energy.

Then I was reminded forcibly, what an amazing, even stunning, thing it would be if we could reconstruct it and prove all those know-it-all 'experts'  wrong and watch them squirm and wriggle out of their rigid, inflexible mindset!  It isn't as if I hadn't known what a wonderful discovery this would be, but I had become like those above, too accustomed to the idea and subconsciously I 'knew' it was simply a matter of showing them the evidence and the rest would follow.

But of course that isn't the way it will be, but when I finish the wheel,I have some ideas which I hope will drown out the voices of scorn and derision.  But in the mean time I would like to take another brief look at the evidence that supports the conclusion that Bessler's Perpetual motion machine really worked.  So here are the basic facts relating to the wheels and the inventor which led many of us to believe Johann Bessler's wheel was genuine and not a scam.

I'll keep to the most basic facts.  Ok, so all the wheels were demonstrated in front of large crowds.  People were encouraged to examine each wheel and were permitted to to stop and start them, or even slow them down, as often they wished.

The first two wheels would begin to spin as soon as the brake was released.  This ability to begin to spin as soon as they were allowed to do so, showed that the wheels were permanently out-of-balance, even when stationary.  They could only spin in one direction, which seems obvious given that they were always out of balance. 

Due to accusations that the wheels must have been driven by clock-work, Bessler subsequently introduced a different wheel design, which meant it could turn in either direction.  This one needed a gentle push in either direction, from which start it accelerated to its top speed, approximately half that of the one-way wheels.  This was to counter the accusation that the wheels needed winding up.  I suppose that he thought it would prove difficult to produce a wheel which could still be wound up and yet spin in either direction as required by each witness/examiner.

He exhibited in total, four wheels and the last one, another bi-directional version, measured twelve feet in diameter and eighteen inches in thickness.

It could raise a bucket of stones weighing 70 pounds from the castle yard to the roof.  It could drive an archimedes screw for pumping water.  It underwent an endurance test lasting 54 days in a locked and sealed room with a 24 hour guard posted outside.

During the many public examinations, the wheel was set up on one pair of supports started and eventually stopped at which point it was carried across to a second set of supports.  Both sets of supports were thoroughly examined before and after and no sign of fraud was discovered.  The tapered bearings at each end of the six foot axle were just three quarter of an  inch in thickness. Each bearing shell was open for inspection.

During a period of approximately twelve years the various wheels were examined by numerous people, among them royalty, scientists, sceptics, professors, engineers and politicians.  No single case exists of anyone anywhere finding how Bessler did it.

But one man was allowed to see the interior of the wheel, under a strict oath that he could never reveal the secret.  His name was Karl, the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, a famous and highly respected man, whose castle at Kassel was where the final wheel was displayed.  He demanded access to the secret as a condition that he provided Bessler with a place to exhibit the wheel.  He was a keen amateur scientist and had already had a history of sponsoring the steam experiments of Denis Papin and he was not prepared to be misled by a swindling con artist.  That is why he insisted on seeing for his own eyes how the machine worked.

Gottfreid Leibniz the famous scientist, philosopher, historian, engineer, and designer of the calculating machine  among many other inventions  - literally a polymath - was at first sceptical of Bessler's clams, but gradually through some extended communications between others who had seen the machine in action, and his own two lengthy and thorough examinations of the machine became convinced of Bessler's sincerity.

It was he who suggestd the number of tests that Bessler needed to arrange in order to convince the sceptics without exposing the machine's interior.

It is worth mentioning that if Bessler had been discovered behaving fraudulently he had a very good chance of being beheaded.  No prince of that time would ever allow such a crime to go unpunished and there are many examples available to support this conclusion.  In his younger days as a miltary leader, Karl exerted the strictest discipline upon his troops and execution was used where he felt it necessary.

But what of Bessler himself?  Was there any indication in his actions that might have suggested an intention to defraud his patron or his public?  He published three items all of which extolled the virtues of his machine, and explaining that it was for sale for £20,000; the same figure as offered by the British Board of Longitude which was set up to find a reliable way of estimating a ship's longitudinal position at sea, and arguably a more valuable invention.  These publications contain information about the inventor's search for the secret of perpetual motion and how he strived to overcome the scornful dismissal of his self-imposed task.  He also stated that if he failed to sell his secret then he would die content in the knowledge that he would be acknowledged post humously - this is not the action of a fraudster.  It also implies that there was or would be information available after his death which would provide vindication for his claim.

He declares in one booklet, Apologia Poetica, that those who wish to know the secret of his machine should examine the book closely.  The book contains an obviously coded section, plus other apparent pieces of code, all of which when combined with other features in the two other booklets each strongly suggestive of additional coded information.

As I have said previously, I have made considerable progress in deciphering one particular type of code and have sufficient information to design and build one of Bessler's wheels.  I hope to complete this in the next few weeks or months and also publish the decoded information.


Sunday 25 June 2017

Update for June 2017

Returned from a few days in Spain where I went for some warmer weather,  just as the UK weather finally improved!  90 degrees in both countries at the same time!  Now I'm back and the weather here has returned to its normal grey skies etc.  Ah well, Spain was wonderful as usual so no regrets.

I've put two black boards in my new workshop which I'm using for drawing ideas, calculations and notes.  I know it's an old fashioned method, these days it's white boards, but I made my black boards for pennies and I'm too tight to pay for a piece of plastic for which they charge pounds!

I'm still working on finishing documenting all the clues I've used to accomplish the reconstruction of Bessler's wheel. On that subject I can say that when the wheel works it will be identical in concept and design to Bessler's.  Many people have argued that we can never know if it is the same as Bessler's, but in fact Bessler stated that the information was there for those who were prepared to look, well I have looked and I have found it. 

Elsewhere I read that it is estimated that nearly 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity, in addition, around 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal. Plus, over 4 million people die prematurely every year as a result of illnesses attributable to household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.

In the past I've talked of irrigation schemes as a useful Bessler wheel  application but I think these alarming figures above seem to me to provide a much better argument for the development of Bessler's wheel as a cheap/free source of energy for all those who do not have access to electricity or cannot afford it.


Saturday 10 June 2017

Climate Change and Bessler's Wheel

I've never been totally convinced by the argument that climate change is due to the effects of pollution, courtesy of the internal combustion engine and other similar pollutants, and not some vagery of nature, but I cannot deny that what ever the case, the fact that it's here is indisputable.  Man-made global warming crisis crusaders are now facing a new threat. Their anti-fossil carbon-based premise for alarmism is being challenged by new scientific evidence of important solar influences upon climate that can't readily be blamed on us. Not that there wasn't lots of good evidence of this before. Actually, there has been, and it has been routinely denigrated and ignored. However, whether it is the former or the latter, does not matter really, we have to do everything possible to try to reverse global warming, even if it we don't see any benefits in our life time.

 Reading about the giant crack in one of Antarctica's largest ice shelves which is about to break off, forming a Delaware-size block of ice brings home the fact of the warming of the earth.The crack in the ice shelf, called Larsen C, has forked toward the Southern Ocean and is growing rapidly and scientists think a glacier behind the ice block could destabilize after the calving event.  This could lead to further disintegration of the remaing shelf. The fact that the ice shelf that has existed for thousands of years and is about to shed a absolutely huge block of ice conjures up the image of vast amounts of fresh water being released into oceans which in time will lead to sea level rises and all the associated disasters that that entails.

 It's at least 1,100 feet thick at the edge — it thickens inland — and covers roughly 2,000 square miles!  So when I read that Trump has pulled the US out of the Paris Climate deal because it would cost American jobs I am deeply disappointed.  I always steer clear of politics when writing publicly available pieces because I believe everyone is entitled to their point of view and each views these things from different perspectives, but I hope he renegotiates something of value out of this.  I'm sure that he is thinking short term, at least compared to nature, because he gave commitments which in his mind would be contra to the Paris agreement.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, now is time for Bessler's wheel to make its appearance and no matter how much some people dismiss its potential as an energy provider, I can see a tremendous future for this amazingly simple, basic mechanism which could change the world we live in.. I hope it won't be too late though.  Things need to get moving soon as possible - even if it appeared on the world stage tomorrow, it would still be too late to reverse climate change which, according to the 'experts' has been under way for at least the last 150 years - in other words since we began to pump steam.  If it is indeed down to our own pollution,  and even if there is some lingering doubt about that, surely we should be doing every possible thing to lessen the effect of climate warming, and if that affects the job situation in some countries isn't that better than the losing most of the Eastern Seaboard of the USA where some 40 cities are less than 10 feet above current sea levels and in 20 years they could be inundated.


Monday 5 June 2017

Johann Bessler's Dark Side

All that we know about Johann Bessler comes from documentary evidence    his own account, letters to and from and about him, newspaper reports and the testimonials – but much of this material throws up unanswered questions, so here are some reasonable - and some not so reasonable - speculations about the inventor.  Let us examine the dark side!

He mentions that he visited England and Ireland, why and how?  His headmaster was an excellent teacher but I doubt he taught his students to speak English, so how did a young German communicate during his journey?  He mentions that an Irishman was his travelling companion and since this was the era of the ‘Grand Tour’, he may have been a young aristocrat returning to his home in southern Ireland at the end of his own Grand Tour.  Often they would take along with them someone for entertainment value or as a general assistant, unpaid but fed. Bessler states that he learned to  speak various languages because of all his travels to different countries,  but not fluently, surely?

The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper class European young men of sufficient means and rank. The custom was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of several European nations, (Wikipedia)

The young men took full advantage of their freedom and although the tours began with an adviser and guide to broaden their education to include works of art and visits to centres of high culture, they sometimes deteriorated into a series of sexual and/or drunken  debaucheries. 

On a previous occasion Bessler mentioned that ‘one day a fine gentleman came along, and ... I went off with him into foreign parts’.  Was this another Grand Tour he was invited to join or perhaps it was the one which took him to England and Ireland?  He mentions that they visited a monastery so it could have been the Ireland trip, although there are monasteries all over Europe.  What was it about Bessler that persuaded a man of wealth to adopt him as his travelling companion?  'Sex, gambling and drinking were all part of the Grand Tour experience. Florence, for all its Medicean splendour, was viewed as a sodomitical hotbed where the ‘Italian vice’ of homosexuality was, as it were, rampant'. (Not my words!  See google and 18th C Grand Tour). 

I'm not suggesting that Bessler was gay, far from it.  In fact he got his wife preganant before he had even met her father, the mayor, then after she died several years later, he got his best friend the Court blacksmith's 16 year old daughter pregnant and had to marry her too. 

In his youth he describes how hot-tempered he was and how sometimes in fights, knives were wielded.  Also dancing, duelling and drinking were his popular past times, but either from his own conscience or from a councillor, he tried more than once to stick to the way of proper conduct and moral integrity, but strayed from time to time. It seems as though he enjoyed life to the full but suffered pangs of guilt after any particularly shameful episode..

Another question - in his Apologia Poetica, he writes ' At about this time I began to run short of money, and so I turned to doctoring again. Thank God I was never short of a Frenchman or suchlike whose good nature I was able to influence, with my high-flown style of speech, to help me broaden my purse in return for having his fires quenched'.  The word used in German is Frantzmann, which translates into Frenchman, but apparently in the 18th century it was a derogatory term, but I cannot find why or to whom it was applied.  It is dangerous to try to read between the lines but I assume he had some health condition which caused pain and soreness and which Bessler could alleviate with some kind of ointment - or what? Anyway Frantzmann is definitely pejorative and generally aimed at the nobility which would agree with Bessler's use of 'high-flown style of speech'.

One acquaintance described him as that 'foul unwanted guest,'  while he was making ready to leave Kassel castle for Karlshafen.  But Gottfried Leibitz spoke of Bessler thus, 'Bessler is my friend ...many things have already troubled that good man, and he has not accommodated to the rules of the communal life.'  Bessler's years of wandering abroad had made him independent and self-sufficient, preferring to make his own arrangement than settle for help from another and he was sometimes blunt to the point of rudeness; but probably fear of losing his invention had added paranoia to a mix of hot temper, poor judgement about his so-called 'friends', and a decade of stress from continuously striving to convince the wealthy to buy his machine.  I think he appeared to be conceited, moody, sanctimonious, rude and was probably a loud mouth, but he could act with apparent humility; something he had learned would sometimes get him what he wanted.  I regret to offer this picture of a man I have always regarded as a neglected genius, but so many of them have normal human faults, perhaps exaggerated by time and distance and repeated name-calling, but I suspect much of it may apply to Bessler.

His shameless confessions about tricking many tradesmen into revealing the secrets of their trades could be described as entrepreneurial, but only if he had sold his machine and been accepted as a genuine inventor imbued with great wealth.  He tells us about a trip to Dresden where, 'I got to hear about a craftsman that I felt I had to get to know. So I devised a plan to bring it about. I met one of the craftsman's apprentices, who was from Sorau and was called Sigismund, and put him in the picture over a few glasses of wine, which I treated him to. Over the next few nights we worked out the details in my room. He passed me off - I swear it - as a carpenter.  

So devious must be added to his personal repetoire, although to be fair, life was rough in those times and to get aywhere you had to be tough and resourceful.  Bessler was certainly that and he might just have made it to the top... unfortunately it didn't happen and he was judged a dispicable fraud and he disappeared into the fog of history, abandoned, in poverty and still designing machines, which bore slight similarities to his original perpetual motion machine.


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