Friday, 23 March 2018

Johann Bessler's Life to be Celebrated at Bad Karlshafen

Thanks to Georg Künstler and his post on the Besslerwheel forum, I have become aware of the impending celebrations in Bad Karlshafen, due to take place 24th May to 2nd June 2018.

See:http://www.bad-karlshafen-tourismus.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1142:theater-anu-perpetuum-mobile-eine-stadt-im-rausch&catid=17:st-mitteilungen&Itemid=401

Karlshafen, as it was known then, was the place Johann Bessler retired to and lived in a house courtesy of Karl the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, former patron of the inventor.  For those who don’t know the word ‘Bad’ in front of the town’s name simply stands for ‘Spa’. It has thermal springs.

The town tourist board are putting on a play each day, telling the story of Johann Bessler, and intriguingly have reported the discovery of an airtight package locked in a sealed box found in the harbour basin during renovation work.

See the old harbour below.


They claim that within the box is the world’s only surviving blueprint of Johann Bessler’s perpetual motion machine.  They ask, “will this solve the world's energy problem once and for all and make Bad Karlshafen world famous?

Now I do not know what is in this box, nor do I know whether it has any connection to Bessler, but it certainly could do. The discovery of this box may be the reason for the decision to celebrate the life of Johann Bessler in this particular year, although it might also be because he came to live in Karlshafen in 1718, exactly 300 years ago. But  I also note that the 'Hugenots and Waldesian Trail  has been awarded with the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 for the following activities related to “In the footsteps of Huguenots and Waldensians" project'.  This particulat piece of history related to the founding the town of Karlshafen (formerly called Sieberg) by escaped Huegenots who were welcomed by fellow Protestant Karl.


I considered attending these celebrations but I have no German and my experience of Germany during a visit a few years ago, to all the places related to Bessler’s life, is that few people speak English.  I may have just been unlucky in my contacts with local people but that was my experience then and it has coloured my expectations in the future. Although I enjoyed my visit and Karlshafen is an extremely attractive place, I see no point in sitting through a production which will be all in German, naturally.

Speculations about the mystery box have occupied my thoughts ever since Georg's notification of the event.  Bessler's house was literally less than a stone's throw from the harbour basin, which I believe was completed in 1717.  Given Bessler's obsessive compulsive desire to protect his secret  for as long as he lived, it is quite possible that he did indeed hide his secret within a waterproof and air-tight box and sink it into the water of the harbour basin - maybe only days before he died.

If that was indeed the case then he would know that from time to time the basin would need to be dredged and perhaps his box found, in which case it would need to be of sufficient sturdiness to withstand the rigors of recovery, while remaining watertight.  It maybe that it is possible to drain the basin in which case recovery would be relatively simple.

All this speculation can be resolved once the contents of the box is published, but I am not denying that although the box may be genuine it might be that its attribution to Bessler could be more of a publicity stunt, and speculation by the town tourist board encouraged while the contents of the box is not divulged.  Hopefully all will be revealed during the celebrations in May and June this year.

What if it does turn out to be blueprint for Bessler’s wheel? Someone will doubtless be asked to rebuild it and if they do and it works, what then?  Patent or released freely to the world at large.  Could it even be patented?

We wait with bated breath for the announcement of the box's contents.

EDIT, It seems my excitement at the prospect of discovering what lies within the mysterious box reputedly found in the harbour renovation was somewhat precipitate, as it now seems that the mystery box was a fictional element added to Bessler's life story, due to be enacted at the special event in May and June this year.  My apologies for this error which I blame on the ambiguous translation of the web page by google.

JC

31 comments:

  1. What a wonderful event! I wish I could attend. I might be very wrong but I think the mystery box is the plot of the theater play that will be performed during the celebration.

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    1. I thing you maybe right yellow, the mystery box seems to be part of the plot. What a pity!

      JC

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    2. Of course it's all a fairy story, didn't the brothers Grimm come from that neck of the woods?

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  2. It would take me 3 hours by car to get there...
    I fear that in case the box content is genuine, no one ever will hear again about it. Someone might take and secure it and the truth remain hidden to the public.

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    1. As you can see above, it maybe that the box does not exist in reality. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      JC

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    2. Oh yes, I read the original event description and for my understanding it's clear that this find is just part of the theatre play, so it's fictional.

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  3. Look for any earlier publicity (Newspaper etc) about a box being found during harbour renovation or dredging etc. And what happened to it. That would be corroborating evidence independent of the councils publicity machine.

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    1. I tried that anon, and was unable to even find a reference to any harbour renovations, let alone a reference to the finding of a mystery box.

      JC

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    2. As I mentioned above this isn't surprising. There's nothing to await. I misunderstood the event initially. The reason for this celebration isn't any found of a box, only because there're now 300 years gone since Bessler got the certificate for his long wheel test from landgrave Karl.

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    3. So what was the source of the story of finding the box John? Where did you hear about it?

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    4. Use my link in my post, second paragraph. Ask for translation,

      The story: During the current renovation work of the Baroque harbor basin of Bad Karlshafen there is an incredible discovery: Airtight packed in a sealed box is the world's only surviving blueprint of a Perpetuum mobile. The "Eternal Wheel" is the invention of Johann Beßler - Medicus, Mechanicus and confidant of the Landgrave. Is it possible to replicate this miracle wheel 300 years laterally

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    5. OK. The plays plot is based on finding a box in the current harbour renovations. Let's hope that one day something like that happens for real.

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  4. https://translate.google.com/translate?depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&sp=nmt4&tl=en&u=https://www.wesertherme.de/&xid=17259,15700021,15700105,15700124,15700149,15700168,15700173,15700186,15700201

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  5. I remember reading that Bessler is accepted as a charlatan in Kassel. I hope this will change things in a positive way.

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    1. Yes I read that too. They must think that Bessler was famous or infamous, either will do, just so long as Karlshafen gets a celebrity former resident!

      JC

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  6. OMG....... I did a Google search for Hesse and was really amazed. This is really a beautiful place with the castle sitting in a very advantageous and strategic place. The photos of the fountain and just the shear magnitude of it all was really nice. John, there is a device that has been developed that just fits into your ear like a hearing aid looking item, that automatically translates the language that you are hearing into a language that you understand. I think I saw it on a segment of Henry Fords Innovation nation, which I highly recommend. They have a lot of inventors showing their inventions which I find fascinating, so you could have an interpreter with you and perhaps, at the play, they would have a device that would be sending out a signal in English that could be rented on the spot. anyway.... a visit to the festival would really be cool

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    1. Thanks Gravittea, looks worthy of following up.

      JC

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  7. No German speaker in our group ?

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    1. No Michel, I’m ashamed to admit I have no other languages!

      JC

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    2. Same here Michel, although honestly I myself really cannot feel much shame in making this admission.

      One thing I do regret, however, is that mine is not "The Queen's English," it being rather the mere American version of it.

      For two difference examples, one might be that the real English seem to not like 'x's' in words where they use 's's' and, that they prefer where we do not the insertion of 'u's (which DOES seem somewhat 'Frenchy,' actually) where they might just as easily be left out thus saving time, such as in colour for color and, harbour (as John used above) for harbor, & etc.

      Now, as I perceive the matter, the only possible antidote to this slight defect of lack is to seriously learn some French, although I'm not at all sure how that might play in Bad Karlschafen these days, as a choice more along the lines of something, say, more Sub Saharan might prove more functional? (Know what I mean? It's working out just swell, is it not?)

      Album work in English continues apace here.

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    3. John,& all,
      I learnt a little Spanish years ago, using the Paul Daniels magic memory method, very good.
      I think you can still buy the books, they're called Linkword. I still have the tapes after some 20 years, LOL!
      Anyway, they've improved the system now, I just checked out 200 words a day .com, looks very interesting.
      One example I remember very well is, "The Spanish for puncture is pinchazo, imagine a young lady bending down to look at a flat tyre, and then you pinch her a.......!

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  8. EDIT, It seems my excitement at the prospect of discovering what lies within the mysterious box reputedly found in the harbour renovation was somewhat precipitate, as it now seems that the mystery box was a fictional element added to Bessler's life story, due to be enacted at the special event in May and June this year.

    Well John, we just have to come up with the true design of Bessler's wheel BEFORE the time of this theatre, and surprise them by lowering the blueprints for it into the harbor basin in a sealed box, which we have cleverly made to look 300 years old. Wouldn't THAT be a surprise!

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    1. Yes that would be a wonderful thing to do! Could be a bit tricky to accomplish. 😁

      JC

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  9. Hello John and all, judge how amazing this coincidence is. Last night, I was reading a book by Umberto Eco & Jean-Claude Carrière, and I came across this passage (Umberto Eco speaking): "It is sometimes the books that are at fault. But sometimes it's our own errors and misinterpretations. In the sixties I wrote a spoof (published in 'Misreadings', 1996) in which a future civilization finds a titanium box buried in a lake. The box contains documents that Bertrand Russell had put in a safe place at a time he was organizing anti-nuclear marches and we were literally obsessed with the threat of nuclear destruction (...) The joke was that the rescued documents were actually song lyrics. The philologists of the future were therefore trying to reconstruct our vanished civilization from these songs, which were seen as the high point of our poetic output." ("This is Not the End of the Book: A Conversation", p. 174.)

    https://books.google.fr/books?id=8BG5OB6yGSAC&q=174#v=snippet&q=174&f=false

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    1. I love coincidences Michel, I’ve experienced some which seem unbelievable.

      JC

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  10. The 5 mechanism that you were fabricating each contained 11 pieces, how are your efforts going so far?

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    1. Slow progress gravittea, and I'll be away for a few weeks so don't expect results for a while.But it is being builtcand will be finished within a few weeks.

      JC

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  11. He (JB) has actually showered us with rich words...in the poem he describes the shape and their function of the internal components...in the drawings he gives us the main internal structure with movement... somewhere in the portraits we can also make out some great hints of the main parts...his explanations are littered with valuable clues here and there...what else do we really need?...

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    1. Yes he did Suresh, but I think the meanings will only become clear after the finished design and mechanisms can be seen in action. He was teasing us with a poetic description.

      JC

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    2. What I feel is the meanings will clear if our proposed design is correct even before we go to build the same and thus save us a lot... just by referring to his hints and clues...

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    3. There is also a thread about the Besslerwheel event in Bad Karlshafen / Germany at https://www.BadKarlshafen-forum.de here >> https://www.badkarlshafen-forum.de/t2124f54-Mai-Juni-Perpetuum-Mobile-mit-Theater-Anu-rund-um-das-Hafenbecken-2.html#msg7635

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Johann Bessler and the Orffyreus Code

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