Friday, 30 November 2018

Today, 30th November,1745, Johann Bessler Fell to his Death.

Johann Bessler stood on the top of his latest project, a huge windmill designed to grind corn in the village of Fürstenberg. The windmill was of an unusual design, having a vertical axis which meant it could turn in the wind regardless of which direction the wind came from.

It was designed to be supported on a massive lower structure and although it was never finished it was expected to rise some 50 feet in height.  Unfortunately for Bessler, the committee who requisitioned the device insisted that it must be built on the lower levels of the hillside within the village itself.  This position was too sheltered according to Bessler and he argued that it should be positioned on top of the hill where it could take advantage of the winds which blew more strongly and consistently.  But the local authority insisted and Bessler complied.
 http://www.orffyreus.org/              see interior and exterior photos, and floor plan

Bessler was struggling to finance the build and despite frequent letters to the council leaders for more building materials, as well as additional funding, little help was forthcoming.  Some letters he wrote have survived and it clear from them that he was regarded as something of a nuisance and his employers were unwilling to put themselves out on his behalf.

On November 30th, 1745, Johann Bessler fell to his death from the top of the half-built windmill. We know that he and his family were starving and cold.  It was late in the year and the prospects of completing his windmill looked increasingly poor and even if he had managed to complete, his own opinion was that it might not have been as effective in the milder winds in the village.

I visited the small town of  Fürstenberg in2002 and was able to visit the windmill.  It has survived ‘til now because of the huge sandstone blocks used to construct the walls.  There is little if anything left, of Bessler’s work inside although the external features are obviously according to his design. Subsequent to his death the windmill was provided as a home for the new porcelain industry which had its beginnings then.  The town of  Fürstenberg became famous for the quality of its porcelain which it has been producing since 1747.
https://www.fuerstenberg-porzellan.com/info-en/english/manufactory/history/

We can gain some idea of Bessler's predicament through this short extract from a letter he wrote  to his superior just seven months before his death;

      "I have written often and many times to you, Highly Honourable Sire, but I have not received any answer.  Meanwhile, I lack strength and will, through hunger, grief, frost and chill, because for a long time I have not received a single piece of wood from the District Magistrate.  Indeed, I have often had only dry bread to eat and water to drink.  However, at last, thank God, I have had the good luck to finish preparing the model of perpetual motion which was commissioned from England, as demanded by the Senior District Magistrate, von Mannsberg.  It was ready at midnight on April 14th, "

Notice that he  had finished a model of his perpeual motion machine (italicised in the above quote).  The model was commissioned by his landlord, Baron Anton von Mansberg, a senior member of King George's cabinet and resident in London. Unfortunately any plans von Mannsberg might have had to examine Bessler's machine were doomed by the fact that all government officials were forbidden or strongly advised not travel to the continent.  This was during 1745 and for a couple of years after, due to the threat of invasion of England by France, on behalf of the Jacobite rebellion.  By the time that danger had passed Johann Bessler had died and his machine was lost to us.

I wonder what might have happened if the Jacobites had not prevented von Mansberg's return to his home and he had been able to carry out a thorough examination of Bessler's wheel.  He was a wealthy man and held a powerfu position within the government and he was also a member of the Royal Society.  If he had become convinced of Bessler's sincerity a deal might have been struck and a gradual spread of sales of the machine, similar to the way the use of Thomas Newcomen's engine spread, might nhave happened.  Newcomen'sengines sprouted out all over Great Britain and Europe and I could see something similar happening if Bessler's wheel had been sold.  A greater expansion than Newcomen's engine might have happened because of the complexity of the Newcomen engine when compared to Bessler's wheel.

Might not this have affected our modern lives in many ways? One thinks of pollution and global warming etc,. usually blamed on the burning of fossil fuels.

JC

20 comments:

  1. I'm thankful for the change of discussion. let me be the first to give my thanks to Johann Ernst Elias Bessler. we don't need any more laws to govern how we think about truth. Truth stands on its own! for a long time Johann was trying to tell me and I wasn't listening properly. tonight he pulled back the curtain all the way to let the light in. Johann died with his friends far away but his friends were faithful and did what was asked. Johann the blocks weren't lost I found them. hopefully with your help and gods will dig up those papers. John did you know you have something else in common with Bessler it's something small but it can grow into something very big he also had a friend he had something in common with. really doesn't matter whether you believe me or not just like truth I stand on what I know. Hopefully everyone will!



















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    1. What's up with all the space at the end of your comment?

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    2. Good clue isn't it you need a little space and time

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    3. In Bessler's last work he left blank pages very very important clue it gives you confirmation when you do find where he left but don't worry, the new year approaches and that is the year he left us the number all of the year. People who like Mysteries often don't like spoilers so why don't you do what he told you to do ask a question of little book! I've got a diagram do you have a shovel.

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  2. Thank you John for the very good blog about Bessler's demise. Your informative narrative filled in many pieces of the story which were previously a bit vague to me. So there was definitely a sixth wheel, albeit a model and only acknowledged by Bessler, in existence at some time.

    Stephen, do you think we need more riddles from you to solve. Bessler was the master riddler.

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    1. Thank you Anon.

      I have been in touch with Stephen, but I had to admit to him that I did not understand his clues so I guess we shall have to wait until he reveals more about it next year. Intriguing!

      JC

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    2. There were actually eight wheels but one was never built.

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    3. I guess to add to the list there was the first prototype before his first public demo. So that would make seven. So what evidence is there for an eighth and when was that? I assume that is the one you say was never built?

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  3. Thanks John. An excellent post again.

    What do you think about the last wheels's fate?

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    1. Thanks yellow, for the idea for today’s blog. As far as I know it was reported that some parts of a small wheel were left and were given to his widow.

      I have speculated before that it is just possible that the the remains of the model wheel lie gathering dust in the Hessisches Landesmuseum. I say this because a one time correspondent wrote an account of his travels in Europe and on behalf of another of my correspondents visited the above museum in Kassel, where he found the original ink block used for the Maschinen Tractate. He wasn’t looking for anything else, but I guess there might have been more stuff there.

      You can read his full account if you go to his website where the book can be read online. Go to https://www.irvthomas.com/Innocence%20Abroad/innocence15.html
      His name is Irv Thomas and the book is called ‘An Innocent Abroad’.

      The actual books were next door at The Murhardsche Bibliothek. You will have to read through a lot to get to the relevant bit, but it is only a short accoun.

      JC

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    2. I forgot to add it’s chapter15 you need,

      JC

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  4. Hello, John. Thanks for the link to Thomas Irv's book!
    I read: "[...] a large, stolid-looking guardian of its treasures [...] brought out for me a huge and ancient bound volume of papers, easily five inches in thickness and maybe twelve by eighteen inches in flat measure. It held hundreds of hand-written pages - separate documents of diverse size, almost all of them in German, a few in French. All equally obscure to me."
    Have you an idea of which documents were written in French?

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  5. I know that a letter from either Fischer von Erlach or ‘sGravesand to Dr Desaguliers was written in French, but I can’t remember which. I have a copy. Which others I don’t know at this point. I have copies of everyt document which was in the bound volume, ove 600.

    JC

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  6. Stephen.... we are all sitting on the edge of our chairs......

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  7. I believe the way Bessler left it hidden was out of his concern that things of Truth are most often used for war, and to enslave rather than what they were intended for. Furthermore, I believe he gave his life in that concern. It is for this reason I try to let him decide who can be trusted with this knowledge. the way he gave the knowledge to me. It has been a long, long road for me to follow! I have come full circle, back to the beginning of where I first started. I know I think differently, and I hope that through all the trials and tribulations, Angels and Demons, I had to face, that everyone else would have an open mind. I truly know where this knowledge comes from, where Bessler found it. It saddens me to think he died alone. I know now, that was not true, because I was with him. I forgive him as I hope he forgives me. I climb the ladder and now I laugh with joy. he kept his secret unto death. Now he lives again, God bless and keep you all and in your travels, remember to use your heart and mind and above all the faith to endure!!!



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  8. Albrecht Düre "Melancholia I" after you climb the ladder, do not forget to ring the bell, there is no hurry!!! have faith "It is a Wonderful Life"

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  9. Mark Twain quote" I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" Samuel Clements" when you find yourself on the side of the majority. It's time to stop and reflect" words to live by for The Seekers of Truth!!! There's always crazy.

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  10. Stephen are you ok?

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  11. Yellow, I'm okay! There was a time when I wasn't, let me reassure you, I'm more than okay. Don't Worry Be Happy. They'll always be new discoveries, trust me, you'll find them. Remember to climb the ladder, and ring the bell, I know you will.

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  12. How exciting for you..... Bessler did have trials and at the even to the end he was able to stand on his truth as no one before him. Keep us updated as you can, many of us will assist you are will be need required to make this happen. You can count on me to help in any way you need, for I am a Perpetuum Mobilist like you.

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