Monday, 25 March 2019

Bessler’s Wheel and the Orffyreus Code.

As I wrote  previously, I’m temporarily recycling a previous post about the Legend of Bessler’s wheel,  because I need to concentrate on finishing my own attempted reconstruction of his machine.

As you can see from my previous post, there is a lot going on in my life but there is always the odd moment when I could work on the wheel.

At my age I find time seems to be accelerating and weeks shoot past and I seem to have accomplished very little.  I am determined to finish it now so I can prove to myself, at least, that I am right and that there are sufficient clues from Bessler to permit anyone to build his wheel. Success would mean that the design I’m working on would match his, which I know many people doubt is possible.  Obviously I will post the information here first, if it works - or even if it doesn’t.

Please feel free to comment if you wish and I will try to check back daily.

So here it is again, the Legend of Bessler's wheel.

On 6th June, 1712, in Germany, Johann Bessler (also known by his pseudonym, Orffyreus) announced that after many years of failure, he had succeeded in designing and building a perpetual motion machine.  For more than fourteen years he exhibited his machine and allowed people to thoroughly examine it.  Following advice from the famous scientist, Gottfried Leibniz, he devised a number of demonstrations and tests designed to prove the validity of his machine without giving away the secret of its design.

After more than thirty years he died in poverty.  He had asked for a huge sum of money for the secret, £20,000 which was an amount only affordable by kings and princes, and although many were interested, none were prepared to agree to the terms of the deal. Bessler required that he be given the money and the buyer take the machine without verifying that it worked.  Those who sought to purchase the wheel, for that was the form the machine took, insisted that they see the secret mechanism before they parted with the money. Bessler feared that once the design was known the buyers could simply walk away knowing how to build his machine and he would get nothing for his trouble.
This problem was anticipated by Bessler and he took extraordinary measures to ensure that his secret was safe, but he encoded all the information needed to reconstruct the machine in a small number of books that he published. It is well-known that he was prepared to die without selling the secret and that he believed that post humus acknowledgement was preferable to being robbed of his secret while he yet lived.

I became curious about the legend of Bessler’s Wheel, while still in my teens, and have spent most of my life researching the life of Johann Bessler (I’m now 74).  I obtained copies of all his books and had them translated into English and self-published them, in the hope that either myself or someone else might solve the secret and present it to the world in this time of pollution, global warming and increasingly limited energy resources.

It has recently become clear that Bessler had a huge knowledge of the history of codes and adopted several completely different ones to disguise information within his publications.  I have made considerable advances in deciphering one of his codes; the simplest one, and I am confident that I have the complete design.  Due to unfortunate family circumstances I am currently unable to complete the build I have undertaken but shall return to it as soon as possible and I sincerely believe that 2019 will see the reconstruction of Bessler’s wheel.

Johann Bessler published three books, and digital copies of these with English translations may be obtained from the links to the right of this blog.  In addition there is a copy of his unpublished document containing some 141 drawings - and my own account of Bessler’s life is also available from the links.  It is called "Perpetual Motion; An Ancient Mystery Solved?"  Bessler published three books; "Grundlicher Bericht", "Apologia Poetica" and "Das Triumphirende..."

I have also published Bessler's collection of 141 drawings and I have called it Maschinen Tractate, but it was originally found in the form of a number drawings of perpetual motion designs. Many of these have handwritten notes attached and I have published the best English translation of them that I was able to get. Bessler never published these drawings but clearly intended to do so at some point.

For some ideas about Bessler’s code why not visit one of my web sites at
One last thing.  Perpetual Motion machines have been utterly proscribed and Johann Bessler’s claims ridiculed - however, it seems that more than a handful of scientists have now come to the conclusion that it might theoretically be possible to design a mechanical system which is continuously out-of-balance and therefore will turn continuously using the repeated fall of weights for energy.  Gravity but not directly.  These open-minded people remain tight lipped for now, awaiting proof of their hypothesis.



  1. Buongiorno John,sono uno dei tanti appassionati al tuo blog e penso di avere risolto il rebus della STELLA a 12 punte,guarda qui
    Saluti da Giuseppe Pelotti.

    1. uh oh...looks like John has some serious competition!

  2. Giuseppe Pelletier wrote above, “Hi John, I am one of the many fans of your blog and I think I have solved the 12-point star puzzle, look here”.

    I looked at the YouTube video. Nice work Giuseppe, but I did the design in full several years ago and it does not work. I guess there are others who have tried it as well. In my opinion the duodecagram is there for a different reason and you can see my interpretation of iypts meaning here at See parts two and three too, for more information on that site.


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  4. Hi all
    as some might know I'm a believer in springs being required, partly because of what he says (and doesnt) regarding them, and also all the mentions of twangs/shoots/bow/rises quickly/sears/snatching/the noise heard/differential fall rates (snowflake and rain drop),and many more clues, all hints I feel that the 'action' of the mechs (in a one fifth segment)is boosted on one side of the wheel (falling side?) and slowed on the other rising side, may be required to have the fall of the outer weight 'pushed' just past 12 so the action is set quickly, and is slowed on the rising side while recommpressing/bending/latching? the spring, I'm working on this now.....

  5. RAF You are quite right Jon!!Springs are needed.Charles Singer in his 5 volume"A History of Technology " (1954) notes that springs are not devices like pulleys or levers but a means for storing energy ( for later release). This can delay the reaction phase and assist the wheel in the proper quadrant.

  6. In my opinion..... Springs are used, but not like you think that they are.... They are used to control the resetting of the special latch mechanisms which controls the timing...


Why did Bessler Use Embedded Codes?

It seems clear enough that Bessler had always intended to insert coded information embedded within his publications, because by applying a s...