Saturday, 16 November 2019

The Legend of Bessler’s Wheel and the Orffyreus Code

My apologies to all, I accidentally deleted my post about my progress on reconstructing Bessler’s wheel!  I lost all the comments too, and that is, I think, the first time in nine years that has happened, I’m so sorry but I can’t get it back.

PS Thanks for the quick action by anon, he recovered my lost post and has published it in the first comment below this one.

I’m posting the Legend of Bessler’s wheel again because I’m going to be working hard on finishing my reconstruction of Bessler’s wheel.  It’s been a busy year with little time to spend in my garage where the build should have been happening, but time is racing by and I must concentrate on finishing the job.  My apologies for promising fewer blogs but the sooner I finish it the sooner I can publish everything.

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.

Karl the Landgrave of Hesse permitted Bessler to live, work and exhibit his machine at the prince's castle of Weissenstein.  Karl was a man of unimpeachable reputation and he insisted on being allowed to verify the inventor's claims before he allowed Bessler to take up residence  This the inventor reluctantly agreed to and once he had examined the machine to his own satisfaction Karl authorised the  publication of his approval of the machine.  For several years Bessler was visited by numerous people of varying status, scientists, ministers and royalty.  Several official examinations were carried out and each time the examiners concluded that the inventor's claims were genuine.

Over several years Karl aged and it was decided that the inventor should leave the castle and he was granted accommodation in the nearby town of Karlshaven. Despite the strong circumstantial evidence that his machine was genuine,  Bessler failed to secure a sale and after more than thirty years he died in poverty.  His death came after he fell from a windmill he had been commissioned to build.  The windmill was an interesting design using a vertical axle which allowed it to benefit from winds from any directions.  

He had asked for a huge sum of money for the secret of his perpetual motion machine, £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 viewing the internal workings.  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.

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.

For some ideas about Bessler’s code why not visit my web sites at

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.

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. He implied 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.

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 his codes and I am confident that I have the complete design.

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's three published books are entitled "Grundlicher Bericht", "Apologia Poetica" and "Das Triumphirende...". I have called Bessler's collection of 141 drawings his Maschinen Tractate, but it was originally found in the form of a number of loosely collected 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.


Friday, 1 November 2019

New insight into Kreuz AP passage

After I posted a previous blog about the passage in Apologia Poetica in which Bessler discusses the use of crossbars in his machine I sought some further insight into the text.  In the translation which  I published in my biography of Bessler, he seems to be saying that when he first built his machine he used one crossbar but the wheel barely moved.  He then tells us that when he added more crossbars, plus weights, pulleys and cord, the wheel spun more quickly.  However I have studied the original German text and there are some interesting aspects to it which I think help explain what Bessler wanted us to understand from it.

The first thing I always thought odd was the addition of more weights pulleys and cords in the second part of the passage.  It seemed to me that  they should have been included with the first reference to crossbars.  Then he could have said that more of each were needed.  My initial conclusion was that Bessler was informing us of the presence of crosses i.e, part of a scissor mechanism, which I still think he was, but also of weights, pulleys and cords.  However subsequently I considered that there were two or three pieces of information being presented within one piece of text, using a trick he has used elsewhere.

My translator thought that ‘crossbar’ was the word Bessler intended, and there has been much discussion about whether he actually meant ‘cross’ and not ‘crossbar’. The word ‘cross’ could suggest a design using the shape of a cross, in other words four equal divisions within the wheel. However I discovered a word which one might gloss over but which gives us a clue to his thinking.

So a closer study of the words he used reveals more information than one might get at first.  This is my latest interpretation.  The first words below are from my original version of Apologia Poetica, Part 2, XXXIII

"If I arrange to have just one cross-bar in the machine, it revolves very slowly, just as if it can hardly turn itself at all, but, on the contrary, when I arrange several crossbars, pulley and weights, the machine can revolve much faster, and throw Wagner's calculations clean out of the window!"

Now my new interpretation using equally acceptable alternative words:

"So in an  earlier work, I used just (or only) a (or one) cross, so to speak (or as it were),
"So you will see it, is very slow and hard to turn around by itself; On the other hand, (or whereas) if I added more crosses, pulleys and weights, then the device can run much faster;"

The word used in the German text is
 Gleichsam = so to speak, or as it were.  
 In the English dictionary, .
(definition of 'so to speak' = so to speak to draw attention to the fact that you are describing or referring to something in a way that may be amusing or unusual rather than completely accurate)

With his first use of the word "Kreuze", he is saying that it is like a cross.  In the second part he is saying, add these other parts, as well as more crossbars....... but he doesn't mean crosses.  This is why the first use of the word Kreuze, is separate from the second use.

I believe his intention in the first use of the word "kreuze" was to confirm the need for five mechanisms and not four.  So the first part is saying if you use four mechanisms the wheel will hardly turn, but if you use more by adding additional crossbars to the four you already have, then the wheel will turn fast.

So there are potentially three pieces of information; firstly, is that there needs to be more than four  mechanisms; secondly, there is a portion at least of the scissor mechanism involved, and thirdly, he tells us that we need to add more crossbars, weights, pulleys and cord.


The Legend of Bessler’s Wheel and the Orffyreus Code

My apologies to all, I accidentally deleted my post about my progress on reconstructing Bessler’s wheel!  I lost all the comments too, and...