Friday, 5 June 2020

Bessler’s Illustrations

Accidentally deleted this one!  Trying to get the comments back.....

Here is the second of my Bessler code interpretations.

The first thing I realised many years ago is that if Bessler was serious about leaving clues for people he would have to use drawings to hide his information. Maschinen Tractate (M.T.) was never published, plus he had left suggestions that answers could be found in both Apologia Poetica (AP) and Das Triumphirende (D.T.)

On the frontispiece of his collection of drawings (M.T.) he scrawled a message, “ NB. May 1, 1733. Due to the arrest, I burned and buried all papers that prove the possibility. However, I have left all demonstrations and experiments, since it would be difficult for anybody to see or learn anything about a perpetual motion from them or to decide whether there was any truth in them because no illustration by itself contains a description of the motion; however, taking various illustrations together and combining them with a discerning mind, it will indeed be possible to look for a movement and, finally to find one in them."

This message has been routinely misunderstood, in my opinion. When he mentions ‘taking various illustrations together’, etc, he is not just talking about the drawings in M.T., he is including the other drawings in GB, AP, and DT. I wrote a blog about this on Wednesday, 15 November 2017, entitled ‘Johann Bessler’s drawings hold the key’. There are other instances where I have pointed out the sources I have found useful in interpreting information among Bessler’s works; one blog dated 8th June 2019 list several other examples.

In the beginning I thought that the illustrations in both Grundlicher Bericht (G.B.) and D.T. were unnecessary. I assumed they were added to make his books a bit more interesting, but then I began to examine them in more detail and discovered the pentagram. The drawing which is from DT has been shown at the top of this blog for a long time.

To save space I shall try to limit the number of drawings I include, and also my interpretation of the clues will be brief as I’ve already almost completed a book about them and I don’t want to repeat that lengthy process with each page.  There are more than fifty clues interpreted and it’s  ok in book form, but there are too many illustrations to post here.  I apologise for this but time is limited and I’m sure you will understand the clues.  I am including some in this blog, see below. This first illustration will turn out to be the most important of all Bessler’s illustrations. It will become a most highly esteemed work of art mixed with mechanical engineering, once people begin to appreciate the huge amount of information which is hidden within. See below.

fig 4. The Pentagram.jpg
In the drawing above, the red line follows the path of the rope which passes behind the wheel. A second line, green, is drawn from the centre of the wheel at right angles to the first line. It terminates at the full stop, or period after the second ‘x’ or etc, in the title line at the top of the picture. It grazes the top of one of the pillars numbered 12, and the edge of one of the weights on the left end of the crossbar on the T shaped pendulum. The two ends of the red line and the point on the circumference of the wheel where the green, second line, the perpendicular one, crosses it, mark three of the points of a pentagram. The remaining points, in yellow, are easy to find. Note that the hatching lines on the wheel align with the lower left yellow chord of the pentagram. The blue line crossing from an alignment with the left side pendulum runs through the centre of the wheel and crosses the right side of the wheel to mark another point on the pentagram. The bottom of the main pillar completes the five markers.

The pentagram is not there as a symbol, it is designed to guide you into understanding the construction, but it requires additional help. This help involves the other illustrations in DT, and also there are some vital pieces of information embedded in the text of AP and DT. The Toys page in MT contains what I would describe as back-up clues which can only be seen to fit after you have solved most of the established clues.

More implications of the importance of the number 5 follow

Above are two illustrations demonstrating two ways to find a pentagram in the AP wheel. In addition the three white segments measure 24 degrees, which divides into 360 degrees, 5 times.

In the two drawings above the one on the right is MT137, but the one on the left is a modern version of design by Johann David Heinichen a contemporary of Bessler’s who lived in the same town at the same time, which he invented as an aid for musicians. It was known as a Circle of fifths



  1. You have certainly shown that Bessler had a pentagon concealed in his Merseburg wheel engraving. But does that really have anything to do with how his wheels worked? Many artists prior to him were putting geometrical figures into their paintings and drawings either hidden or obvious. Here's an engraving done in 1514 by German artist Albrecht Durer titled "Melencolia II" where he does not attempt to hide his pentagons:

    Bessler may have used the pentagon for its symbolism. It's five corners were considered to represent the five things needed to maintain life which were air, earth, fire, water, and spirit. You can also draw a pentagram or five pointed star inside of a pentagon. It's five points were considered to represent the five penetrating wounds to Jesus' body during the crucifixion which were one through each hand or wrist by a nail, one through each foot by another nail, and one to the chest by the head of a spear. We have to remember that Bessler was very religious and would have been familiar with such symbolism. I think that symbolism is more likely the reason he hid the pentagon in his drawing than it had anything to do with his wheel's inner parts. It was his way of honoring the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and also thanking God for letting him find a pm wheel that worked.

    1. Anon 21:17 I think you got it exactly right when you suggested that the pentagon John found in that wheel is a symbol for the elements that sustain life. Consider this quote from page 52 of GB:

      “Is there such a thing in nature as perpetual motion, or a perpetuum mobile? And whether it may be possible for human hands to introduce into material bodies, in themselves lifeless, a permanent innate motive force, a constant interchange of rise and fall, of excess and deficient weight, resulting, as it were, in a living machine. Imagine how a heavy material body, in defiance of its innate natural tendency to gravitate towards the center of the earth, could be induced to rise once more.”

      Hiding that pentagon in his wheel might have been Bessler's way of saying they were not just machines but actually alive and he probably considered them to be in some way. Finding pentagons in his drawings is one thing but proving they describe the arrangement of his wheels' internal components is something else. If one tries hard enough he could probably find hidden triangles, squares, hexagons, and octagons in them as well.

  2. I am sure Bessler thought any resemblances between components within his wheel and religious symbols were signs from god. I suspect that if I try hard enough, I can line up the Energizer Bunny to points within the wheel. Surely that would have great significance within the rabbit world.

  3. Hi John .. just a technical observation. I could be wrong. In your first illustration labelled "fig 4, the pentagram" you have joined the points you've established to form an upside down pentagram in yellow. If the bottom most point is located on the mid bottom of the support post like you show would not the pentagrams top side be exactly horizontal ? All the sides would be of equal length to make a true pentagram with the correct angles. If the others positions are close enough to make the pentagram shape then the bottom point should be somewhere to the right looking at the illustration ? Perhaps Bessler wasn't after pentagram accuracy in that illustration ?


    1. Yes you’re right fletcher, but the problem will go away in my next blog, and your point will be seen to prove the next interpretation which explains it, and will correct it. JC

    2. Exactly my point Fletcher. The explanation is probably as far-fetched as the idea itself.

      If the drawing was based on a pentagram it would be a perfect pentagram. But here the pentagram is based on the drawing and that’s why it doesn’t fit.

      He is talking only about the illustrations in MT and only a few are important.

    3. JC used a graphical approach to find that pentagon and he definitely did even though it's not a perfect geometric figure as some have noted. A numerologist would not be that upset by its lack of perfection though. However, he would look at that Merseburg wheel drawing and consider using a different approach. Instead of focusing on the wheel's drum and the objects around its circumference, he might focus instead the wheel's horizontal axle and the two vertical wooden pieces at its ends that support that axle. They form a giant letter H and it is geometrically perfect. There's another H formed by the pieces that support that swinging pendulum thing on the right full face view of the wheel (and there would be yet another H on the other hidden side of the drum). Why all of these letter H's?

      H is the eight letter of the alphabet and has an alphanumeric value of 8. That could then be used to suggest there were 8 lever mechanisms inside of Bessler's wheels instead of 5. But that doesn't mean the pentagon JC found should be ignored. It has 5 corners and when you add 5 and 8 you get 5 + 8 = 13 which is a number used often in the Bible. I consider this yet another way that Bessler uses his drawings to express his belief that if it hadn't been for God, he never would have invented a working pm wheel. And who's to say he was wrong?

      So 5 mechanisms or 8? That is the question and, as I predicted last blog, I am 100% convinced this question will be determined before the end of this year 2020 or ours.

      Sayer of Sooths

    4. Poor John. He's offering up his best evidence to support his version of Bessler's wheel here and what does he get for it from his "friends"? Just a lot of criticism, doubt, negativity, and skepticism. Is it any wonder he doesn't want to reveal his wheel to anyone? He's not eager to see it used for more target practice by his "friends" as they proceed to shoot it full of holes! No one would.

      As it says in the Holy Bible in Matthew 7:6:

      "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you."

      I found this about the pearl symbol online:

      "According to history and the myths, pearls are symbolic of wisdom gained through experience. The gems are believed to offer protection, as well as attract good luck and wealth. ... It is also said that these little gemstones are symbolic of the wearer's loyalty, generosity, integrity, and purity."

      You might want to keep all of this in mind, John, as you continue to "cast the pearls" of your wheel clues here.

  4. As Fletcher noted, the yellow shape is not a perfect pentagram, not even close. Is this another case of trying to force a shape into his drawing where it does not actually exist, or did Bessler perhaps skew his drawing in some way? I look forward to John's next installment.

    Additionally, some have suggested a 3-4-5 triangle exists in the drawing, with the "5" side (the hypotenuse) lining up with the RED line. Well if you lay a true 3-4-5 triangle on top of the drawing, you will again see the lines do not add up. Some suggested the drawing was streched, and yet the shapes within the drawing do not looked stretched out of shape. Will John's update correct this anomaly as well.

  5. There may be a very simple explanation as to how Bessler's wheel actually worked. And it may surprise you...

    According to various eyewitness accounts, the wheel (specifically the one-way design) had a lot of force when turning, and was very hard to stop. Once stopped, the force abated somewhat (attributed to momentum) and a lesser force still prevailed (attributed to overbalanced weights), by which the wheel had to be anchored by a rope. The two-way wheel had a switching apparatus that had to be specially activated every time when stopped or started.

    Yet Wagner noted that, as he observed through slits in the wheel, there were no weights moving up and down. How can this possibly be?

    The maid's testimony against Bessler was dismissed on the grounds that Willem s'Gravesande and others had found no "direct mechanical linkage" to the wheel, a fact agreed upon by Wagner himself, so that the power indeed appeared to be coming from within the wheel itself, and not from an external source, such as a maid in the next room over.

    But what if that was Bessler's greatest feat of accomplishment - an act of deception so masterfully wrought mechanically that nobody ever suspected his method of doing so?

    Let us consider now the general ideas postulated. Wagner's idea was that the wheel was operated by a spring - clearly false. Bessler's greatest asset was his truth, so much so that he could cover up his act without telling a lie, and he said no clock springs were in his wheel, and furthermore at Kassel he offered to let his wheel run for a long time.

    Even the lockhaven edu article is faulty in claiming that a heavy suspended weight slowly fell within the wheel to turn it, since that too would have low power plus a limited run time.

    But Bessler's wheel could run almost forever until its parts wore out, and with undiminished power. How did this happen? Was the maid right? And could Bessler pull off the scheme of using an external power source to turn the wheel without using a direct mechanical connection?

    The answer stares us in the face as we look in the inventory list made of his possessions. Among those items listed are "lodestones," powerful magnetic weights which could easily have been used in the wheel and mistaken for lead by someone not checking for magnetism. These weights, once in rotation, would lend momentum to the wheel.

    A similar wheel, hidden in the next room over and places in line with the wheel seen in public, would be turned by a maid or other power source with lodestones in it as well. Magnetic attraction would cause inductive rotation in Bessler's public wheel, which would spin with power and continuity from the private wheel.

    Underneath Kassel was a network of rivers and streams and waterfalls, whereby a constant flow of water could drive a hidden wheel. The Kassel wheel needed to be big to contain larger lodestones, so as to increase the magnetic attraction to the hidden wheel deep below.

    Karl would say the wheel is authentic while Bessler offered to let it run forever, as nobody ever would suspect magnetic induction was powering the wheel.

    1. "Yes you’re right fletcher, but the problem will go away in my next blog, and your point will be seen to prove the next interpretation which explains it, and will correct it. JC"

      OK thanks ..

      Anonymous 6 June 2020 at 03:46 above ..

      Interesting theory. Loadstones, just like magnets, have a very short range of practical effect. Their force is governed by the inverse square of distance law, as is gravity attraction. This means more than an inch or inches of separation is about the maximum range of influence.

      Anonymous 6 June 2020 at 05:08 .. what a load of rubbish sent from behind an anonymous computer screen. Legitimate questions are never a threat, they lead to sometimes robust discussions, which a sound theory should be able to weather and withstand without crumbling.


    2. The problem with anon 03:46's explanation for how Bessler's wheels could have been faked is that natural lodestones aren't really strong enough for such a use especially over a distance of tens of feet. Having an identical manually powered wheel with lodestones around its rim in an adjoining room wouldn't have been able to power either the Merseburg or Kassel wheels. The adjoining rooms were always inspected prior to an official test to make sure they had nothing like that in them. I'm also sure that they would have suspected lodestones and scanned the areas above and below a wheel's drum to see if they were affecting a compass's magnetized needle. If they had we would have heard about it.

  6. A pentagon is any polygon with 5 sides and 5 angles just like a triangle is any polygon with 3 sides and 3 angles .

    A pentagon does not have a top , it can be in any orientation.


  7. FOUND IT! I just got the link to Ken B's "Bessler Day" celebration video. He really did produce an "extravaganza" this time. Fasten your seat belts before watching it!

    1. Awesome way to celebrate Bessler Day 2020. First he sends us back in time hundreds of years and then he gives us x-ray vision so we can see through the walls of a castle!

    2. Interesting video. I assume he used wm2d for it. I'm still trying to figure out how he made that rope wrap around a square pulley on the water pump and how he made those water drops suddenly appear in thin air before falling into the floor funnel. Nice special effects in this one. Great music too.

    3. Most likely the real purpose of Ken's video is to promote his Bessler wheel book. However I must admit that it is well made, interesting to watch, and more than I expected. He's obviously become skilled at making these animations.

      Aside from being "Bessler Day" today was also the 76th anniversary of the Allies' invasion of Normandy, France that resulted in about 10,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers becoming casualties. Of them about 2,500 died. Their sacrifice helped chase the Nazis out of western Europe and put an end to Hitler's dream of a Third Reich that would rule the world for a thousand years. I didn't hear a single word of any of that mentioned in the news today. How quickly past wars are forgotten.

      Anonymous and PROUD of it!

    4. AAPOI wrote "Most likely the real purpose of Ken's video is to promote his Bessler wheel book."

      What a surprise. Have you ever known an author who didn't want to sell books? Lol!

      We talk a lot about Bessler's writings here and I've often wondered how many of his self published pamphlets he actually managed to sell. Was it hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of copies of each pamphlet? I recall reading somewhere that there are only a few dozen of his different books still in existence in the rare book rooms of university libraries over in Europe. I think most people back then probably learned about him and his wheels from local newspaper accounts. A newspaper back then was only a few pages! Much of their knowledge of him may also have been just by word of mouth since the illiteracy rate was probably very high back then.

      I also wonder how much he charged for a pamphlet. Again we talk much about thalers which were silver coins that contained about an ounce of silver each. I think someone mentioned one of them was the average daily wage of a person back then. But, they must have had smaller coins of some sort like a half or quarter thaler and maybe even smaller copper coins. If you went to a baker to buy one loaf of bread and only had one thaler then a loaf was probably a lot cheaper and he had to have some way to give you change. I wonder how much Bessler was charging someone back then for a copy of GB, AP, or DT? Probably much less than a whole thaler.

      There's still so much we don't know about Bessler and how life really was back in the early 18th century.

    5. One of the many things Ken B. gets right in his video is the tops and bottoms of the vertical wood beams that supported the Kassel wheel's axle. Those beams don't make direct contact with the ceiling and floor. They were attached to strong metal pieces which were then fastened to the ceiling and floor. Because these metal pieces were curved, there was a gap between the top and bottom of a beam and the ceiling and floor probably big enough to put your hand into and you could clearly see there was no drive rods or belts going down to the axle pivots inside of the beams from the ceiling. That detail alone shows how much that fired maid of Bessler's was lying about how the Kassel wheel was being powered. Her claim about it being powered from an adjoining room was total bs.

    6. AAPOI wrote: "He's obviously become skilled at making these animations."

      Skilled? He's actually turned WM2D models into a sort of art form! I'm still trying to figure out how he made that water gushing out of the water pump look so realistic. If you study his video carefully you'll see that it actually has well over sixteen moving objects in it. I wouldn't even know where to begin to try to make something like this.

  8. Well, now, look at that... I see that Ken B has started a thread about his cartoon. :)

    And he started talking to himself in it, and discussing it. :)

    Interesting details though. Keep talking Ken.

    P.S. Protesting and denying you are Ken will be laughable. Especially the anonymous. :))

    1. Which thread do you think is Ken's?

    2. Good point. All of them except the one that Fletcher started.

    3. Yes Marinus, I’m sure that all of the promotions come from Ken. Who else would describe the video as an “extravaganza” and “awesome”? And the x-ray view of the machine! Hilarious!

      Again Ken you present speculation as fact. You have no idea how the supporting pillars were fixed to the ceiling, so why do you continue to make these absurd guesses when they are akin to fake news?

      Stick to the facts!


    4. "Good point. All of them except the one that Fletcher started".
      Are you sure? Even that one from Marius 7 is Ken?
      You should talk to your psy about this.

    5. Nope. That's me. I thought you would understand. Sorry about that.

    6. I doubt if anon 18:01 who provided the link to Ken's latest video above or any of the replies to him are actually Ken B. To believe that we'd have to believe he has nothing better to do than post here around the clock.

      As far as "sticking to the facts" is concerned I see nothing in his Bessler's Day animation that is not factual. I like the comment that anon 10:25 made about the metal pieces at the ends of the Kassel wheel's beams which definitely disprove the fired maid's false testimony. It was because of that testimony that we never got to see the drawings in MT that showed how Bessler's wheels worked. Say what you want, but the fact is that Ken promised someone last blog that he would be releasing a new video on 6/6/2020 and he delivered it right on time as promised. What did anyone else here do to honor Bessler on that day?

    7. The comment about the roof fixings was not a fact, just speculation. Such details get repeated and before long it’s become a fact, but it isn’t established and may conflict with genuine facts which may be documented at a later date. Although that may not seem an important detail, it might, but it might also encourage further speculation which in its turn may become fake facts. I have struggled to maintain documented facts in the face of a journalistic licence, such as was published by Frank Edwards in his books, and I’m afraid that Ken B. is heading that way too. Why on earth he cannot state that this is his opinion and not documented anywhere, beats me!

      His book is overloaded with speculation disguised as facts and it should be born in mind by serious researchers to take his “facts” with a generous dose of salt.


    8. "To believe that we'd have to believe he has nothing better to do than post here around the clock."

      Well, there you have it. That's exactly what you're doing.
      You wanna start a thread about it?

    9. JC wrote: "The comment about the roof fixings was not a fact, just speculation."

      Speculation? If you look at the tops and bottoms of the Kassel wheel's vertical supports in the DT drawings you can clearly see that they do not touch the ceiling and floor as Ken B shows in his latest video. Are you completely blind? I think you've been looking for pentagons for too long!

    10. You are referring to the Archimedes water pump which shows the posts bolted to the ceiling, but there’s nothing to say that this was in anyway done to prove no connection through the ceiling, and it would not have been necessary because the bearings were open and the wheel was translocated to the other set of bearings. Just speculation.

      Any more from Ken or his sock puppet, who seems to worship everything that Ken does, and I’ll delete it. I see no good reason to support his work.


    11. John, your replies are actually starting to become incoherent now! Are you even reading the comments here or are you just skimming them? Everyone here has been talking about the large metal brackets between the ends of the main wooden support beams of the Kassel wheel's axle and NOT about the various braces on the water pump.

      I think you are just envious because Ken got some praise for his video here while everyone has been dumping on your pentagon clues. I don't blame you for being envious, but Ken must have made quite an effort to make his video and have it uploaded in time for Bessler Day and I and many others here appreciate it. Imo, he has well earned any praise he's received as a result.

    12. I think anon, 19.06, that it is you who is incoherent. Quotinganon.10.25 “ One of the many things Ken B. gets right in his video is the tops and bottoms of the vertical wood beams that supported the Kassel wheel's axle.”. The only illustrations in DT showing them as described by anon, 10.25 are on the the last drawing, the Archimedes pump.

      I’m not the slightest bit envious of Ken, but I am sorry for him. He has put in a tremendous amount of work culminating in his massive book, and yet it is not built on solid foundations. If you are a true friend, or Ken himself, stop posting here, get your own blog, and leave us to my incoherent replies. JC

    13. Anon 19:06 said:

      "Everyone here has been talking about the....and NOT about the various braces on the water pump."

      Various braces? From what I can make out in his drawing that water pump's front end is only supported by a single floor to ceiling piece of wood which held the pump's stationary center iron rod while the body of the water pump rotated around it. Here's a link to the DT drawing:

    14. John wrote at 13:28 "...I’m sure that all of the promotions come from Ken. Who else would describe the video as an “extravaganza” and “awesome”? And the x-ray view of the machine! Hilarious!"

      IIRC there was another poster over a week ago that said he found out Ken was going to release this video and it was that poster who first said he thought it would be an "extravaganza" and not Ken. I think the anonymous poster in this blog using the word "extravaganza" was just quoting what that earlier poster from over a week ago said. As far as his video being "awesome" in concerned, I wouldn't disagree with that description of it. The music is very powerful and perfectly suited to the scene depicted. Also, that other poster above said that in his video it looked like Ken gave us x-ray vision so we could see through the walls of the CASTLE and not the machine itself. Just trying to set the record straight here. Ken never actually said any of the things you implied he did.

  9. It's all apart of the Behrendt's curse! At least his roof fittings make more sense than his wheel------------------------------Sam

  10. The Kassel engravings ( 1 & 2 ) seem to show vertical support posts with ends terminated by air gap brackets with bolt fixings at floor and ceiling. Presumably to make the structure sturdy and immovable. Because the first is a stylized drawing it shows the Archimedes screw supported by them as well as a pendulum. The stamper lifting arrangement in the same engraving uses a different support of plinth as seen in the Merseburg engravings IINM.

    The support posts at the position of the brackets is labelled item 10 in the Kassel legend and items 4 in the Merseburg. Which might shed some light.

    For anyone interested do a search at for the name "Kendrick". You will read various accounts of Kendrick visiting the castle and viewing the wheel room and comments relating to holes in the ceiling.

    That seems to tie in with the bolt heads shown in the Kassel engravings. However JC is correct. It is speculation on Ken's part, or his proxy, that the air gap brackets totally discount the testimony of the maid turning a handle in an adjoining room. AFAIK all we know is that there are holes in the ceiling at Kassel but nothing about plinths (and their attachment) or if the air gap brackets were actually used. I could be wrong.


  11. Fletcher wrote: "It is speculation on Ken's part, or his proxy, that the air gap brackets totally discount the testimony of the maid turning a handle in an adjoining room."

    You're joking right? If Bessler was using the ex-maid's suggested method to turn his wheels, it would have been immediately obvious to those doing official testing of the wheel. Those air gaps would have been some of the first things they inspected. We have to remember that the people examining his wheels were highly suspicious of a hoax and were looking for every conceivable way it could be done. Imo, the presence of those air gaps would have totally negated the ex-maid's bogus fraud charge against Bessler.

    Those air gaps can be seen, as you say, in both the first and second DT figures. After one studies them in the two drawings, it becomes obvious that these brackets had to be rectangular in shape and each secured in place by a large head bolt at each of its four corners. Each bracket was actually like small thick metal table whose four legs' curved out ends were bolted down to either the floor or ceiling. There would have been an opening on each of a bracket's four sides and the wheel's examiners would have been able to look into all four of those openings to see the air gap. They do look just big enough to insert one's hand into them. On its bottom or top side the wheel's examiners would have felt the solid surface of the floor or ceiling and on the other side the solid iron surface of the bracket. They would know it would be physically impossible for anything such as that lying ex-maid's metal rod to have reached the wheel's pivot through either of the main verticals to turn the axle.

    Bessler did not use these types of metal brackets on the main verticals for his Merseburg wheel. They look like they were simply wedged into place between the room's floor and ceiling and then enclosed with wood pieces. Because of that I'm sure those who saw the Merseburg wheel running immediately suspected that it was being somehow secretly driven through its axle's main verticals. His detractors would also have been pointing that out in their attacks on him. That was probably the reason Bessler went to the extra trouble and expense of using the metal brackets on the Kassel wheel. He wanted to weaken his critics' attacks on him as much as possible.

  12. FT > No, I'm not joking. Here's the quotes from Wiki>Chronology page.

    "1727 : Bessler's maid, Anne Rosine Mauersbergerin, testified to authorities that Bessler's wheel had been turned manually from the beginning at Gera. Bessler, his wife, his brother Gottfried, and her had taken turns to rotate the machine. She alleged the turning was carried out by a small crank in an adjoining room. She claimed that the posts had been hollowed out and contained a long thin piece of iron with a barb at the bottom which was attached to the shaft journal.

    Professor Willem 'sGravesande responded to the maid's allegations:

    "...They say that a servant under oath, turned Orffyreus' machine, she being in an adjoining room. I know perfectly well that Orffyreus is mad, but I have no reason to think him an imposter... This I know, as certainly as anything in the world, that if the servant says the above, she tells a great falsehood... [During the examination,] I ordered the machine be dismounted from its supports, and we saw the bearings uncovered. I examined the bearings on which the journals rested and there did not appear any trace of communication with the adjoining room. I remember very distinctly the whole set of circumstances regarding that investigation..."

    During official tests, hundreds of highly respected and impartial people carefully examined the bearings and attested to the fact that no sign of fraud could be found, even when the wheel was moved from one set of supports to another. Regardless, the maid's testimony forever tarnished Bessler's reputation."

    FT > You'll note the claim was made that ALL his wheels from the beginning were turned in this manner i.e. a crank communicating from the adjoining room thru hollow posts to a barb interacting with the journal.

    'sGravesande disputes this claim. Saying he ordered the wheel dismounted from its supports. He inspected the bearings and journals. He saw no source of communication with an adjoining room. Presumably no evidence of hollowed out posts, and rods thru their centers either vertically or horizontally. What he doesn't say is that he inspected the metal air gap brackets at the top or bottom of the supports where he would expect to easily see a rod passing thru said air gap. The attachment method to the roof and floor is not mentioned at all. You'd think it would be if it either hindered or helped the maids claim.


  13. Merseburg Wheel Test 1715 (wheel translocated) : Furthermore the inventor, Orffyreus, in the presence of all, lifted the machine described above from its original wooden support. The timber posts were carefully examined from both top and bottom, as well as in the middle, particularly where a small cut was noticed. The same careful examination was devoted to the trunnions, the shaft, and to the bearings. During the inspection, not the slightest indication of imposture or deceit was found, rather everything was found to be right, complete, and without fault.

    As further proof of its internal or inherent motive power, the machine was translocated to another support in such a way that the trunnions on both sides of the axle were laid uncovered in the open sockets. The whole assembly could see over and under, and both sides of the machine; and all present were invited to inspect the bearings, but no holes were found. All present examined them with their eyes, but no sign of fraud was seen.

    Kassel Wheel Long Duration Test 1717 : To refute allegations that the machine was driven by a hidden external means, Prince Karl ordered the wheel transferred to a large hall in the middle of the castle. The room, having been designed for defense, had stone walls four feet thick and one small entry door, making it easy to seal and guard during the test. To counter accusations that a man or an animal drove the machine from inside, the test period was set for a fortnight in duration.

    First the wheel and bearings were closely inspected by the eminently respectable panel of investigators assembled by the Prince. The examinations were conducted for two days. The wheel and framework were pushed to different parts of the room, the wheel was stopped and started, and the entire apparatus was meticulously inspected for any sign of fraud. None was found.

    On November 12, the machine was put into motion and the door was locked and officially sealed with wax. Two military guards were posted outside the entrance. On November 26, the investigators verified that the seals were undisturbed and entered the room to find the wheel spinning at 26 revolutions per minute. They stopped the wheel, inspected it, and restarted it. The room was again locked, sealed, and guarded. On January 4th, 1718, 54 days after the start of the test, the examiners suddenly requested access to the room. The seals showed no signs of tampering. Upon entering the room, the group found the wheel continuing as before in its uninterrupted motion. Nothing suspicious was found.

    FT > Note the wheel and framework were pushed around to different parts of the room over 2 days. No mention of brackets bolted to the ceiling.

    So it is pure speculation that the air gap brackets were actually used as a permanent anchor to the floor and ceiling. Indeed they were not because the machine (i.e. the wheel and framework) was moved around the room to various positions in the room.


    1. "Bessler's maid, Anne Rosine Mauersbergerin, testified to authorities that Bessler's wheel had been turned manually from the beginning at Gera."

      Good trick considering the Gera wheel was initially demonstrated out of doors in the Gera town square! IIRC, there was also a later newspaper announcement in which it was said Bessler originally offered to demonstrate the Merseburg wheel at some religious festival which would have been out of doors. If so he probably would have had the wheel's axle held in a mobile framework and placed inside of a tent of some sort to protect it from the weather (Bessler probably also would have slept in that tent at night during the days of the festival with a loaded gun nearby to protect his wheel!). Again, this easily refutes his ex-maid's phony charge.

      " 'sGravesande...doesn't say...that he inspected the metal air gap brackets at the top or bottom of the supports where he would expect to easily see a rod passing thru said air gap."

      He probably didn't mention it because he didn't personally examine the air gaps. Others would have done that and maybe he thought his inspections of the bearings alone were enough to prove that they weren't turned by a crank rod hidden inside of a vertical support beam. His statement does not prove the air gaps were not examined.

      "Note the wheel and framework were pushed around to different parts of the room over 2 days. No mention of brackets bolted to the ceiling."

      The Kassel wheel, without its weights, probably weighed in excess of 600 pounds. If the wheel, minus its weights, was removed from its vertical support beams, they wouldn't have been able to rest it on the floor on its rim while they "pushed its framework around" to different parts of the room. It's fragile wooden drum frame would have been damaged by its own weight. They would have had a second pair of vertical support beams set up and ready to receive the wheel immediately after it was removed from its original pair of vertical support beams. That second pair of vertical support beams would, like the original, also have been attached to the floor and ceiling using those heavy metal brackets that created an air gap. That would help assure that there was no drive rod hidden inside of one of the second vertical support beams to drive the wheel.

      However, I guess it's also possible the entire wheel and axle, minus its lead weights, could have been suspended from the ceiling by ropes or chains while its original vertical support beams, along with their end metal brackets, were relocated in another part of the room at a location selected by the examiners. The separation between the beams would then have to be very carefully measured to make sure that the axle's pivots would perfectly fit into the brass bearing pieces inside of the beams.

  14. "The wheel and framework were pushed to different parts of the room ..."

    Read what is written, not what you want to read. There is no mention at all of air gap brackets, for good or bad. They were included in B's. engraving of the Kassel wheel for DT, is all. But the stamper has a plinth and probably shims, perhaps bolts were intended in the same stylized engraving.

    The "Examinations" Page actually says paraphrased "At Kassel (in 1717) the WHEEL AND FRAMEWORK were PUSHED to different parts of the room. There is no mention of a translocation Test from one set of supports to another etc. That was undertaken in the Merseburg Test of 1715.

    You have lots of theories of this and that, and that's fine as far as it goes. It's when theories are presented like facts, dear I say it, as in Ken's latest video, that a line is blurred, imo. All good scholars give their references for fact checking and credibility. If you have different information to that written in the Chronology and Examinations Accounts of I will be happy to read them and review my position about what are facts and what are not accordingly.


    1. f's reply about the air gaps kind of reminds me of those made by guys who see those dual pendulums attached to the ends of the Merseburg and Kassel wheels' axles yet insist they never existed because they can't find them mentioned in any of the letters written by those that examined the two wheels. Apparently, the idea that they might have been temporarily removed prior to the examinations never occurs to them.

      Now we are supposed to believe, because JC and f have decided so, that those air gaps that are obvious in both drawings of the Kassel wheel really served no purpose. Maybe Bessler only installed them for decorative reasons because he happened to like the way they looked? Lol!

      Well, you guys can keep right on telling yourselves that if you want. But your subjective beliefs don't necessarily correspond to objective reality and in this case I think have zero to do with objective reality!

    2. Perhaps you’re correct. It’s just a matter of opinion. You can believe what ever you want, even the existence of those pendulums.


  15. Once again the message is misconstrued. I can quiet easily believe the air gap brackets (if physically present) in the Kassel Wheel were intended to visually deflect potential accusations of opportunity for fraud, via cranks thru the supports to floor or ceiling etc etc. Like the Mereburg engraving shows the square 'inspection' hole at the bottom of the support post while the Kassel does not. The point is they appear in the Kassel engraving but are not established as a 'physical fact' from the witnesses. Nor was their intended purpose known as a fact, tho the theory seems practical. Therefore Ken's video animation can not be touted as factual. And that was the point JC originally made to state speculations, much to some persons chagrin.


  16. Does it matter? We are already passed the fact that Bessler's wheels must be genuine. Let him play with his WM2D. Don't expect anything serious comming from Ken.


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