## Saturday, 19 December 2020

### A Revision of the Estimated Weight of the Kassel Wheel.

In my biography of Johann Bessler, ‘Perpetual Motion; An Ancient Mystery Solved?’, I gave a fairly detailed explanation of how I estimated the weight of the Kassel wheel.  I did that a few years ago and I think that I overestimated the weight.

So my new starting point was the translocation of the wheel between the two sets of bearings.  Bessler explained that he had to remove the weights prior to translocation because despite the strength of his brother, it ‘would have needed the devil to lift it’. I had previously assumed that the two men might have been able to lift the wheel plus it’s axle and covering oil cloth, if it weighed no more than 300 pounds without the weights, but I now think that would still have been too heavy and prefer to assume an unladen weight of 200 pounds, so they would need to lift 100 pounds each.

How the lift was carried out is not described other than to say the wheel was carried a few steps to the second set of bearings.  I speculated the presence of a movable platform on either side of the wheel, stretching from before one set of bearings to beyond the other, raising the two brothers so their shoulders could get under the axle which was at least six feet off the ground.  But they could also have done without the platform by using a pair of special ‘Y’ shaped yokes resting on their shoulders and high enough to fit under the axle.

Alternatively if they used two long poles over thirteen foot in length, they could each support opposite ends of the two poles which passed along the two sides of the wheel and under the axle, and  simply carry it from A to B.  But those poles would be heavy so would add to the weight they had to carry.  A system based on two specially adapted wheel barrows designed to fit under the axle would have worked, but I still favour the use of platforms because they would also make it easy for the examiners to study the bearings from close to, and from above, as well as below, something they were easily able to do.

So at what weight did it require ‘the devil to lift it?’ We don’t know how many weights there were, but Christian Wolff describes how he was able to handle one of several weights and estimated its weight at four pounds.  If we begin by assuming that there were eight weights, one for each of the eight spokes that’s an extra thirty two pounds to the two hundred pounds of  the unladen wheel.

If the wheel contained a mirror image of duplicate weights designed to turn it in either direction then the total weight of the wheel to be lifted is 264 pounds, but is that beyond the capabilities of the two brothers to lift it?  I don’t think it’s enough, and of course many people think the mirrored mechanism wasn’t necessary leaving the total at 232.

Perhaps there were two four pound weights on each spoke?  That would make the total either 264 or 328 pounds if it used the mirror image.  I’m not even sure if Bessler would think that was too heavy, but at this point it’s worth considering how long it would take to remove and replace 32, 4 pound weights every time he did a translocation. How patient would his audience of high ranking men be?  I don’t know, but Bessler was a natural showman I imagine he explained in humorous tones what he was doing and why, but it was still a fairly lengthy task.

Wolff describes the sound of a spring being ‘raised aloft’, but I don’t know what that would sound like, but I think it must have related to the way the weights were attached to levers.  The simplest method allowing quick attachment and detachment  would be some kind of split pin above and below the weights through the lever even so it might take at least 30 minutes to detach and reattach the weights, and move the wheel, each time he did a translocation.

Of course as many here know, I still think there might have been only five mechanisms which would reduce the weight of the wheel, leaving the option to add more weights.

Finally why did Bessler wrap the weights in a handkerchief prior to allowing them to be handled by witnesses? Although Wolff thought it was done to disguise the appearance of the weights I think it was to protect his visitors hands from animal grease used as a lubricant in the mechanisms.  This brings me to another potentially limiting factor - the bearings,

I think the Kassel wheel was designed to achieve the endurance test, so it was designed to turn more slowly, yet still have the ability to lift the 70 pound box of stones.  It also had to have bearings which could survive the endurance test without failing too soon.  They were only three quarters of an inch thick to reduce friction and must have been well greased.  Animal fats or combinations of olive oil or linseed oil and thickeners such as chalk were commonly used but were probably messy and with Bessler handling weights frequently they needed to be wrapped to protect his visitors from spoiling their hands and clothing. Apparently some lubricants in common use were ‘black slugs’ so that would increase the desire not to offend his audience by spreading their residue!

The size of the bearings must have limited the weight they could support without failing and therefore I would limit the maximum weight of the whole wheel to be no more than 500 pounds, which allows for more weights if necessary. These extra weights might be necessary in order to achieve the lifting of the 70 pound box of stones and the turning of the Archimedes screw. Perhaps Bessler included some kind of bath or reservoir of lubricant around each bearing during the endurance test to maintain sufficient lubrication during the endurance test.

JC

1. Bonjour John.
Une roue ca roule, une fois posée au sol il suffit de la guider.
JB

1. JB wrote ‘ A wheel is rolling, once placed on the ground you just need to guide it.’

What can I say? 🤔 JC

2. @John

If Ken B is right then you are grossly under estimating the weight of the Kassel wheel. He estimates a total weight for the wheel of 1,100 pounds. Like you he also thinks that wheel contained two back to back one way wheels. He says there were eight levers per one way wheel for a total of sixteen levers inside of its drum. But he thinks that each lever actually had three 8 pound weights attached to the ends of a parallel pair of arms using long bolts that passed through a hole drilled through the center axis of each cylindrical weight (as we all know, the weights in the previously constructed Merseberg wheel were only four pounds each based on witness testimony). Ken thinks that to impress Karl, Bessler would have promised to make him a wheel with double the power of the Merseburg wheel which then required weights with double the mass or 8 pounds each. They were longer and had larger diameters than the ones in the Merseburg wheel and that's why the Kassel wheel's drum was about 50% thicker than the Merseburg wheel's drum even though the diameters of the drums were the same.

Those handkerchiefs Bessler kept the Merseburg wheel's removed weights wrapped in were really intended to hide the holes at their ends which were drilled completely through a weight's length so the witnesses would not realize how the weights were aligned inside the drum (with their mounting bolts all parallel to the axle). In Ken's version of the Kassel wheel there were 16 levers x 3 weights per lever or 48 weights with each lead weight weighing eight pounds. That means their total weight was 48 weights x 8 pounds per weight or 384 pounds. Once they were removed from the 1,100 pound wheel, it would still have weighed 716 pounds which was still way too heavy for just two men to directly lift and move. They would have had to use some sort of mechanical system to move the wheel from one set of uprights to another. Too bad we don't have a description of their method but no doubt it would have been something that could be done quickly and safely.

@JB (Joel?)

If the Kassel wheel, without its 48 weights, weighed 716 pounds, then its drum would have had to have been very strong to be able to support that weight if the drum was placed on the floor and on its rim. I doubt if that could be done without damaging the drum. But even if it could be done, it would still be necessary to lift the axle pivots off of their brass bearings to do that and that lift could not be done by just two men, imo.

Bessler Curious

3. Bessler Curious, you have to be a Ken, no one else goes on and on about your speculative and unproven version of Bessler’s wheel. I mean for goodness sakes you can’t seriously suggest that Bessler’s wheel weight 1100 pound! Rotating and doing work while resting in two three quarter inch bearings? Come on, get real, that is completely ridiculous.

“ He says there were eight levers per one way wheel for a total of sixteen levers inside of its drum. But he thinks that each lever actually had three 8 pound weights attached to the ends of a parallel pair of arms.....”. He doesn’t know, he’s just guessing, with absolutely no supportive evidence.

You keep writing as if you know, but you don’t know Ken.

JC

4. JC wrote: "...but I now think that would still have been too heavy and prefer to assume an unladen weight of 200 pounds, so they would need to lift 100 pounds each."

Someone here a while ago calculated that the masses of the Kassel wheel's 8 inch diameter solid oak axle and its two steel end pivots, by themselves, were around 200 pounds. Your estimate for the wheel minus its weights is way low, imo.

Also you assume that the Kassel wheel used the same size weights as in the Merseburg wheel. That is an assumption that you are making for which there is no evidence. There is a letter from s'Gravesande to Newton dated 1721 that states that the Kassel wheel's axle bearing pivots were "three-quarters of an inch diameter", BUT that letter also says the axle was six inches in diameter while other sources say it was eight inches. I think that s'Gravesande never actually measured the Kassel wheel's axle and bearing pivot diameters and just inserted the values he had for the previous Merseburg wheel into his letter to Newton. If the Ken B estimate of 1100 pounds for the Kassel wheel is correct, then Bessler certainly would have used larger diameter axle end pivots in its 8 inch diameter axle. Probably pivots over an inch in diameter at least.

The Kassel wheel was not just a duplicate of the Merseburg wheel as you seem to suggest. It had a drum that as BC mentions above was 50% thicker than the Merseburg wheel drum. That increase in thickness makes sense if the lead cylinder weights it used were longer and heavier than the four pound ones in the Merseburg wheel and if their mounting bolts were parallel to the wheel's axle. The drum would have had to be thicker to fit them in assuming that the drum actually contained two one way wheels that were "back to back" on the axle.

5. @John

No I'm not Ken B, but I did finally finish his huge Bessler book. I'm not going to be building anything, but I think anyone who wants to attempt duplicating a Bessler wheel should definitely check out his work.

@anon 08:42

You must have misremembered that figure you gave of 200 pounds for the weight of just the Kassel wheel axle and its two axle pivots or whoever did the calculation was wrong. If the axle was 8 inches or 0.666 feet in diameter and 0.333 feet in radius by 6 feet long, then its volume would be V = pi x (0.333 ft)^2 x 6 feet = 2.09 cubic feet. The density of European oak is about 45 pounds per cubic foot so the weight of the axle would be W = 2.09 ft^3 x 45 lb/ft^3 = 94.05 pounds. Maybe with the two axle pivots the total weight would be about 100 pounds which is only half of what he calculated.

Bessler Curious

6. Bessler probably wanted to impress Karl with a wheel more powerful than the Merseburg wheel so the two wheels weren't actually identical internally. But, Bessler had a problem. If the maximum floor to ceiling height he had available was only 14 feet and he wanted to have a one foot clearance below and above a big wheel's drum, he could only make his Kassel wheel drum a maximum of 12 feet in diameter. But, how to use heavier weights inside of a drum limited to a 12 foot diameter?

If the lead cylinder weights used in the Kassel wheel had the same diameter as the ones used in the Merseburg wheel drum and were mounted parallel to the axle then he would have had to make them longer and make the drum thicker to contain them which would explain why the Kassel wheel was thicker than the Merseburg wheel. But going from a 4 lb lead weight to an 8 lb weight as Ken B claims is a big increase. It would have been nice if we had some descriptions of the weights used in the Kassel wheel. But I agree it's risky to assume that the Kassel wheel used 4 lb weights like the Merseburg wheel did.

7. The last Kassel wheel was built for a long duration test which means sturdy and no embarrassing breakdowns from flimsy workmanship and stressed parts made too weak. IOW's over-engineered for reliability was the focus, and that takes volume. That is what JB wanted to impress Karl with. Not for power display. The stampers and water screw were load tests before the locked room test.

8. @anon20:06
So are you saying that you think the weights inside of the Kassel wheel were the same four pound ones found in the Merseburg wheel?

9. There is no evidence either way. It is pure speculation that they were increased in length, mass, and/or diameter. What is known is that the Kassel wheel was about 50% deeper, and that could be accounted for by making it more robust for the long duration testing to minimize the risk of failure. IIRC the wood axle was also a greater diameter suggesting it needed to be stronger to perhaps hold a greater weight, or flex/bend less etc. It might have a completely different purpose. The iron rods entering the journals are assumed to still be 3/4 inch thick which suggests similar rolling frictions for perhaps a slightly heavier wheel the extra depth and 1 extra foot diameter suggests.

I think it is worth remembering that the rod cylinders of lead were about the size of a mini coke can it seems (to get 4 lbs for Merseburg weights). A standard coke can is approximately 4.8 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide, and 12 oz. A mini can is 7.5 oz and approx 3.5 inches tall and 2 inches wide. There seems plenty of scope to increase the mass of each 'can' up to and beyond ordinary 'can' size and weight. But there is no evidence of this ! It obviously would mean recasting and lathing the Merseburg weights, when he might have been able to put 2 standard weights side by side for example (3.5 + 3.5 = 7 inches). We don't know !

10. anon 19:28 wrote: "But going from a 4 lb lead weight to an 8 lb weight as Ken B claims is a big increase."

Yes, it is a big increase, but we have to keep Bessler's personality in mind when deciding whether or not he would have made such a weight mass increase. Bessler, desperate to sell his invention, was into exaggerating their capabilities and setting up spectacular but somewhat deceptive demonstrations to back up his claims. Any negative features of his wheels were ignored or covered up as best as possible. Then along comes a monarch like Karl with plenty of money to spend and looking for a new inventor to support now that his former one Denis Papin had disappeared from the scene. Bessler wants that patronage from Karl. Is he going to just make another identical two way wheel for him like the Merseburg wheel which was probably already destroyed and he couldn't show to Karl anyway otherwise he could have just moved it right over to Weissenstein Castle with no need to build another one.

Maybe Karl had heard that the Merseburg wheel could lift a 100 pound load tens of feet. So, to impress Karl, Bessler brags that he'll make one for him that can lift 200 pounds the same distance or even higher! Once he made such a promise he would have to keep it and the only way to do that would be to double the mass of the weights at the ends of the new wheel's levers. If he had used 4 pound weights in the Merseburg wheel, then he'd have to either double the number of them at the ends of the Kassel wheel's levers or, as Ken B suggests, keep the same number of weights at the ends of the levers and just double their mass to 8 pounds each.

I suspect it would have been easier to do that then to try to double the number of weights. BC mentioned he read in Ken's book that each Kassel wheel lever had three weights attached to its end. If Bessler had also used 4 pound weights in the Kassel wheel and wanted to double the total mass of the weight at the ends of the levers, then he would have had to attach six weights to the end of each lever. If, being a bidirectional wheel, the Kassel wheel contained two one directional wheels and each of those had eight levers and each lever carried six weights, that works out to 2 x 8 x 6 = 96 four pound weights inside of the drum!

That's a hell of a lot of weights, but by using 8 pound weights, the total number of weights is halved to 48. Imo, doubling the power of the Kassel wheel by using 8 pound weights makes sense IF Bessler did want to make it twice as powerful as the Merseburg wheel in an effort to impress his patron and employer. I think Bessler would have gone with just doubling the weights to 8 pounds since that probably would not have required too much of a modification in the design of the levers he used. There's something about bragging to Karl that he could increase wheel power by a full 100% that would have fit in with Bessler's grandiose personality and would have been something that would have impressed Karl and made him eager to fund the wheel's construction.

11. No, KB's wheel requires 3 weights per lever.

There is no evidence in either B's writings or witness reports that this presumption by KB is in any way accurate or on point.

B. does say ...

"a work of this kind of craftsmanship has, at its basis of motion, many separate pieces of lead. These come in PAIRS, such that as one of them takes up an outer position, the other takes up a position nearer the axle. Later, they swap places, and so they go on and on changing places all the time" – AP pg 295

Wolff to Liebniz 1715 re Merseburg Wheel : "They were judged to be about four pounds each, and their shape was definitely cylindrical."

Wolff to Schumacker 1722 re Merseburg Wheel : it felt cylindrical and not very thick."

"... the bearing was quite thin, about ONE QUARTER of an inch and only a sixth of its length was subject to friction."

'sGravesande to Newton 1721 re Kassell Wheel : "... terminated at both ends by iron bearings of about three-quarters of an inch diameter upon which the whole thing turns."

12. "There is no evidence in either B's writings or witness reports that this presumption by KB is in any way accurate or on point."

Hmm...not quite true.

Actually, I have found some strong numerological evidence that suggests that three weights were in fact used on each of the levers of Bessler's two way Merseburg and Kassel wheels. First, however, for anyone new here who hasn't seen it yet, here's a link to a nice image of the first Bessler portrait in the copy of "Das Triumphirende Perpetuum Mobile Orffyreanum" or "DT", for short, that's kept at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands:

Notice anything odd about the jars on the shelves behind his right side? All of the jars have labels that lean to the left...except the one nearest Bessler's right shoulder. It leans to the right. That causes it to form a downward pointing arrowhead with the left leaning label on the jar to its left. It's obvious that this is being used to direct a reader's attention to what that arrowhead is pointing to. But what is that?

It points to Bessler's right arm but actually to the END of his arm where his jacket's sleeve is located. What do you see there? THREE oversize decorative buttons on his jacket sleeve. Imo, those three buttons are a symbol for three weights and his arm is a symbol for one of the arms of the levers in his wheels that the weights were attached to. The end of his right arm is also resting on three heavy books which, again, can be interpreted as symbols for three heavy weights at the end of a lever that is represented by his right arm.

Now take another look at the three and a half jars visible on the shelf near his right arm. The two labels of the two jars on the right side of the shelf, other than forming an arrowhead, also form the letter "V". Bessler liked to use the letter "V" as the Roman numeral with a value of 5. Now look at the one and a half jars on the left side of that bottom jar shelf. They don't form a "V", but they can be interpreted as two letter "I's" that are leaning to the left. "II" has a value of 2 in Roman numerals and placing it to the left of the "V" means its value must be subtracted from that of the "V" to get the value of "IIV". We can then write IIV = V - II = 5 - 2 = 3.

So we see in the first DT portrait that Bessler repeatedly associates the number 3 with the end of his arm. Imo, this was his way of symbolically telling us that he did attach three weights to ends of his wheel's levers at least in the larger Merseburg and Kassel wheels.

There are also several symbols for three weights used at the ends of the Merseburg and Kassel wheels' levers in the second DT portrait, but this comment is already longer than I intended and pointing them out will have to wait until a future time. (The more curious can, however, just flip to the next page in the link I gave and try to find them for himself in the second portrait. Hint: look in one of the corners of that second portrait.)

Happy Holidays to everyone and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it. Let us all hope and pray that this accursed Covid 19 virus pandemic is finally over with in the coming year!

Sayer of Sooths

13. Fascinating analysis SoS and nice to see you back, but I’m finding hard if not impossible to accept your interpretation. This is partly because there doesn’t seem to be any hint that those features you have used are intended for that purpose, and partly because Ken B’s ideas just don’t add up the details we know or can justify.

JC

14. @SoS
Every time you show up here our knowledge of Bessler's wheels gets a big boost. When it comes to numerology analysis you are without a doubt the eight wonder of the world!

Your analysis of those jars on the shelves got me to thinking. There are three and a half jars visible like you said. But if you look at just the complete jars there's only three of them which again stands for that number 3. But if you look at the Roman number they make with their slanting labels you get IV and we all know that has a value of 4. Maybe this was Bessler's way of telling us he used three 4 pound weights at the ends of his levers? Makes sense to me because we definitely know he used 4 pound weights in his Merseburg wheel. I'm not sure how you would get 8 pound weights for the Kassel wheel out of these symbols though. Maybe you have to take the 4 pounds you get and then multiply it by the Roman number II made from the two labels of the one and a half jars on the left of the shelf?

15. Thanks anon 17:58!

I think you have the potential to become an excellent numerologist. Your suggested method to justify 8 pound weights for the Kassel wheel is valid, but there's another way that would immediately attract the attention of a numerologist.

Look at Bessler's right hand. Notice that his index and middle fingers cross. They form the letter "X" which is used as a multiplication sign in arithmetic. Since the symbol is formed with TWO fingers, this is a way of saying something must be multiplied by 2. What would that be? It would be the value of 4 pounds for the weights at the ends of the Merseburg wheel levers that we got by analyzing the Roman numerals formed by the slanting labels on the shelf jars. Performing the suggested multiplication then gives us 2 x 4 pounds = 8 pounds for use in the Kassel wheel.

Also, since the letter "X" formed by Bessler's fingers is the 24th letter of the alphabet it has an alphanumeric value of 24. If we multiply the individual digits in the number 24 as suggested by the arithmetic use of the letter "X" we get 2 x 4 = 8 which can also stand for 8 pound weights used in the Kassel wheel.

Does all of this prove that Bessler used three 8 pound weights at the ends of the Kassel wheel levers? It does not absolutely prove it, but it does very strongly suggest it, imo. I do agree with those that say that the Kassel wheel was not just a copy of the Merseburg wheel. It was different in some way and using 8 pound weights in it could have been the way it was different.

Sayer of Sooths

2. Hi John .. Wollfe in his letter of 1722 says categorically that B. allowed ONE weight to be touched. It was wrapped in a cloth (handkerchief). He says B. did not allow it to be touched at the ends of the cylindrical weights !

"b) Before translocating the wheel, the Inventor who was performing the test for the officially appointed Commissioners, took out the weights and permitted one of them to be touched, wrapped in a handkerchief.

He did not allow the weight to be touched on the end, but lengthwise,

it felt cylindrical and not very thick."

Earlier in 1715 Wollfe says ...

"Whilst he did this, he did not disguise the fact that the mechanism is moved by weights.

SEVERAL such weights, wrapped in his handkerchief, he let us weigh in our hands to estimate their weight.

They were judged to be about four pounds each, and their shape was definitely cylindrical."

The difference between the two reports by Wollfe is that in 1722 he says ONE weight was handed around, not several. And he mentions that B. would not allow the ends to be touched. What is common to both is the estimated weight and shape.

Since the ends were not allowed to be touched and it was covered by a cloth then there is something not to be seen or felt at the ends. Probably a hole which would suggest an attachment method. The other thing is the surface of the cylinder could be touched thru the cloth but not seen as for the ends. That may be to hide wear or friction contact marks.

So the fact that they were cylinders (and not any other possible shape if it were not important) suggests to me on balance that these 'weights' were roller-lever-weights. And that keeping grease off the hands of the examiners a secondary objective to disguise from prying eyes and inquisitive minds. IMO.

I also agree that it was quite light enough for two men to translocate without the weights in-situ. I think it was 'sGravesande who said a wheel was of light construction IIRC.

-f

1. Thanks for bringing up the relevant quotes Fletch. Although I agree that the cloth could hide wear and tear and friction marks, I can’t help feeling that this was an example of misdirection such as magicians use. I also think it might have been quite easy to feel the ends of the weights through the material covering them. How did he prevent them from touching the ends? Did he present the weight to be weighed in the hand by holding them at the ends placing them lengthwise in their hands? Did he actually say don’t touch the ends or was that just the impression Wolff got? So many questions about a brief event.

JC

2. I could think of more questions. Would that help? Stick to the facts.

I don't know exactly where, I believe in one of his conversations with Karl.
He compares it to children playing with clubs. Heavy clubs that cannot be lifted therefore they need to roll.

Somewhere he tells that they NEED to roll. Can someone get a source id on that?

3. We can speculate as we please John. What we do have to go on is the witness reports and assume they were observant and reasonably objective reports. It may be that the ends did contain thru holes for bolts, and that they were also greased, and the cloth did both jobs. And he handed it to them like a rolled up newspaper and in the briefing said no touching the ends.

What is inescapable is that the weights were shaped like a coke can and not flat disks, or spheres. They were circular rod sections and not square or hex shaped, or any other expedient shape. We also assume that each weight was for all intents and purposes the same mass. Unless turning a cylinder on a lathe, or casting exact same weights that require a lathe to fine tune, that's a lot of work to 'tune' each weight. Much easier to cast a square block shape and file it away as needed, no lathe required. But they weren't any other shape but flat round cylinders. And the conclusion must be that was for a functional purpose. Otherwise we are ignoring the obvious.

Any wheel that weights can be switched out for any shape other than cylindrical is not Bessler's PM principle, IMO. That includes KB's Y levers.

'sGRavesand to Newton 1721 re Kassel Wheel .. "It is a hollow wheel or kind of drum, about fourteen inches thick, and twelve feet in diameter; being VERY LIGHT as it consists of several pieces of wood framed together; the whole of which is covered over with canvas, to prevent the inside from being seen."

-f

1. All good points Fletch, I was just offering a point which I didn’t express very well, in fact I missed out a couple of sentences. I thought it possible that Bessler, being the showman he was, might have added a little mystery to the proceedings by telling Wolff not to touch the ends of the cylindrical weights. This would imply there was something extra special about the ends, but what could they feel with their fingers that would give anything away? Perhaps it was a hole bored through the middle, but so what? Or a swivelling bracket, or a screw threaded bolt sticking out the end? What ever it was, it is hard to see how it would give anything away. Or, as I suggested, it was a misdirection to divert attention from something else, I don’t know what though.

I agree the cloth would hide wear marks, but even then it seems difficult to see how even those would give anything away other than confirm what we might already surmise, that the weights did knock against something - or didn’t.

JC

4. Right you are. A little showmanship and misdirection. So what is he deflecting from. The short section rod shape ! Not a disk like a penny ! Not a sphere ! Not a block !

What do cylinders do ? They roll over something or something rolls over them ! IMO !

-f

1. Yes of course. They, the weights, could be attached at each end to a stirrup shaped piece at the end of the lever and roll back or forth in line with rotation.

JC

2. If the weights need to be passed from one arm to the next during rotation, to create a wheel with a fundamental difference, then being able to see the ends of the weights may have allowed an observer to deduct this.
However the weights are fixed to the arms is of little importance,if the weights stay put on the arm. We can all imagine many dofferent methods of fixing the weights to allow them to be detached for moving the wheel or maintenance.
If the ends of the weights allowed us to see two different ways of holding the weight, it would become pretty obvious that the weights are not fixed to one specific arm, or section of the wheel.
When he removed the weights, there is mention of a spring. there is no mention of a spanner or a screwdriver (to my knowledge). i would have thought that if you want a weight to stay on an arm forever, you would fix it to the arm. The only reason to not do so, would be that fixing the weights to the arms would not allow PM to be created.
RH46

3. Yes RH, that could explain why he didn’t want the ends of the weights touched. I suppose there might have been a way for them to slide along taught wires or rods between spokes or levers, but that seems unlikely to me.

JC

4. i'm thinking more along the lines of tongs, or something similar, grabbing hold of protruding ends and pins in holes, at the ends, being released, to pass the weight from one swinging arm to the next.
A mechanism that can pinch his good friend's finger can also pinch a shaft and carry a weight to another place on the wheel.
RH46

5. Yes, interesting idea but hard to achieve. I might take a look at the possibilities but I doubt I could make one and my simming days have not begun!

JC

6. "...and my simming days have not begun!"

And neither are they ever likely to! LOL!

7. John, if you do "look at the possibility", i would very much like to know your thoughts.
RH46

8. Too complicated. I would not go that way.

9. The mechanism to allow the passing or "handing over" of the weights may well be pretty complicated. Overcoming this complication may allow us to find a very simple way of creating the OU desired.
If we imagine seeing the weights moving in this manner, would we not understand immediately how it works? Would it not be "surprising nobody thought of it before"? Would we not think that it can easly be built by a carpenter's lad.
Would we not, find a way to overcome the difficulty of passing the weights if we knew it was the way to achieve PM?
RH46

10. I can see a juggler juggling balls. That looks real simple. Until you try it.

Passing a mass from one lever to another does not sound like an exercise for an apprentice. And especially not if he is only allowed a brief look at it.

We should investigate everything. But this one is not for me. I predict a dead end. A waste of time.

11. Trying to do what has been tried by millions, over more than 300 years, is a dead end and a waste of time, in my opinion.
RH46

5. I found this on https://orffyre.tripod.com/index.html
Is this from bessler or an interpretation from Dr. Ramesh Menaria?

‘The levers loaded with heavy weights as viewed from the side, may be compared to side views of many children playing with very heavy clubs among tall broken columns. The strongest of the children cannot lift the lightest of the clubs. Still, each child can swing (or you might call it "step" as it uses a club as a "leg") from the top of one broken column to the top of the next broken column by positioning his heavy club on the ground between the two close columns and holding on to the handle end to swing over to the top of the next column. Then he rotates the handle end of his club to maneuver it between his current column and his next intended column so that he can again "step" or swing a small angle over to the top of the next intended broken column. If the clubs are even heavier by being double-ended, then instead of rolling them to the next position, they may be alternatively transported between the columns by switching ends. A double club may be moved in seesaw fashion by leaning it against the current broken column that the child is on and rolling it over the top of the column (assuming that there is enough room for the child to stay on top of the column). The double club is pivoted with a circular motion with one end going up while the other end goes down.5’ Orffyreus gave a simple explanation that even child would grasp.

1. I would not recommend Dr Menaria’s web site for research into the life Johann Bessler as it is full of mystical interpretations of what Bessler said, by his guru, Deva Ramananda. The information is influenced by the feelings and opinions of Deva Ramananda, and is highly subjective and completely unsupported by documentary evidence.

JC

6. We, as humans, when faced with the unknown have a tendency to over-complicate things. We add complexity almost as a go-to default. And explain to ourselves that that must be why we can not think of a solution. Strangely, because we can not be expected to think of all the bits and pieces of this obviously complicated problem without a great deal of convoluted thoughts.

Read again Karl's quoted words to his ministers. Take them in. Simple to understand, easy to construct, AMAZED no one had invented a similar (not the same necessarily) machine ! So there is a basic principle in play here !

This is not a complex mechanical machine. It is simple to understand the mechanical actions taking place (they are not complex, involved, convoluted actions). The mechanics are easy to construct. There is nothing that will give you or a carpenters boy any trouble. BASIC ! What is not easy to understand is why it violates CoE (the physics and math explanation) tho it's abundantly clear to Karl what those SIMPLE actions are !

What do Roller-Lever-Weights do ? The roll over something or something rolls over them ! I would say that rolling a lead cylinder over say a bellows arrangement to express air force elsewhere (for example) is not an easy thing to build well. It takes experience and skill and above all knowledge. All things Karl implies are not required. So I doubt that was part of the solution.

Bessler's solution was mechanically VERY simple. It was not invented before because it takes far-left-field lateral thinking to connect-the-dots to a total true mechanical PM solution. One based on JB's Zusammen Gehangten (together hung) Agiret Principle (perform his connected principle).

Imagine if we had no description of the weights - no place to even start guessing about them ! We'd be all over the place ... But we do don't we !

Bernoulli to 'sGravesande ..

"Now, I have been assured that the secret was communicated to His Serene Highness, the Landgrave of Hesse, under an oath of silence, and he was allowed to examine the internal structure of the wheel. Afterwards, his Serene Highness was QUOTED as saying to his ministers, that he believed the machine to be a true perpetual motion machine, and in addition, ..

.. it was SO SIMPLE and EASY TO CONSTRUCT that he was AMAZED that NO ONE had managed to INVENT a SIMILAR machine BEFORE Herr Orffyreus."

-f

1. Thanks again Fletch, as usual you have brought some clarity and common sense to our deliberations.

JC

7. John,
If the wheel was moved with the weights in place, would it not turn and twist from the handlers grip ?

STEVO

1. Yes, if it was turning during the move.

JC

8. There's some confusion in this blog. On reading John's entry at the beginning I got the impression that he was talking about the "translocation" of the Kassel wheel from one set of supports to another a few feet away because he then goes not to give his revised estimate of the Kassel wheel's weight. But, I don't ever recall reading of a short distance translocation like that having been done with the Kassel wheel. It was only the Merseburg wheel that was moved from one set of supports to a nearby set. With the Kassel wheel, IINM, the translocation was done from a garden shed of some sort at ground level up to a room several floors above the ground floor. That would have required that the completed Kassel wheel be disassembled into pieces, each carried up several flights of steps, and then finally, after being carried through a small door, reassembled back into the complete wheel again.

jason

1. Correction...that second sentence of my comment above should have read "...because he then goes on to give his...".

jason

2. You’re right Jason in part, I accidentally omitted to say I was talking about the Kassel wheel using what we know of the Merseburg wheel to try to get an idea of the weight. There is no description of any translocation of the Kassel wheel. I think your reference to a garden shed comes from a book by Frank Edwards, ‘Strangest of All’ . The book is full of inaccuracies and features some fake facts. My apologies for not keeping my own account accurate, I blame high speed writing......and my age! Lol.

JC

3. Now that John has verified that it was only the Merseburg wheel that was translocated to a new set of supports only a few feet away, here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

There were probably a lot of different ways to safely accomplish the move of a large and heavy object like a 12 foot diameter drum and its axle. I favor using two overhead hoists made from compound pulleys being worked by two men which would only have been Bessler and his brother since they probably wouldn't have trusted others to handle the wheel. They might accidentally tear the cloth side covers and expose the inner mechanisms for all to see!

Assuming that John's estimate for the empty Merseburg wheel drum of 200 lbs is accurate, then each of the two hoists would have a rope going down and attached to one side of the axle and would have to lift 200 lbs / 2 = 100 lbs. If each hoist had a 2:1 mechanical advantage, then each man would only have to pull down on his hoist's rope with a force of 100 lbs / 2 = 50 lbs. They could have put loops at the ends of their ropes near the floor and just needed to step into the loops with one foot and then put their full body weights on them. If their feet pushed the bottoms of the loops under their shoes down together through a distance of 6 inches, the other ropes from the hoists would have lifted the wheel's axle and its pivots up 3 inches which would have allowed them to clear their bearings without causing the top of the drum to hit the ceiling that was probably about a foot higher. This method using a single foot to keep each rope's loop pushed down and against the floor would leave each man's two hands free but they each probably would have kept one hand on the rope to his loop in case it slipped out from under his shoe and he needed to quickly pull down on the rope to keep his end of the axle from dropping.

The two hoists would have been attached to a strong ceiling beam located between the two pairs of axle supports and the lifted axle and its drum would then have just swung over from its starting set of supports to the new set of supports a few feet away. Maybe the distance was about 8 feet and during the swing, the bottom of the drum would not hit the floor. Once there the axle pivots would have landed on their new set of brass bearing plates as each of the two men removed his body weight from his rope's loop at the same time. Hopefully the axle's two pivots would have been properly seated in their new bearings after the first swing or both men would have had to keep their body weights on the loops and then reach up and try to give the ends of the 6 inch diameter axle a push so the axle could swing far enough next time for its two pivots to reach the new set of bearings and land on them.

They would have needed to practice this method several times before the official examination of the wheel to make sure they could make it work perfectly with the first swing during the examination. This method has the big advantage of not requiring the two men to stand directly under the axle as it is moved which could be very dangerous if one of the hoist ropes suddenly broke. If this method was successfully used it would have allowed the change of supports to be done in a few minutes and by only two men working together.

With this method Bessler would have actually turned his entire Merseburg wheel and its axle into a giant pendulum at least for a brief time. Maybe we can refer to it as the "pendulum translocation method" or the "swing translocation method"?

jason

4. I think that pendulum translocation method you describe could work. However I'm a little uncomfortable with a 12 foot diameter object weighing 200 pounds swinging across a distance of 8 feet. I think Bessler and Gottfried would have to much practice to be able to carry it off with only one swing.

I propose a more complicated arrangement that would guarantee that the axle's pivots landed in their new set of bearing plates on the first try. This arrangement also uses two overhead 2:1 hoists, but each hoist is suspended by metal wheels attached to it that ride on a rail which is bolted to a ceiling beam. The two men would both lift the axle pivots off of their bearing plates on the old supports with their two hoists and then by pushing on the axle would "walk" the empty wheel over to the new supports and then slowly lower the axle until its pivots were securely seated in their new bearing plates. With this method no potentially dangerous swinging is required. It does require both men to push the axle along but if the metal wheels and overhead rails were well lubricated then that should not be too difficult to do.

5. Jason and Anon 17:25 :

In the interests of clarity for those whom might not have considered it. You both talk of translocation of the wheel into nesting areas of the wheel stands. These wheel stands as shown in the Merseburg engravings of DT (done by B.) and in B's. reproduction of Borlach's wheel engraving of the Merseburg wheel (yes, Borlach was a witness who was there) show the wheel support stands going from floor to ceiling. The axle stubs are shown to fit into cavities thru each complete stand. Therefore by deduction, tho not shown, the stands must be made of pieces of wood. Where the inside 'cover' can be removed to 'slip' the axle stub into its cavity. Then the cover is replaced. This would allow 'sGravesande to inspect the journals to determine no hidden mechanical turning method, and account for Borlach noticing the slight rising and lowering of the stand near the floor revealing an opening and closing gap in the stand wooden pieces.

The point being that it is an extra operation to perform for both men to complete the translocation test.

Perhaps you have a different way to nest the stub axles ?

-f

6. I think that the translocation methods Jason and anon 17:25 are discussing could obviously only be done after any covering pieces were removed from the starting vertical supports and the axle pivots and the bearing plates they were nested in were fully exposed. After the translocation to the new set of supports, the new bearings would then be closed up.

This whole matter of how Bessler and his brother translocated the Merseburg wheel is really just a side issue that has nothing to do with how the wheels worked. However, it would have been nice if some of the witnesses had described their method in detail. But, then again, they didn't mention the dual axle pendulums either. That just goes to show us that there is more to Bessler's wheels then we can learn from his books or the personal correspondence concerning them. Certain details we may never know. Certain ones we can only try to make reasonable guesses about.

7. I would agree with all you said.

Additionally Stevo asked earlier "John, if the wheel was moved with the weights in place, would it not turn and twist from the handlers grip ?"

It was imo necessary to remove the weights that caused the continual motion, to shift support stands. Without the weights it sits still. With them in it rotates the axle. Whether in stands or being carried I'd suggest.

Back to the dual pendulums - yes, they are imo very suspicious indeed, of the axle arrangement. More at a later time.

-f

8. I’ve noticed the way the bearing nesting is shown in the drawings by Bessler, but wonder if that is how they were like that in reality.

If he had fixed a three inch deep chunk of wood on the inside of each of the supporting pillars, like a very thick shelf, possibly triangular in shape, with one flat surface holding the bearing shell, there would be no need for the removable slotted piece of wood. The shelf would support the bearing shell and thus the wheel and be accessible from either side of the uprights.

JC

9. I think many of us have wondered why B. didn't show (or do) your simple wedge support example John. For at least the Merseburg and Kassel engravings and demonstrations. I remember initially thinking it must have something to do with the supports going all the way from floor to ceiling. But that still didn't make any sense to me. In fact it invited suspicion that there was some hidden mechanical connection to the axle within, as was speculated. So why invite the headache when it could so easily be avoided ?

Fortunately we can know the reality of what he did. There is an independent and accurate witness who recorded exactly what he saw at Merseburg. Even if he did extrapolate on what drove the wheel.

Borlach !

The great suspicion is why did B. doctor Borlach's engraving of the Merseburg wheel and produce it in DT in this much altered way ? Magician's deflection perhaps !?

Very curiously B. extended the axle stubs completely thru the wood support stands (this isn't so in Borlach's engraving and they terminate inside the stand) and attached CRANKS for Pendulums, as shown in his own engravings of the Merseberg and Kassel wheels.

Note that of the 3 load tests witnessed for Merseburg and Kassel; the stampers, the box of brick lifting, and the water screws, all were driven by connection to the wooden portion of the long axle.

The pendulums loads were never physically witnessed. B. shows them driven from short cranks at the end of the axle stubs coming thru the stands, different to the other drive method.

There were no pendulum cranks at the end of the metal stub axles going entirely thru the wooden wheel supports. Borlach confirms this. No other witness mentions them ! Therefore there were never any Pendulums OR Cranks ! IMO.

Why go to such great lengths to deceive us ? To draw attention away from something else in the axle arrangement that he doesn't want you to think about ? Perhaps the pendulums are as some suspect and are indicative of an important part or action of his wheel solution, so apriori he includes them in every engraving ? Things to ruminate on.

-f

10. For those who don't know what fletcher is talking about, here's an image that compares Borlach's "explanation" of how the Merseburg wheel worked with the reproduced version of that explanation that Bessler put in his DT book. Borlach's drawing is on the left side (a) and Bessler's drawing is on the right side (b):

https://aapt.scitation.org/action/showOpenGraphArticleImage?doi=10.1119/1.4798617&id=images/medium/1.4798617.figures.f3.gif

All that these drawings really indicate is that those cranks on the ends of the axle pivots were, like the pendulums, removable. When Bessler reproduced Borlach's "slanderous" illustration for DT, he probably added the cranks because he wanted his readers to see what the axle looked like with the cranks attached. It's also possible that Bessler added the cranks because Borlach, in his haste to find the way that Bessler hoaxed his wheels and relying only on his memory of what he saw, was the one who forgot to add the cranks. Maybe adding them to his reproduction was Bessler's way of showing readers familiar Borlach's drawing that it was incomplete and therefore they also could not trust his explanation for how the Merseburg wheel was faked.

Bessler Curious

11. Goodness gracious .. please at least try to be more objective.

IIRC Wagner, Gartner, and Borlach had a private viewing with B's. brother.

Furthermore Borlach was a professional mining engineer.

There are numerous topics and threads, and discussions, on Borlach's Merseburg engraving and his comments. Here is a link to some of them you can read up on.

https://www.besslerwheel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=42155&highlight=borlach#42155

https://www.besslerwheel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5055&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=borlach&start=0

This is Stewart's translation of Borlach's commentary under his engraving. Other translations are consistent.

"The great wonder of the perpetual motion machine, so long sought in vain by the curious world, and now invented by Mister Orffyreus, made known through the 'Leipziger Gazetten' in the 4th article of the 36 week of 1715, of which [it was] observed on the 22nd July 1715, that a spot was patched/marked in the post at A and that same post lifted up in half a turn of the wheel, and with the other half a turn fell down again, which was seen because the post was coated/painted, and at B the uncoated/unpainted place always came out. Borlach."

The upshot is that Borlach noted at 'A' what he thought was a patch or mark in the outer surface of the stand. He theorized that this is where an internal crank-like device may be hidden within the support. Note well .. that he did not see and axle stub protruding from the stand, and obviously he did not see an attachment point for a 'Bessler Crank' on an axle end, of B's. doctored inclusion in his reproduction of Borlach's engraving.

Secondly and separately, Borlach also mentioned that at 'B' near the floor a gap appeared and closed again in the stand painted woodwork each half rotation.

-f

12. fletcher wrote "...Borlach noted at 'A' what he thought was a patch or mark in the outer surface of the stand. He theorized that this is where an internal crank-like device may be hidden within the support. Note well .. that he did not see and axle stub protruding from the stand, and obviously he did not see an attachment point for a 'Bessler Crank' on an axle end, of B's. doctored inclusion in his reproduction of Borlach's engraving."

Also note well that the Merseburg wheel was surrounded by a guard rail of some sort and without Bessler present I doubt if Gottfried would have let Borlach, Gartner, and Wagner inside of that rail to start handling the wheel and possibly taking a peek inside of its cloth covering to prove their suspicions when Gottfried's back was turned. That means that they would have been forced to observe the wheel from a distance of perhaps ten or more feet.

If the "axle stub" as you call it only protruded a few inches from the side of the support, they may not have noticed it. FAWK Borlach may have had vision problems and could not notice fine details such as the axle stubs and the places on their tips where the crank handles were attached. He may have noticed a larger "patch or mark" on the support, but that was probably just the cover over the brass bearing plate that supported the axle pivot.

That hopping motion of the support per wheel rotation does not in any way prove that there was some sort of metal rod driving a crank formed in the part of the axle pivot hidden inside of the support. Most likely, the center of gravity of the empty drum and axle was not located exactly at the center of the axle and that off center rotating mass is what made the support jump up and down. It would only have happened when the wheel was turning at its full speed.

I have little trust in Borlach's drawing of the Merseburg wheel aside from it showing part of the guard rail. He even made the mistake of not putting the drum in the center of the axle which is where we know it was located based on the drawings of the Merseburg wheel that Bessler provided.

Bessler Curious

13. YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS ! LOL ! For anyone who is.

Your 10 feet distance from the axle is a fair estimate. Borlach shows the guard rail (B. does not) so that the Merseburg wheel could be viewed as shown, where the axles are side on. Borlach shows the window backlighting the room (B. shows it dark and shaded with no window possibly to give the impression that light was dim).

Borlach, Wager and Gartner saw the same things, not just Borlach ! The Merseburg metal axle portion was only ¼ inch thick (re Wolff - the later Kassel wheel was ¾ inch thick). No witness reported the axle protruding from the stand. In fact it makes it very difficult to feed the axle stubs thru a hole in fixed stands, for translocation purposes. Additionally you suggest that all 3 had bad eyesight at the same time. I’m sure at least 1 of 3 could see a ¼ inch axle protrusion even in bad lighting. They could also see a spot or mark as reported. In the most difficult of circumstances they could at very least see profile shapes on an axle protruding, if it were there.

I don’t remember anyone suggesting that the “hopping’ was caused by the person turning the Borlach crank. It was an observation by B,W, and G that could help perhaps explain their theory of manual cranking. That inference was left to the reader if they chose.

Borlach made his engraving in perspective style (we see that in the way the stands are orientated). He included a window for internal light, and for the rope to go thru for the brick box lift. Which Bessler conveniently leaves out but is present in his own engravings. Additionally, since you are talking about accuracy, Bessler shows a very thick stub axle and crank for a non-existent pendulum. I think even a blind man could see an axle stub of that thickness protruding from the stand at 10 feet and in dim light. But it wasn’t bad light was it.

Bessler had every opportunity to reproduce Borlach’s engraving with material accuracy. He chose to substantially change it in his favour for his own narrative. He perhaps may have figured that his book would be more popular and most would forget or never see the Borlach original that he heavily doctored. And fall for his deceptions and misdirections.

14. Anon23:55 wrote:

>>> "The Merseburg metal axle portion was only ¼ inch thick (re Wolff - the later Kassel wheel was ¾ inch thick)."

If the Merseburg wheel had 1/4 inch diameter axle pivots, they would have sheared off after the weights were put back in the drum! Most likely it had 3/4 inch diameter axle pivots and the ones in the Kassel wheel would have been even larger.

>>> "In fact it makes it very difficult to feed the axle stubs thru a hole in fixed stands, for translocation purposes."

No need to "feed" the axle pivots through holes in the supports. The pivots would have been slipped in sideways after sections of the supports were removed to expose the bearing plates.

BC didn't suggest "all three" had bad eyesight. He only mentions that Borlach MAY have had bad eyesight and his drawing, done later, was based on what he thought he remembered he had seen. The drawing would probably have been much different if Borlach had made a sketch of the Merseburg wheel WHILE he and the two with him were viewing it and they all agreed on the details in it.

>>> "I don’t remember anyone suggesting that the “hopping’ was caused by the person turning the Borlach crank."

BC only suggests that the "hopping" observed was not sufficient evidence of a hidden crank inside the support driving the Merseburg wheel's axle and that the hopping is more readily explained by just assuming an off center drum and axle turning at maximum speed.

>>> "Additionally, since you are talking about accuracy, Bessler shows a very thick stub axle and crank for a non-existent pendulum. I think even a blind man could see an axle stub of that thickness protruding from the stand at 10 feet and in dim light. But it wasn’t bad light was it."

Since the Merseburg wheel axle was 6 inches in diameter, Bessler's "very thick stub axle" is actually more accurate than the needle thin one that Borlach depicts (and he only shows one while Bessler shows two). Also, both Borlach's and Bessler's drawings are "perspective" views.

>>> "Bessler had every opportunity to reproduce Borlach’s engraving with material accuracy. He chose to substantially change it in his favour for his own narrative."

Bessler's goal was to show how Borlach thought, erroneously, that the Merseburg wheel was driven. Bessler was not interested in making an exact reproduction of Borlach's drawing, only in correcting the obvious errors in it such as showing that the axle cranks could be attached to the tips of the axle pivots, more accurately representing the diameter of the axle pivots relative to the axle diameter, and placing the drum in the middle of the axle where it actually was located and not off toward one end.

15. Now you are getting more irrational, and desperate.

Take it up with Wolffe. He reported the Merseburg metal axle at the stand as 1/4 inch thickness. He was there and reported the other salient wheel dimensions which coincide with others. So you ask me to believe he got that one wrong. Dream land. He also did not note any axle protruding with a crank attached or able to be attached. Neither did 'sGravesande or any other witness or testimonial. Just a minor oversight by everyone and not salient I can hear you saying. Salient enough for Bessler to draw it in tho eh !

I said "very difficult" to feed thru the holes, not impossible, without some twisting and back and forth. Especially if as you believe the axles protruded a reasonable distance beyond the stand to affix imaginary pendulum cranks with say a grub screw or key system onto such a small diameter axle protrusion. That takes some maneuvering for 2 guys and a heavish wheel.

Then you suggest that Borlach didn't make a sketch or notes while he was there or soon after. How do you know that. To bad his camera didn't work eh ! And never mind that he was an engineer and his mates a professional model maker and mathematician. And didn't confer with his 2 skeptical pals. Even tho Wagner burst into print with his 2 critiques.

Borlach doesn't show any axle, not one or two. He shows a hypothetical method for an internal drive system nested in the stand, of about the dimensions Wolff reported for the axle diameter, to turn the larger 6 inch portion of the visible wood portion of the axle in some way. The connection to the true 1/4 inch metal axle stub is not suggested. Bessler indeed shows 2 metal axles stubs and cranks. Not what could be seen but what he wants you to believe were there. In his own works he does say the Kassel stub was 1 inch and not 3/4 inch that Wolff says. Who I gonna believe. Wolff thanks, coz he didn't round it up when he could have.

I am impressed that you know the detail of Bessler's mind, intent, and thoughts Ken. So far you have just trotted out chapter and verse from your book which I just found on line looking for Gartner's creds. Almost word for word. To bad !

-f

16. In Christian Wolff's 1715 letter to Leibniz describing the Merseburg wheel he wrote:

"The diameter of the wheel is about twelve feet, and as well, the bearing was quite thin, about one quarter of an inch and only a sixth of its length was subject to friction."

Anyone using 0.25 inch diameter axle pivots to support a wheel that weighs hundreds of pounds and is turning at 40 rpm's would be in great danger of losing that wheel. I doubt if an excellent mechanic like Bessler would have been that foolhardy. Most likely the translation of that figure in Wolff's letter was poorly done. Translators often make a lot of mistakes when it comes to translating mechanical specifications. Note that he says only 1/6th of a pivot's length was subject to friction which I interpret as meaning only 1/6 of its length was in actual physical contact with its brass bearing plate inside of the support. Where were the other 5/6th's of its length? They would have mostly been sticking out beyond the sides of the supports. If the 1/6th of the axle pivot in contact with a bearing plate was 1 inch long, that means one has to account for the other 5 inches. Maybe there was a clearance of 1 inch between the cut off end of the wooden axle and the inside surface of the support. That means that a full 4 inches of the axle pivot would have stuck out beyond the outside surface of the support.

With axle pivots projecting 6 inches beyond the cut off end of the Merseburg wheel's axle, there is no way that one is going to "feed" those pivots through small holes in the supports no matter how much back and forth twisting he does.

How do you know that Borlach may have made a sketch of the Merseburg wheel? If Gottfried allowed them in for a demonstration without brother Bessler present, he might have made it quite clear to them that they were not to enter within the guard rails or make any sketches. They weren't there to test the wheel themselves. It was just a visit for a quick visual demonstration. A lot of details can be missed during quick demonstrations.

I'm not Ken B. but I did recently finish reading his "magnum opus" on Bessler and his wheels. I found it to be a most welcome departure from the usual lack of any serious progress that has unfortunately become the routine for "research" into Bessler's wheels nowadays.

17. I’m surprised that you seem to have enjoyed Ken B’s book, I would have thought that anyone with a certain amount of discernment and logical evaluation ability would dismiss his interpretation of clues which are visible to him, and thus his conclusions. You did use the word ‘enjoy’, so I guess you could say it had good entertainment value.

JC

18. Yes, usually researchers build a hypothesis (narrative) around the 'facts'. If their narrative doesn't entirely fit they look for another until it is closer. In this case the inconvenient facts are willfully changed to fit the subjective narrative.

No evidence of protruding axles from the stand, and no cranks at their ends, while being drawn in by Bessler in his engravings and the alteration of Borlach's to include them, could suggest the metal axle pin and the wooden portion are not what they seem. For instance they might turn in opposite directions. It leaves a question mark.

The drawing of unverified pendulums attached to those cranks in Bessler's Merseburg and Kassel wheel engravings might have another purpose. As discussed earlier the speed regulation purpose is likely a ruse excuse for an already regular wheel. And as suggested might be to attach a prior claim by Bessler. In that they are indicative or symbolic (symbolism) of some important internal part or action of his PM Principle. They certainly raise a question mark.

And talk of axles, cranks, and pendulums existence, is a mile away from the original facts of the weights being can shaped etc, and the speculation that they are like that, and only that, for a specific purpose in his PM Principle.

-f

19. To be honest Ken's book is a challenge to read because of its large size. But that's because of the incredible amount of detail it contains. Ken admits in the intro that he had to do some speculation about certain details of the events in Bessler's life (like his first meeting with Karl to reveal the secret of his wheels, etc.), but he insists that all of the important details of the inner mechs of Bessler's wheels he gives are supported by previously unknown clues he found hidden in the DT portraits. He also claims to have working sims that support the wheel design he presents. What can one make of all of this? Claims are easy to make and we see them everyday on various free energy sites and blogs. He's either created the most important book in pm history or the biggest blunder in pm history. Time and the sims / builds of others will have to decide this. I'm hoping he's made the breakthrough that does finally solve the wheel mystery. Now whenever I think of Bessler's wheels I find myself automatically thinking of the wheel design Ken found which I never saw before. I don't find it too complicated and I don't think Karl would have either.

20. It’s definitely not the most important book in pm history, neither is it a blunder, because it seems obvious to me that as an author of books about UFOs, aliens and all the other ‘fringe’ subjects he claims to have researched, he simply makes up his so-called clues, builds a hypothesis on his interpretation of what they mean, and then creates a monumental house of cards you could drive a horse and cart made of feathers through! He’s in it for the money! The more rubbishy books he sells the more money he makes. He’s the modern version of Frank Edwards, who had a similar career taking facts and embroidering, changing them to fit in with his narrative.

JC

21. I don't think he's just "in it for the money" which JC has also been accused of in the past! Ken's in it to finally solve the Bessler wheel mystery and he may have actually done that. No one should make the mistake of thinking Ken B is another Frank Edwards. No way! His research is far removed from the writings of Edwards. Ken provides us with the precise details of Bessler's wheels based on previously unknown portrait clues it took him years to locate and interpret and, most importantly, he has a working sim to verify the design he found. He's currently the only guy who can make that claim.

22. He also vehemently argued against Bessler's last 10 inch table top model for which there is credible evidence. Not from lack of evidence but because KB's wheels with Y-lever-weights could not be scaled that small, while JB's could, and it disturbed his narrative.

23. IIRC, someone here argued that we couldn't trust the diameter figure of 10 zolls or 10 inches for Bessler's last wheel because that number appeared in a newspaper article at the time. That poster said that the figure was more likely 100 zolls or 100 inches which would be over 8 feet in diameter. I have to agree that it was probably a misprint because I've seen similar number errors even in our modern newspaper and magazine articles.

That last wheel Bessler made was supposed to be working two "hammers" which I assume were more like the dual trip hammer stamps shown being operated by the Kassel wheel. If Bessler's last wheel was only 5 inches in radius, then how small would its two trip hammer stamps have been?! Why even bother making them to be powered by such a small wheel?

24. Proof of Principle Model of PM Wheel doing work, possibly to be taken to London where the new owner and Royal Society was. It has not been confirmed that the newspaper article said 10 zolls, or 'ten' zolls as was automatically assumed in the above speculation. If 10 then there is a possibility of a misprint unless the article gives other indications of size. If it says ten (and not one hundred) then there is no possibility of a misprint and the speculation of 100 zolls is completely unfounded. This has been said before.

25. "If it says ten (and not one hundred) then there is no possibility of a misprint and the speculation of 100 zolls is completely unfounded."

Good point. However, every discussion of this newspaper article I've read online says "10 zolls" and not "ten zolls". Maybe John can clear this up for us.

Bessler Curious

26. Bessler also said in his letter that his 'model' was complete. The context of his letter and the newspaper article could provide further insight to its size.

27. I know that Bessler was sick, hungry, and broke when he completed that last wheel. But, he was also used to doing things on an ever increasing scale of size. Going down from 12 feet or 144 inches to only 10 inches would, imo, be something unacceptable to him if not also mechanically impossible for some reason. I'm with those that think the wheel was much larger and possibly over 8 feet in diameter. That would place its axle maybe only 4.5 feet or so off of the floor and put it at a height that would make everything on the axle and inside of the drum easy to work on from a standing position without having to stand on some sort of platform or ladder. I also think that last wheel was the one his widow found in his workshop after his accidental death and I don't think it was just sitting there ready to be handed over to the state. Most likely when the deal for the wheel fell through at the last minute, Bessler freaked out and did the same thing to it he did to the Kassel wheel over twenty years earlier which was turn it into mincemeat with his trusty axe! That rubble his widow found was his last "F*ck You!" message to a world filled with corrupt and evil creeps he detested who would steal the coins off a dead man's eyes if they ever got the chance. He made sure that they would never be able to take advantage of his death, if it happened, to steal his wheel and its secret after all of the suffering he had to endure to find that secret. Bessler got the last and loudest laugh of all on everyone! If we listen carefully, we can STILL hear him laughing...

28. What a romantic story. Don't find out the facts and let them get in the way will you.

29. It would be nice if we had all of the facts about Bessler and his wheels, but we don't. Much of his story will probably always remain folklore. Just as everyone finds the Jesus they are looking for, everyone will find the Bessler they are looking for. Some see him as a paranoid mental case, some as a scammer building fake wheels, some as a religious kook, and, hopefully, most as a mechanical genius far ahead of his contemporaries. I go with that latter belief, of course.

30. And therein lies the value of JC's books. They contain most of the information surrounding Bessler's story, as written by Bessler. Added to that, other witness statements and an engraving by Borlach. A newspaper article or two. Other documents like his death inventory.

Amongst those are scattered rare mechanical 'facts'. They are imbedded in Bessler's crafted story which sometimes tempts wild and fanciful speculations as too how his wheels worked. Telling the difference, keeping the facts front of mind, and building a rational hypothesis is key to solving this riddle.

31. "Amongst those are scattered rare mechanical 'facts'."

That is undoubted true. But, if anyone thinks that the Merseburg wheel's axle was only being supported by quarter inch diameter steel pivots, then he needs to actually try placing a load of hundreds of pounds on such narrow pivots and then rotating it at forty rpm's to see what will happen. Word of advice..he should make sure he is wearing his safety glasses and standing a good distance away!

32. *** NEWSFLASH ***

That's why it wasn't many hundreds of pounds, and certainly NOT a 1,00 pounds ! Opps, my bad ! I meant a thousand pounds ! Probably with short metal axle stubs of only a zoll or two length ! The 1/4 inch Merseburg was the lifting tests and of importance the translocation test. The 3/4 inch Kassel mainly the long duration test. Where it makes perfect sense to reinforce up to 3/4 inch for undue wear over extended use !

s'Gravesande (not Wolff) said the Merseburg was of LIGHT construction ! Others mention a slight push to start suggesting low inertia !

33. ***ANOTHER NEWSFLASH***

Someone already calculated that the mass of the Merseburg wheel's solid oak axle was about 100 pounds. With the drum and all of its weighted levers attached to the axle you can at least triple that. With 1/4 inch diameter axle pivots sticking out only one or two inches beyond the end of the axle and the slight gap between an axle end and a support needed to prevent rubbing contact, such a short axle pivot might only have a fraction of an inch actually resting on a brass bearing plate. That would put tremendous pressure on the softer brass and probably make it wear away even faster. Any flexing along the length of the axle due to the load of the drum and weighted levers placed on its middle would cause those axle pivots to not lie horizontally on the plates and decrease the contact area between pivot and plate resulting in even more wear. Such axle flexing would also greatly increase the risk of the short pivots being pulled off of the brass plates and completely out of the supports especially when a sudden downward pull was applied to the axle because it was winding a rope to lift a 70 pound load of bricks at the other end.

9. A double BRAVO to you fletch !!(20 Dec.;20:55)What a sermon in stone; Your clarity and common sense are appreciated here. It must be fear of the unknown that leads us to not rely on lateral thinking,and Mr.Bessler does mention lateral thinking.This work could be analogous to learning to swim for the first time: we are paralyzed with fear and begin to sink instead of moving laterally to achieve buoyancy.

1. Good analogy. We are told to lie on our back straight and stiff like a board with arms at our sides. Stay calm, fill your lungs, breathe, and learn to float with your head out of the water. Don't panic ! Then start moving your hands and wrists to gently move around the pool on your back. Then we learn to coordinate strokes with arms and legs while on our fronts or back so that we can make headway and not exhaust ourselves treading water and drown.

"Efficient controlled use of energy while reducing drag !"

I think of it as a type of cognitive dissonance (dislike the buzz word) i.e. the creation of a sense of unreality, confusion, and a mind-set of not trusting our own perception of the situation. Some people are good examples of it.

How is cognitive dissonance resolved ?

1. Change or reduce one or more of your attitudes, behavior, beliefs, etc.

2. Acquire, RETAIN, and assimilate new information that outweighs your dissonant beliefs.

"Efficient controlled use of energy while reducing drag !"

Could be a maxim for Bessler's wheels, IMO.

-f

2. I experienced exactly that a little while back.
My eyes informed my brain that there was a kangaroo in my garden.
My brain used the database with all the information i have, and told me that i can't be seeing a kangaroo in my garden. After watching it for a while with my binoculars i managed to convince myself that no matter how unlikely, improbable or impossible i thought it to be, there was a kangaroo in my garden.
When we are convinced that something cannot be, we don't believe our own eyes when they contradict our belief.
RH46

3. If you hear hoof beats approaching think Horse, not Zebra.

If you see a kangaroo in your garden ask yourself I wonder where the nearest zoo is ? Wondering how your house and garden got to Australia might be a tad off the reservation, lol.

4. Fletch, I think that your comment on cognitive dissonance describes what we try to do without realising we are doing some of the things you describe.

“ Change or reduce one or more of your attitudes, behavior, beliefs, etc.

2. Acquire, RETAIN, and assimilate new information that outweighs your dissonant beliefs.”

In this field of research, like all of us, I have been trying to alter my beliefs because I assume that they must be wrong or need what Disney calls ‘reimagining’ in other words altering my perception of the way they might work.

Then when the light bulb comes on retain the image and try to assimilate it into the mechanism I’m working on and use, adapt or reject it.

Thanks again mate.

JC

5. Anon 00.28
The data base my brain used knows exactly where the nearest zoo is.
My point wasn't to point out how stupid i am.
My point was to share my observation of what was going on in my brain when i was confronted with the situation.
Had i seen an animal that looks a lot like a deer, a fox or a wild boar i would have had no difficulty whatsoever to accept that it was what i thought i saw. The conflict in my brain, that didn't last very long, was only because of the contradictory aspect of what i thought i was seeing.
i needed catagorical proof that it was a kangaroo because of this. Had the thing that looked like a kangaroo ran off (jumped or hopped)when i went for my binoculars i would have come to the conclusion that i had been mistaken. I would have had no problem to accept that it was a trick of the light or some form of optical illusion.
The situation, i think, is exactly what happens when the scientific community see the facts concerning Bessler's wheel.
All the information they are analising tells them that it was PM. The only reason they cannot accept this is because their knowledge is telling them it cannot be PM.
I needed binoculars to convince myslef it was a kangaroo, even though it was pretty bloody obvious that it was a kangaroo, because i had plenty enough information to establish this, yet i refused to.
The scientific community needed the mechanism to be uncovered, (and still do) even though it was bloody obvious that Bessler's wheel was PM.
Doctors refused to accept my blood test as valid (faulty test)because their knowledge told them my immune system could not do that. 7 years later i am finally told my immune system has gone completely crazy and does unexplainable things.
The kangaroo, the blood test and Bessler's wheel are all the same problem. We can't accept things easily if they contradict our belief.
We need absolute categoric proof that we are wrong and Bessler didn't give it. Bessler allowed us to cling onto our belief.
Just my thoughts.

6. We all need beliefs. Pssst, don't tell the Bigfooters that big brown bears live in them thar hills and scratch 9 foot up a tree. At least the dna evidence says they do. But lack of bigfoot dna doesn't prove they aren't there.

7. Big foots probably eat brown bears for dinner!

8. @ JC 7:08 :

Heaven knows John I'm as guilty as the next man. I jumped from idea to idea. Then I decided to get more rigorous about how I approached the problem. There are scant few facts, especially about the wheel internals. The weights shape and size and mass is an exception, forced I believe on Bessler by having to remove to translocate the wheel while stationary. Otherwise we'd have never willingly known any detail.

Years and thousands if not millions of man hours have been spent in all sorts of methods to cause continuous rotation. To no avail. They are energy wasteful. My point is that 99% of the approaches are not even in the Bessler ball park, imo. B's. MT is full of them. They are wasteful and inefficient, imo. If so, what did he do that was different ? Where do we start ?

We start, I'd suggest, with what we know to be facts. The weight size and shape and mass. That's the only undisputed physical fact about a wheels internals. To ignore that as a starting place is to invite failure and dissonant thoughts, imo. I'd like to be in the 1% with a chance to work out what he did.

And fwiw I'll say that imo he devised wheels that embodied "Efficient controlled use of energy while reducing drag (friction) !" Ones that were not only very energy efficient but by use of his particular mechanical means also violated H4W and CoE as a result, imo.

And yes, I understand the physics and math arguments against such, perhaps more than some.

-f

10. Here’s an interesting design, anybody spot the secret?

https://vm.tiktok.com/ZSnRVFV4/

1. That's just a mirror image video of one made by "veproject1" which has been on youtube forever. It can be found here:

I'm not sure if the one on TicTok was uploaded there by veproject1 or if "dzhtang" there decided to steal his video without giving him any credit or payment for it. That wouldn't surprise me though because Tictok is Chinese owned and they aren't too concerned about things like copyrights and respecting the intellectual property rights of others over there.

Anyway, that "infinite oscillator" shown is just another fake like all of veproject1's machines. You can't see it in the video, but there's a fine wire that is being used to lift the side with the ball on it. It would be located near the joint that the ball hits before it flies back to the fake magnet at the other end.

Anonymous and PROUD of it!

2. Thanks AaPoi.

JC

11. I remember reading about some guy who visited Weissenstein castle decades after Bessler died and wanted to see the room where the wheel had been. He mentioned in something he wrote later that he saw the holes in the ceiling where the supports for the wheel had been attached. Anyone ever hear of this guy or know what he wrote about what he saw? He found out about Bessler and became obsessed with finding out how his wheels worked. He then spent like 15 years trying to make his own version of Bessler's wheel but got nowhere and finally drank himself to death.

1. An account is in my book ‘Perpetual Motion; An Ancient Mystery Solved’. William Kendrick (1725 -1779) bought was a journalist who did visit Kassel and saw the holes in the ceiling left by Bessler’s wheel. He bought a copy of DT, which was subsequently was stolen from him. Oddly he later found a copy of the book on a market stall in London and discovered it was his own stolen copy! He became obsessed with trying to build a PM and also gave lectures and published a book on the subject.

JC

2. It should read ‘William Kenrick’ not ‘Kendrick’,

JC

3. Kenrick was a prolific novelist and playwright, but he was also a nasty satirist who delighted in libeling, lampooning, and mocking his fellow writers. We've seen his detestable type on this blog in the past. Those who may be interested in reading his 1770 "book" on pm where he mentions Bessler can find it at the link below. Unfortunately, although he was English, much of his book consists of long letters he reproduced in their original French:

4. I forgot to add this link to two lectures on pm that Kenrick published in 1771 which are mostly in English:

Anon 18:28

5. Thanks for those links, anon 18:28.

I did read my way through Kenrick's two lectures on pm. They are difficult to read because of the annoying habit they had back then of using the letter "f" for the letter "s" whenever it seemed to suit them! Basically, his lectures deal with a metaphysical analysis of motion. I found them to be long boring piles of mechano babble. There were supposed to be "plates" or illustrations at the end. Those are missing from this copy.

He doesn't really discuss his "Rotator" pm wheel in these lectures in any detail. But I do recall seeing an image of it once. It was just a thick closed drum whose horizontal axle was supported by two A frame pieces. From the end of his second lecture, it sounds like the Rotator was not an overbalanced type pm wheel like Bessler's, but rather some sort of impact driven "motion wheel". I think on the descending side he probably had weights on levers falling and striking springs which then transmitted the absorbed impact energy to another weight on a lever. It sounds like he was hoping that by using the right kind of spring mechanism between the weights, the momentum of the impacted weight would be increased and that would then make the wheel's drum accelerate. He just ignores the fact that would violate Newton's 3rd law of motion.

He must have been confident that he was close to a working solution because at the end of the second lecture he mentions that he is planning a third lecture to give more details. There was also some discussion about getting a patent and rounding up investors. That third lecture was never published because by then he must have realized that his fifteen+ years of pm research had reached a final dead end with a Rotator that did not work as he expected it to. All that was left for him to do after that was to drain a bottle of whiskey every day while lashing out at others with his vitriolic writings until, about eight years later, he drained his last bottle. Makes one wonder how many other failed Bessler pm wheel chasers met the same sad fate.

12. This wor/l-d is odd ... This name sounds like reborn "Ken-Trick", "the writer" ;)

13. Thanks for sharing John. You may find it interesting that when I first read that the weights were moved prior to translocation of the wheel, my assumption was that this was necessary to keep the wheel from rotating while being moved. Only the "devil" could manage to control its movement while being moved.

Something else you touched upon is the durability of the components for long periods of rotation. In several different places we find Bessler comment about the wheel turning only for as long as the parts do not wear out. This seems to me to be so obvious (it is true of ANY mechanical device) that he felt compelled to mention it because of 5he nature of the design. Aren't we told that there is a continuous scratching sound during rotation (by one or more of the documented witnesses)?. At one point bessler attributes this scratching sound to the very means of its power. Surfaces (poles over boards?) In constant friction would wear out over the course of several weeks.

14. Yes, The Merseburg wheel needed only a slight push to get it accelerating. Just carrying it between supports may have been more than enough to get it going. If the weights were not removed !

Dr. William Kenrick .. https://www.lockhaven.edu/~dsimanek/museum/people/people.htm

### 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...