Sunday, 16 January 2022

Johann Bessler’s Legacies.

Bessler’s wheel is one obvious legacy and although there are some who believe that it’s potential power output is too limited to be of practical use, I disagree.  You only have to look at the enormous windmills which are spreading like a rash across the green hills of this country to see that it’s a matter of scale. As Bessler suggested, you could have several wheels in series mounted on the same axle to multiply the output.  The other legacy is buried within Bessler’s publications.

I’ve always felt I was destined to find the solution to Bessler’s wheel. Ever since I read the story of  ‘The Wheel of Orffyreus’, as written by Rupert T. Gould, in his book, ‘Oddities’, I knew in my heart that here was a story I could tell and a mystery I could try to solve.  Although that was more than 50 years ago, and despite all the years during which I researched the life and times of Johann Bessler, I never doubted that I would discover the secret of Bessler’s Perpetual Motion machine.  But between knowing you have the answer and proving it lies a significant gap!

I’m sure that everyone else who is working in this field feels the same, but over the years gradually, bit by bit, I’ve discovered and understood many of Bessler’s clues, hints, inferences and apparently non-sensical text. There is one thing to take away from what I’ve learned about Johann Bessler - well actually several things - but in his publications there are no mistakes, everything in them is deliberate even if it looks wrong.  There are no errors and therefore anything that might seem crazy is actually a clue to be identified, interpreted and understood.  It is also true that many of these apparent mistakes or odd phrasings that are actually clues, also contain two or even three ways of getting the same answer. This is how he confirmed if you were on the right track.

Having said that, I’m still learning, discovering new nuances of each clue which can sometimes lead you on to a new discovery. In my opinion, once the solution is revealed and the amazing mind that found it originally, and then hid it in plain sight, with very few overt indications, all those who sneered and jeered and dismissed his claims as fanciful nonsense, will be astounded and amazed at the beauty, intricacy yet simplicity of his work.  His geometrical connections and inferences will become a subject of study in years to come as more and more clues and codes are identified and deciphered.

One other thing I’d like to comment on; the apparent paradox of being so extremely secretive about his machine and how it worked, that he dare not even utter a single word which might give away his secret - and yet placing literally hundreds of clues which if solved could reveal the secret of his perpetual motion machine. Why?  In my opinion, he was confident that no one would ever decipher his clues, so the point must have been either to have given public lectures demonstrating his clever use of the codes and the general obfuscation which hid the clues - or he hoped to sell a book detailing all his clues and how to understand them - or he intended to use the clues and codes in his apprentices school. Why else?

JC

16 comments:

  1. "Bessler’s wheel is one obvious legacy and although there are some who believe that it’s potential power output is too limited to be of practical use, I disagree."

    Points to consider ? Karl actually paid for the privilege of seeing how the Kassel bi-directional wheel worked and commented on how simple it was. Thereafter he was B's. patron for many years (after his cousin), extensively to help him sell the wheel which did not eventuate. In 1712 the Newcomen Steam engine was first developed in England, for mine water pumping etc, the same year as B's. first runner in Gera. Karl hired the engineer Fischer to work with Papin etc on the Savery engine development. Karl paid no small amount of money to keep his mistresses, reportedly equivalent to B's. asking price.

    Yet Karl never paid B. the amount asked for and then took over development and commercialisation of the wheel derivatives and downstream opportunities himself.

    Either the wheel output power was woeful in comparison to his needs for draining mines, and the general industrialisation of his country, and for the Renaissance period to come .. or ..

    With Steam power proving its worth in modernising his country the Bessler wheel had limited commercial opportunities for him to risk the upfront expenditure and get a payback - even for his friend.

    Today they may have low energy density but their big bonus is that the energy they do produce is FREE, and 24/7 ! And I'm sure they could be scaled up and put in series on a single axle etc but perhaps not orders of magnitude improvements due to practical considerations.

    The PM Principle is an enigma in science and that is where a large part of its value lies. But unlike the Steam Engine or ICE expanding gas principle it's day in the sun never came. Karl never ushered it in, because other technologies had more perceivable benefit to him personally. Simply, he didn't want to take the risk of it becoming redundant overnight and would rather someone else take the commercial risk, imo.

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    1. Karl realised fairly quickly that Bessler’s wheel was incapable of pumping the 92000 gallons of water up the 820 feet long cascade required, so he researched the Newcomen pump, but that wasn’t up to it either. He still managed to run water down the cascade by using a system that relies on natural pressure from reservoirs and underground pipes whose locks are opened manually. This system has been in place for more than 300 years.

      However the Bessler’s wheel can potentially offer a similar benefit, cheap/free clean energy via electricity in a more acceptable form compared to windmills- and far cheaper to build and maintain.

      JC

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  2. "Why else" The reason I think for coded information was because he was being persecuted for having invented a self moving flying wheel, that the wheel fly was kept hidden, at that time people accused of flying or making things fly were being burned alive in that area in Germany. Also if he revealed it could fly he would become a target - which is the reason it is unknown today that the wheels could fly.

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    1. Hey Derek, I’m not sure I understand what your getting at. Unless you mean it was a flywheel, not a flying wheel?

      JC

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  3. FWEIW, I think Gould has it right; the translation. John; how did Gould treat Bessler? Was he kind to him or hate full, as others have been---------------------------Sam

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    1. Sam, we know Gould was a mechanical genius, because he restored Harrison’s marine chronometers - read “Time Restored” by Jonathon Betts for a description of Gould’s work. It is clear that he was at least open minded about Bessler, but he had to tow the line, publicly at least because he was an early BBC broadcaster.

      There’s a curious connection between Gould, Harrison and John Rowley, Gould admired Harrison, who admired Rowley who admired Bessler.

      JC

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  4. The big difference Sam is that Gould translates as "weights gain force from their own swinging". No other translation says that. Yet "swinging" is an old chestnut (imo) that just keeps on giving no matter how many times it is discussed and debunked. It is like a revered life preserver in an ocean of doubt. But is it accurate, figuratively or literally ? Is it too narrow an interpretation ?

    -f

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    1. Fletcher, I was thinking more about the weights placed together one against the other. He goes back 80 years, might that make a difference------------Sam

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  5. I think the same advice would apply Sam .. compare translation sources. Try your own translation. From what I remember of Stewart Hughes DT translations he cross-checked the German against the Latin looking for any significant variances, since he assumed B. was less familiar with Latin. In most cases they lined up pretty well IIRC.

    I searched BW.com for Stewart's translation. Here is a part of a post he made in Dec 2015. I'd say it is another good source for comparison.

    SH wrote : Here's a re-post of my own translation of the section that was being discussed:

    "... but rather these weights themselves are the perpetuum mobile, or essential and constituent parts of it, which have within themselves and must endlessly exercise (as long as they remain outside the centre of gravity that is) their power and impetus, received from the universal motion, having been enclosed in such a housing or framework, and co-ordinated against one another, that they not only nevermore reach a state of equilibrium or point of rest, but constantly seek it, and in addition in their wonderful quick flight, according to the proportion of both their own and their housing's size, must also move and drive other loads applied from outside at the shaft or axis of their vertical vortex."

    -f

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    1. Thanks fletch, I was trying to find Stewart’s version but never quite found it due to conflicting calls on my time. I can’t wait to move in and get building, it’s been almost a year since I had a workshop!

      JC

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  6. Thanks, thanks John, f, for the info.. It's fascinating---------------Sam

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  7. John Collins, You should get a little mini Van and, convert it in to a work shop. With all of these cord less power tools you can do just about anything with them------Sam

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    1. Excellent idea Sam, but I’m living with my daughter for now and she has two cars and we have two, and my granddaughter has passed her driving test and is planning to get herself a car, so space is very limited! But thanks for the idea!

      JC

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    2. Oh well, so much for that idea------------------------Sam

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  8. Hallo an alle meine guten Bessler freunde!

    Meinem kunstlerfreund Hans geht es von seinem covid noch nicht ganz besser, aber er konnte dieses Bessler geschenk fur mich machen das ich euch nun alle schicke. Ich weiss nicht wie es funktionieren soll. Vielleicht drehen es die pendel?

    https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/i/JEEB1717/rad_hjryu(1).jpg


    JEEB1717

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    1. Very interesting but I don't see it being a runner. As the wheel turns the four little pendulums will be constantly lifted and must be constantly supplied with energy to do that. Unfortunately, all of that energy comes from the overbalanced wheel itself so there is no energy left over to do any outside work. I think this design is one of those that stays balanced no matter how you turn it around.

      jason

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