Thursday 11 January 2024

Are We the Last of a Dying Breed? - Not If I can Help It!

Johann Bessler aka Orffyreus, left us his record of his search for the secret of building a perpetual motion machine.  He published three books which I have republished with English  translations included.  After his death a box was found containing 141 pictures of PM machines which failed but led him on to success.  These pictures are believed to have formed part of a syllabus to be used in his intended school of apprentices.  These too, have also been published with English translations of his notes where ever possible.

There  are both digital and printed copies of all of these available.  I also published my account of his life and his search for the secret.  I sought each and every document issued during his life which was written to him, by him, for him or about him.  These included numerous letter and newspaper articles. During the many years I spent researching him, I also built many wheels in an attempt to find the same secret. 

My books have been sold to many people around the world. This blog has been going for nine years and my books and my websites were first online or published back in 1996, almost 30 years ago!  

So why has there been zero interest in a machine that could provide cheap/free electricity any where and everywhere?  The answer lies in the utter inability of modern scientists, technologists, natural philosophers, researchers, inventors, amateurs, professionals, historians, boffins, experts, scholars, academics…… get my point ….to consider that a major triumph lies waiting in the wings to step up and become the biggest solution to the energy crisis in history and the potential to ameliorate the effects of climate change here and now. No one, but no one, thinks for a millisecond that there is any thing to be had from these historic pages which are full of emotional complaining, grumbling, crying for attention to come and witness his amazing invention. 

We few who battle to find Bessler’s solution are a dying breed.  Most of us are of an age where we no longer work, we lead quiet lives in retirement, our focus of attention centres on finding the solution that Bessler found.

We have noted that the interests of those younger than us grew up in the high tech world which was born and flourished after we had already moved beyond its current vigour, too late for some of us to catch up.  But we were fed on mechanical machines, building, repairing, studying. But that era has passed on, with higher technical demands placed on those whose expertise is required to maintain and build and improve.

In the end it’s down to use to build a working model of Bessler’s wheel, it’s the only thing that will answer all the question, and make people sit up and take notice.

After all the information I have accumulated I still have one complaint that I find so frustrating.  The witnesses to the wheel gave us only the bald facts.  

Where is an exact description of the noise from the wheels? They didn’t describe the cracks they could see through in the wheel.  Was the sound from the Kassel wheel exactly eight or was there another softer sound? Were the thumps equally apart or was there a gap at one point in each rotation? You can see where I’m going with this, I remain convinced that the wheels work only with an odd number of mechanisms. 

The same complaint applies to all the wheels but as my old friend Mike used to say, “it’s Hobson’s choice - it is what it is, take it or leave it.”



  1. Let's say for the sake of argument that Bessler's pm wheel design is found tomorrow and all of the scientists agree it's genuine and it works. Fine. The big historical mystery is solved and Bessler is proven to have been an honest man. But, then what?

    As they make their measurements, it soon becomes abundantly clear that his wheels were "weak wheels" and his biggest one only put out less than 100 watts. You can get that from a single solar panel nowadays which has no moving parts and requires virtually no maintenance. Given a choice would a homeowner prefer to cover his roof with solar panels or to get the equivalent power have a giant barn on his property packed with giant Bessler wheels all turning away to run an electrical generator? The obvious answer to that is that about 999 out of 1,000 homeowners will go with the solar panels.

    I study Bessler's wheels strictly to learn how they worked. I'm not interested in building anything. It's like studying the techniques of magic to learn how some stage magician you saw once as a kid did some illusion that made you wonder for years how it was done. When you finally learn how it was done you say "Of simple...why didn't I realize that all along?" It will be the same with Bessler's wheels. We'll eventually understand how they worked and, once that's out of the way, they won't be a mystery anymore...just a very unique invention from the early 18th century that took centuries to finally reverse engineer.

    I agree that today's younger generation really couldn't care less about the Bessler wheel mystery. They've been hypnotized by consumer electronic "toys" and will remain so. In general, they perceive anyone chasing after the secret of Bessler's wheels as they would someone getting involved in some kooky religion that most have never heard of. They will wish us well and hope for our success for our sake, but they won't think finding Bessler's secret will make much of a change in our world. They are probably right about that...unfortunately.

  2. Except we don't know what engineering improvements might be possible to increase its energy density. And it is 24/7 renewable energy anywhere in the world from the equator to the poles, to underground. And recycling it is easy and non toxic to the environment. And it could be life changing beneficial in remote hot climates for making ice and desalinating brackish swamp, tidal, or sea water etc. The list goes on for low economic GDP countries and populations.

    1. All of those potential uses sound great, but they all depend upon huge improvements being made to the power outputs of Bessler's wheels. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that such improvements will ever be possible. FAWK, Bessler's original design may have been the most power one that can be built.

      In the 1873 an English chemist named Sir William Crookes invented a device known as a radiometer while he was studying the element thallium. It had small metal vanes on a rotor that was mounted inside of a partially evacuated glass bulb. Amazingly, when he shined light at it, the vanes would mysteriously spin around a pivot. Putting it in sunlight really made it spin fast!

      At the time people were talking about it like it was a perpetual motion machine and many thought it could become a new source of power. They were calling it a "light mill". Attempts were made to scale up its size to increase its power output, but nothing useful came out of that.

      Small light bulb size versions are still manufactured and sold as curiosities or as science education toys. I think after we finally get Bessler's design, it will suffer the same fate...just a table top toy and conversation piece. But, better such a fate than never knowing how Bessler did it.

    2. Bessler already settled that argument (whether his device could be considered valuable or not) if you care to read about it in AP. It could be built larger or in duplicates on the same axis. To wit:
      Sixthly:- “Could I give an assurance that still greater weights
      could be raised in this way?”
      Answer - that is indeed the principle of the thing, as has been
      previously mentioned.

    3. And Archimedes once said that if he had a lever long enough he could move the world!

      Bessler, in an effort to sell his invention, would have been telling potential buyers that there was no limit to how much weight his wheels could lift. That might have been true in theory, but not in practice. Those buyers were sending in engineers to make careful measurements of what the constant power output of Bessler's 12 foot wheels were and it soon became apparent to them that the power output was very low compared to what could be gotten from a windmill or water wheel.

      Imo, that's the real reason Bessler couldn't sell his wheels. They were just not powerful enough and even simple calculations indicated they would have to be made the size of barns to even begin to perform as well as far less expensive windmills and water wheels already could. Yes, Bessler's wheels could, if they did not break down, run continuously day and night, summer or winter, but that was still not enough to get those hard nosed, profit hungry capitalist businessmen to risk investing the amount of money in them that Bessler was demanding.

      Bessler was an excellent craftsman, but, imo, he was a poor businessman. As time went by and he had no buyers, he should have lowered his up front price and then made a deal to get a percentage of the profits made while they used his wheels. Those buyers, knowing that Karl wouldn't have liked it if Bessler was not paid his percentage, would have made sure they made prompt maybe quarterly payments to him.

      They could have been made to Karl who would then have paid Bessler. They didn't have paper money back then, but, IIRC, they did have bank checks of some sort that could be used in banks throughout the region. Karl could have paid Bessler using those checks along with his regular salary for being a "Councilor" for Karl.

  3. Hi John, whether the wheel has 4 or 13 or 5 arms won't make any difference unless you're constantly accelerating, which hasn't been the case for 300 years. The slightest point of balance on the course immediately tells you that your wheel is ready for the scrap heap. Energy is conserved until now... Unless we include an external element that escapes us for the moment.
    There's nothing we can do about gravity, the only possible point of change is cinetics.

  4. Nice blog post John. I appreciate your persistence and consistence.
    Thanks for all you have done, and are doing.
    We soldier on! We know what we know.
    Let's not let negative comments influence us.
    I believe that when Besslers wheel is rediscovered it will change the world we live in.
    Applying some of what we have learned in the past 300+ years since Bessler we may be able to make very strong wheels (Bessler himself said that, given the time he could make a wheel that turns slower but with more torque). So, I will venture to say that it is highly probable that the discovery of Besslers wheel will be a major breakthrough in the quest to solve the energy crisis.


  5. There is no energy crisis, a lot of the electricity comes from free energy generators that they have hidden underground, they get it for free and charge us for it !

    1. One of my neighbors decided to "go solar" so he could tap all of that free energy from the Sun and help save the climate. He got interested in this after a friendly representative from a solar panel company dropped in on him one day and gave him a nice promotional pitch.

      After the dust of installing a lot of roof top solar panels on his home finally settled, he was in debt for about $20 that he borrowed from his bank against the equity in his home and will pay back over the course of a decade. But now he only has to pay the solar panel company 13.5 cents per kw hr for all of that "free" solar energy he's getting and using. His regular utility company was charging him about 17 cents per kw hr, but they had to pay for the fuel used to produce the electrical power they sold him while the solar panel company paid nothing for the sunlight.

      He was told that he will finally be breaking even on his "investment" in about a decade or so. The problem is that his solar panels will only last about that long before they need to be replaced! I'm sure when that happens he will be visited by another friendly representative from that solar panel company.

      I have a word for this...SCAM!

    2. Error...his debt was not $20. It was $20k or $20,000!

    3. @anon 08:37

      The message everyone should get from your story is never sign a contract on the spot whenever a friendly salesman shows up on your doorstep and tries to talk you into solar powering your home. Many of them will tell you all sorts of lies to get your signature on their company's contract because they get a nice big commission for doing so. Always do your own research like with the Better Business Bureau to see if the company has complaints filed against it. Read reviews which hopefully are faked ones. Some of them might actually be legit.

      Imo, anyone who puts solar panels on his roof shouldn't be paying anyone for the electrical power they produce. That energy belongs solely to the owner of the panels.

      For those who don't want to borrow tens of thousands of dollars to install roof top panels, I read somewhere that there is a company that makes a DIY kit that only costs a few thousand dollars. It takes about four hours to install and you don't have to climb up on your roof. You get a metal frame that holds the panels and the frame is placed on the ground in your yard in a sunny spot. Then you run a cable in from the frame and plug it into any 120 ac volt outlet you can. That's it and it immediately cuts your electric bill in half! You own the entire system and it pays for itself in about six months. If I can find a link to the company that sells this DIY kit I'll post it.

    4. @anon18:52

      I think you meant to write "Read reviews which hopefully are NOT faked ones."

      I do agree with you that there are a lot of well meaning people who want to do their bit to clean up our air who are getting scammed by solar panel hucksters. Never sign anything until you've read it all, understand it all, and agree with it all. If you don't do that, you could wind up losing your home!

    5. Here's a company, SolarWholesale, that sells complete kits for ground mounting your own solar panels. If you open the packages they ship you and any part you need is missing, they will send you the part and $50 for your trouble!

      But, they want customers to first send them a description of what they want to install and then they will give them a price quote. They claim to give good value for their prices.

      Here's a guy assembling a typical ground mount for solar panels:

      Something tells me I wouldn't have this done in only a few hours!

      Here's a guy who put in his DIY ground solar panels and gives a complete breakdown of the costs of his installation compared to how much it would have cost to have it installed for him by a professional. His breakdown of the costs gives a good idea of the parts needed and how much they cost. He saved over $5,000 by doing it himself, but HE had to do all of the work involved.

    6. Thanks for the links, but that diy solar stuff looks like a lot of work. Too much for me so I'll just stick with paying my electric company every month and try to cut back on my use.
      I've already replaced all of my filament lightbulbs with the newer led ones. Next, I'm going to unplug all of those appliances except the fridge that have power transformers in them. Even when the things aren't turned on they still have current in their transformers that keeps them warm and wastes electricity.
      Cutting back on the ac in the summer will be tough especially if all of those predictions about climate change killer heat waves I'm reading about come true. One guy said what happened last summer is just a warm up for what's to come!

    7. Anon 07:41 wrote "...that diy solar stuff looks like a lot of work. Too much for me..."

      You might find this of interest, anon 07:41, because it will greatly reduce the amount of work one has to do to install some solar power in his home.

      I think I found that company that anon 18:52 was talking about that has a kit where you just plug the panels right into any 120 vac outlet and get instant home solar power. Here's an article about the company I found:

      And you can go directly to the Texas company's website for more information and prices:

    8. It's strange that on a blog supposedly devoted to getting energy from Bessler's wheels, everyone seems more interested in getting it from solar panels! I think there's a message in that and it does not bode well for future Bessler research...


The True Story of Johann Bessler and His Perpetual Motion.

  On  6th June, 1712, in Germany, Johann Bessler (also known by his pseudonym, Orffyreus) announced that after many years of failure, he had...