Monday 1 January 2024

Bessler’s Wheel Revealed

Finally I’m going to share what I know, and what I think I know, about the solution to Bessler’s wheel. This will be a bit shorter than my intended document, because today, 29th December 2023, I accidentally deleted several pages of explanations, and I can’t get them back and I can’t remember everything I wrote!

This might not be such a bad thing as the “Big Reveal” was getting too big! I will try to curtail my enthusiasm for giving too much detail.  After all, all you really want to know is “how did Bessler’s Wheel work? And how close to Bessler’s is the design I’m going to share with you?  Is it the same as Bessler’s.  I think at the end you will think that it is a bit closer.

My skills in MS Paint are fairly basic so I’ll combine paint and drawings and text to try to explain what I know.

We know Johann Bessler would rather have died without being paid for his secret, than have given it away because he said so in Apologia Poetica  (AP). He also intimated that the answers could found in his books.  But how would he hide information in books in plain sight without anyone realising and discovering the secret for them selves?

There is a lot of undeciphered code in the books but the most illuminating items are the illustrations in those books. “A picture is worth a thousand words" is an adage in multiple languages meaning that complex and sometimes multiple ideas can be conveyed by a single still image, which conveys its meaning or essence more effectively than a mere verbal description.   In Bessler’s case the opposite seems almost true.  His pictures look bland and boring and inaccurate but they contain real information disguised in an ingenious way.


Bessler took an inordinate amount of trouble to hide the importance of the number five in plain sight.  Despite its ubiquity the majority of people seem to have dismissed its seeming importance and continued on their search for the solution, relying on the witness report of eight thumping noises from the Kassel wheel.

I searched for and found geometric and numerical patterns within all of the inventor’s publications.  I found pentagons in various places. Most significantly in his first two books, Grundlicher Bericht (GB) and Das Triumphirende(DT) Two of them in DT indicated parts of the mechanism hidden in one segment of the pentagram.

Bessler also buried within his copious amounts of writing, many clues presented almost as an off-the-cuff comments, but deliberately sown into the text to catch the eye of any serious researcher.

In one example he wrote, “a great craftsman would be he who, as one pound falls a quarter, causes four pounds to shoot upwards four quarters.”  Note that within the quote he mentions that there are five weights, one plus four, and each one is equal to one pound.  Secondly, one pound falls a quarter.  How do we define what he meant by a quarter? In this case he was referring to a clock - something he also embedded, invisibly, in the first drawings in both Grundlicher Bericht and Das Triumphirende - and a quarter of an hour or fifteen minutes covers 90 degrees.  But how could this single right angle fall cause “ four pounds to shoot upwards four quarters”? 
We saw in the first part that the word ‘quarter', referred to, not just 90 degrees but also to a clock.  In the second part the word ‘quarter' also refers to a clock but this time he has confused us by using the words ‘four quarters’. ‘Four quarter’s equals ‘one whole hour’.  Each hour on a clock is divided into 30 degrees, so the words ‘four quarters’ meaning ‘one hour’ as used here equals thirty degrees.  To paraphrase Bessler’s words, “a great craftsman would be he who, as one pound falls 90 degrees, causes each of the other four pounds to shoot upwards 30 degrees.” 
You might also think it would have been better to have said that one pound falls 90 degrees, causes one pound to shoot upwards 30 degrees”, but that would have removed the information that five weights, and therefore five mechanisms were involved, so it had to be four weights plus the one. 
should point out that in previous blogs I have shown two other places where Bessler showed the same information, that is, a weight falling 90 degrees, causes another weight to shoot up the same 30 degrees.
In MT Bessler hints that other odd numbers will also work, by creating slightly different page numbers for the ones he was was pointing to.  So in addition to five mechanisms, he included seven, nine and eleven mechanisms. I think it possible that the Kassel wheel had nine mechanism and one of them was silenced with felt, hence “the sound of about eight weights landing on the side towards which the wheel turned”, as reported by Fischer von Erlach.
Why five mechanisms and how does it need such short sharp lift?
In the illustration below you see a wheel divided into five equal portions, a weighted lever in each one. The wheel turns clockwise. The weights fall through 90 degrees.  Each weighted lever is tilted forward 18 degrees.
In the next one the black weighted levers fall from their pre-fall position and once fallen, come to rest at the wheel’s edge.  As the wheel continues to turn the weighted levers begin a retrograde motion, rotating backwards as  wheel rotates forwards
The only problem arises when the weighted lever has fully returned to its starting point; it needs to be pulled outwards in order to be able fall again. It’s locked in and can’t fall.  As you can see in the picture there needs to be a cord connecting the mechanism to pull the locked in lever out by at least 30 degrees. 
Bessler and Wagner had a brief discussion in which Bessler wrote,  “ Even Wagner, wherever he is now, will have heard that one pound can cause the raising of more than one pound. He writes that, to date, no one has ever found a mechanical arrangement sufficient for the required task. He's right! So am I, and does anyone see why? What if I were to teach the proper method of mechanical application? Then people would say: "Now I understand!”
I think the picture below explains Bessler’s view - they were both right.
This looks promising but we all know it won’t work.  Why?  
Because it lacks the Bessler-Collins Connectedness Principle.
When Bessler briefly mentioned the principle we had no idea what it was.  Maybe a prime mover because he said several of the machines in Maschinen Tractate (MT)  wouldn’t work unless they had it included in the design. 
In the following description I decided to add my name to the title of this version for the following reason.  Although he mentioned it in his MT no one knew what it was, but I believe I have discovered the answer by studying and deducing what it must be. I decided to publish my idea but realised that if his own definition of the principle should surface, perhaps through someone deciphering some encoded text, it might be very different or just slightly divergent, I had better add my name to my version.  Because although his principle might be the same as mine, if his description of it turns up at some point, it will be useful to be able to differentiate between the two versions.  Anyway mine might be wrong or just different, but I don’t think it is.
So here is what I believe to be the Connectedness  Principle probably discovered by Johann Bessler, but also by me more than 300 years later.
Firstly, why did he use the word “connectedness”? He could have used a “connection” or “connect”. But those two words suggest a firm connection, whereas “connectedness” has a different nuance, a feeling of variable or intermittent contact.  What does that mean?
Considering the word “connectedness”, I thought that the connections must be between the weight and the pivot, the weight and the wheel or the pivot and the wheel.  It seemed to me that the connection between weight and the pivot as well as the one between the weight and the wheel had been explored an infinite number of times leading to a similar number of failures.  But the connection between the pivot and the wheel hasn’t been explored as far as I know, maybe it has but I haven’t seen it discussed.
In the picture above, all the weighted levers are connected to their pivots and able to swing and rotate about them.  The only variable lies in the position of the weight at certain times. I realised that it might be possible to arrange for the pivot itself to move from one position to another and back again.
The picture below is similar to the one above but I’ve added the results of enabling moveable pivots.  The red weights show the improved positions caused by moveable pivot points.  Notice the red weights have taken up different positions particularly at radius 5 and 1.
The red weight at radius 5 is actually too early and would arrive there when radius 5 is about half way closer to where radius 1 is.
So in my opinion the Bessler-Collins Connectedness Principle requires the designing of an odd number of weighted levers supported by moveable pivot points.  The lever itself should not be extended because the moving pivot will send the weight on its end to reach further back on the wheel’s edge.
Briefly then the pivot is attached to a moveable part of the mechanism.  When the lever begins to fall, it’s pivot begins to move sideways , causing the path of the weight to follow a straight sloping path. The weight lands much further back along the circumference creating more torque.  This makes the wheel rotate further than it would do with the simpler system shown above. 
I must stress that the moveable pivot must be attached to a moveable part of the mechanism not directly connected to the wheel. 
The following pictures demonstrate where and how Bessler provided the necessary information.
The green circle is required and touches the tops of the two supports. It’s encloses the left end of the horizontal part of the ‘T’ shaped pendulum. It also includes the padlock, and touches the bottom and right side of the picture.

The pendulum is too long as it is and the excess needs to be removed.  The remaining part of the pendulum fits inside the pentagon fifth portion.  The red and blue parts show the two positions the weighted lever must reach.  Before we examine this picture we must rotate it 180 degrees.  This is indicated by the apparent typo in the padlock, which is wrongly labelled 42, but should read 24.  I have argued many times that this is a deliberate act designed to inform us to turn the picture upside down.  Now I’ve done it.

In the above picture the detail contained within the red square on the right shows the similarity to the main mechanism, except that the end of the horizontal part of the ‘T’ pendulum  appears to be attached to a wall.  This I believe indicates that that part in the main mechanism is fixed to the wheel able to rotate about that point.  This suggestion is supported by the picture below, which shows detail from the GB and DT.  The left picture is from DT

There you can see that in the right picture, the semicircle is deliberately drawn wrongly.  

Returning to the upside down picture. The red part is in position to fall and the blue part shows it’s in the fallen position. I compared the lengths of the red and blue portions and they are equal.  But the blue portion finishes just up to the limit of Bessler’s original circle, shown by the black dot at its end. This supports the idea that the pivot must be able to move sideways to bring the weight up to the edge of the green circle.

As I said earlier, extending the lever will not work, the pivot point has to move. The following picture will show the structure of the mechanism which moves the pivot along with its lever and returns it at the correct moment in rotation. The long green rod is supporting the moving pivot and is able to move through an arc.  On the end of this rod is the weighted lever or pendulum that we have seen moving from an almost upright potion, 18 degrees from the radius, through 90 degrees to land on the edge of the wheel some way back close to the following radius.

The purple lever has a purple round weight on the outer end. It’s mass/weight is mainly carried by the green lever, which is anchored close to the axle.

The dark blue lever with the round purple empty weight shows roughly where the weighted lever would be if fully retracted.  It’s pivot point is close to the same point on the end of the green lever where it joins the purple one.


Obviously this document is abbreviated to accommodate a complex explanation and some not-so-good illustrations.  There are a number of graphic clues I could add, plus of course I’ve omitted all reference to the Toys page.

I have posted the simplest design but there are other, possibly better ones which I’m going to post later in January.  The most important clue in my opinion, is the:-

Bessler-Collins Connectedness Principle

At the moment I don’t know if it’s the same as Bessler’s but I think it must be because it might be the one reason why so many designs have failed so far.

Why the odd number of mechanisms was required has always been obvious to me and I’ve never understood why it seemed as though nobody else agreed with me.

PS. I forgot to add this alternative design with double scissors to make the weight easier to reach further back along the wheel edge. I also connected the green lever to the wrong point on the double scissors.

There are some convincing clues in support of the above design, relating to his name.


Copyright © 2024 John Collins


  1. Congrats for finally serving us our promised pentagonal silver bowls of tasty English pudding and just in time for the New Year. But, there is so much of it that it will take some time to fully savor and digest. That should take place over the next few days.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Happy new year. Great reveal.

  3. To be honest, I didn't find our English Christmas pudding that tasty.

    All went well until I got to the middle of part 2 and then I started to get lost in a maze of clues (thank God you only gave us the short version!). I think most reading your clues will just skim past them because they seem confusing and a little contrived (like inverting drawings and just using parts of them). They gave me the impression that you were clutching at straws to justify that mech that is shown in the right side drawing at the bottom which shows (I think!) some sort of hanging scissor mech that is supposed to swing a weight farther onto the wheel's descending side as the mech approaches the drum's 6 o'clock location. If so, then does that mech really offer any advantage over Martin's design from the last blog? I think his design would swing a weight out to a wheel's rim earlier and higher than yours will which should give a little longer pulse of driving torque to a wheel. Also, his design only uses a single lever instead of a multi piece scissor mech like yours which will complicate a build.

    However, to be fair, I think we should all try not to be too critical until we can see some sims of your "Bessler - Collins Connectedness Principle" in action.

    Okay you simmers out there, it's time to get to work.

    1. "Okay you simmers out there, it's time to get to work."

      We hear and obey your call to action, anon 20:51...

      Behold the AWESOME "Bessler - Collins Connectedness Principle"!!!

      (Note: Wheel is 3 ft in diameter with mass of 1 lb. Gray weights are 5 lbs each. All other parts less than 0.5 lbs each. Motor turns wheel at 3 rpm's.)

    2. Thanks for that sim 04:32 because before seeing it didn't understand what John was talking about with his Bessler Collins connectedness principle. His mechanism definitely shoots a weight right across its sector toward the wheel's descending side. Now we need to see what happens when you put five of them on a wheel. Does it self start or need a push to get going?
      I imagine making a sim of a wheel with five mechanisms is more difficult than making a wheel with just a single mechanism on it like you did. Unfortunately, I don't do sims, but I like looking at them.

    3. You're right, anon 07:18. Making an accurate five lever wheel sim is not that easy, but I managed to do it using that earlier sim I made showing only a single "Bessler - Collins Connectedness Principle" mechanism. Here it is:

      The results speak for themselves. But, I'm only one simmer and I would encourage others who can to also try simming it.

    4. Yeah those results do speak a lot. It's just another dead duck design not worth all the hype about it. I doubt if anyone else will waste their time trying to sim it and also I don't think there's any way to tweak it into a runner. Very disappointing.

    5. Eww...our holiday pudding is rancid and starting to smell. Quick before it draws flies, put it into a plastic bag, seal securely, and deposit it into a covered trash can outside of your house. Whatever you do, don't eat any of it!

    6. Maybe our pudding turned rancid because the batter wasn't boiled long enough to kill any germs hiding in the fruit or nut pieces used? Also, maybe he should have added a lot more rum to the finished pudding for its antiseptic alcohol? Rum is great for killing germs. I even use it as a mouthwash and then swallow it to kill any microbes that might be in my stomach. I gargle a lot everyday for maximum oral health.

  4. JC wrote "Considering the word “connectedness”, I thought that the connections must be between the weight and the pivot, the weight and the wheel or the pivot and the wheel."

    This is where I think JC got it wrong. The "connectedness" has to do with ROPES connecting two separate levers together and not with how a single lever's pivot is attached to a wheel's drum. But, I must admit using a sort of "sliding" pivot is a new approach. Let's see what some sims say about it.

  5. JC wrote "At the moment I don’t know if it’s the same as Bessler’s but I think it must be because it might be the one reason why so many designs have failed so far."

    Am I the only one noticing how JC's language is slowly changing? Months ago he claimed, based on all of the clues he found, that he finally had Bessler's secret pm mechanism and it was so simple that we would all be "stunned" by it and immediately realize how it worked and had to be Bessler's. Now he's doesn't know if it is actually Bessler's mechanism!

    The reason so many wheel designs failed in the past is obvious. They could not stay overbalanced as they turned. Will the "Bessler-Collins Connectedness Principle" change that? Let's hope some sims show it does.

    1. You may have found a difference in my language compared to earlier last year, I don’t know, but I remain certain that this design is very close to Bessler’s.


    2. Beats writing a book and acting like you have a runner when you do not like some one else.

    3. What does that comment even mean? JC

    4. Anonymous2 January 2024 at 09:47
      Anonymous2 January 2024 at 19:41

      Repeating my comment:
      Beats writing a book and acting like you have a runner when you do not like some one else.

      Changing your level of conviction is acceptable is it not ?

  6. An. 4 :32, could you run the sim counter clockwise please. As I see it the weight spends more time further away from the axle on the wrong side.

    1. Unfortunately, ccw wheel rotation does not improve matters.

  7. John, how accurate is the above sim? Thanks, Justsomeone

  8. @jso. It looks about right but it doesn’t reach across enough nor down enough. Of course without the other four mechanisms I can’t say much else at this time. The best one to sim is the last one on this page, which accidentally missed off.

    I’m thinking of adding a photo of my mechanism from my build, but I need to check its dimensions first.


    1. I am much younger but forget and make tons of mistakes , it is only human.

  9. I appreciate any attempts to simulate Bessler’s wheel from my crude attempts to explain my design, so thanks to anyone who tries it.

    I have the whole thing visualised in my mind, but getting it down on paper, or MS paint, is difficult and the results are misleading. The last drawing is the one I accidentally omitted when I deleted everything I’d put in to the document, but it was supposed to be the main one. The inner circle and the radii and the main pivot point were placed approximately in the right position. After that I could only show how I visualised the mechanism at some point between fully retracted and fully extended.

    So this is a conceptual drawing, (or artist’s impression, and I’m no artist!) so not to be taken as a blueprint with accurate dimensions etc. I’m in the process of building a model and in that process it becomes possible to check and double check what actually works as I go along. This will take a few weeks before I can share actual images.

    I have always avoided placing images on my blog and elsewhere unless they are copies or adaptations of existing images due to my limited skills in such things, however I’m approaching my 79th birthday and although I’m fit and well, none of us know what lies around the corner and I’m trying not to disappear from this realm without sharing what I know or think I know before something happens that cuts my intentions short.

    I will place photos of my build once there’s something worth sharing, but in the mean time I will share some interesting images from Bessler’s work which tie up nicely with my conceptual drawing, which might go to explain my reasoning.


  10. @ anon 22.41. Thanks for attempting to sim my drawing. I don’t know how you would sim this but I would point out that there should be a cord lifting the fallen weight the 30 degrees which you have omitted. I didn’t include them in my drawing because I was unable to show it properly, although I did describe them. In Bessler’s clues they run between scissor mech at the bottom and the one before it to lift it back out.

    Again, thank you for trying.


    1. "I didn’t include them in my drawing because I was unable to show it properly, although I did describe them."

      Lol! Someone predicted last blog that whatever sims show up showing JC's got another worthless nonrunner, he'll find some way to invalidate them.

      Now he finally admits that his drawings in this blog are inaccurate and incomplete because he can't draw them properly, but he mentioned their missing parts somewhere else. Now we learn that his drawings are "artistic impressions" only and you can't really make accurate sims from them! Current photos? Nope, can't show them yet. This is why I doubt anybody will waste their time simming anything for him in the future.

      Expect him to keep playing this little game of his for the rest of this year and even excuse after another after another. And, I'm convinced even if he doesn't realize it yet, that it's actually being done on purpose. That purpose being to maintain his pentagonal wheel delusion as long as possible. We never will get any accurate information from him in the form of drawings, photos, specifications, etc. All we will get is a lot of hype like we got as we anticipated his "big reveal" for the last several months. Everyone here was joyously comparing it to a big silver bowl filled with tasty English Christmas pudding that would soon be served...he did finally serve it, but it only turned out to be a bowl filled with hot air!

    2. Wow, so much sarcasm, envy and hatred. JC

    3. John wrote "...I would point out that there should be a cord lifting the fallen weight the 30 degrees which you (or anon 22:41) have omitted. I didn’t include them in my drawing because I was unable to show it properly, although I did describe them."

      Exactly where did you describe those extra cords you left out of your drawing? I've gone over the text of your blog several times and I don't see them mentioned anywhere.

    4. From the blog, “ The only problem arises when the weighted lever has fully returned to its starting point; it needs to be pulled outwards in order to be able fall again. It’s locked in and can’t fall. As you can see in the picture there needs to be a cord connecting the mechanism to pull the locked in lever out by at least 30 degrees. …”


    5. @JC It would have helped remove confusion if you had also put a label on the particular part of the drawing that needed the extra cord which read "An extra cord needs to be attached here" along with an arrow pointing to the part. Incomplete and inaccurate drawings only create confusion in the mind of a reader and make him less likely to read further.

  11. Not necessarily to reveal as big. You can go small.

  12. I propose that this blog be forever after referred as the "2024 Big Reveal Disappointment" for historical purposes. I also had an alternative title, but it was a bit too wordy which was the "2024 Unsatisfying English Christmas Pudding Incident".

    1. This is also the longest blog I think I've seen here so far. Every time I come here it takes forever for me to scroll through so I can read any new comments. It's enough to give you tunnel carpel syndrome and JC says this was his short version!!

  13. Perhaps you’ll leave now you are so dissatisfied! Please? JC

    1. I think a lot here were disappointed because they were expecting accurately drawn mechanisms and even close up photos so the simmers could go to work on your new design and then confirm the long awaited good news that you had finally found a runner. Instead, all they got were some circle wheels with parts missing and more pieces of Bessler drawings with confusing lines drawn all over them. It was a bit of let down after a month or more of all that Christmas pudding talk on this blog.
      Hopefully, you will be able to present better quality info in this new year. Maybe you could practice with ms paint to make better drawings? Martin in the last blog gave us some pentagonal wheel drawings and they were perfectly easy to understand. There's no reason you can't do the same with a little practice.

    2. It was my fault that I didn’t deliver what I promised. I felt pressured into giving a publication date which I estimated would be within reach but proved way too optimistic. At my age you would think I had plenty of time to accomplish my self appointed tasks, but I’m extremely busy and trying to do too much too quickly and not very well.

      I take too much notice of comments and try to accommodate the trivial ones along with the more serious one as well as the helpful ones. But I have to concentrate on my build because in the end that is the only thing that counts, regardless of how many excellent sims are produced valid or invalid.

      I will continue to post blogs and I hope people will continue to visit and react helpfully. In the end we all want the same thing - how did Bessler’s Wheel work.


    3. Thanks anon:08:51. Sound advice. JC


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...