Thursday, 27 October 2011
I wasn't sure whether to place this on the Bessler forum or just put it here on my blog, and certainly previous experience has taught me that many people either deride the theories expressed or argue forcefully against them, but I hope to gather some more support to my own view. I know I tend to be in a minority when expressing my belief that Bessler's wheel was gravity-driven, even here, but perhaps it will help me if I give my thoughts an airing. Any way I'll probably post it on both because it seems to me to be too important to ignore.
Most people are aware of the ubiquity of the number 5 encoded in all of Bessler's publications and many don't see any significance other than perhaps a nod to some kind of mystery school teaching designed to hint at the inventor's knowledge of ancient wisdom. I don't believe that theory, I'm convinced that Bessler was passing on information.
I have always thought that there were two hard facts established about the internal workings of Bessler's wheel and one of them was that there were five mechanisms. The other was that the weights worked in pairs. All else is open to conjecture. But one certainty is that Bessler thought that this piece of information was extremely important and even encoded it in his name right from the moment he adopted the pseudonym, Orffyreus.
I believe that five mechanisms were required because for me there is no other sensible interpretation to be taken from the clues - the number five is indicated by both the numeral five in text and code and by the presence of the pentagram in the drawings. I cannot think of any other reason for its presence so here I try to understand why it's a necessity to a working wheel.
Five mechanisms would need the wheel to be divided into five equal parts of 72 degrees each. Although I understand the argument that even one or maybe two mechanisms should be enough to demonstrate the principle, I think more will be required to achieve a useful rate of rotation. Let's suppose that each mechanism only produces a mechanical advantage (or overbalance) once in each rotation; then each one must be able to produce it sufficiently to turn the wheel at least 72 degrees, but less than, say 90, otherwise four mechanisms might suffice. Maybe it can just about reach 90 degrees but perhaps that isn't enough to maintain rotation? There would have to be an overlap of mechanical advantage (or overbalance) for each mechanism in order to maintain rotation and the greater the overlap the faster the acceleration.
Bessler wrote that "one cross bar makes the machine revolve slowly, just as if it can hardly turn at all. But on the contrary when I arrange to have many crossbars, pulleys and weights, the machine revolves much faster". (from Apologia Poetica - published by John Collins). If the mechanical advantage (or overbalancing effect) only amounted to a little over 72 degrees, and this happened only once in a single rotation, and there was only one such mechanism on the wheel, then the rest of the turn would have to take place with the wheel in a condition of balance. One can see how such an arrangement would produce a wheel which could hardly turn. Two, three, or four mechanisms would have little different effect if the overbalance only amounted to just over 72 degrees as there would be no continuity between each mechanism's action. An overlap of overbalancing would be required and if the mechanisms can only achieve an overbalance for, say 80 degrees of any single rotation, then anything less than five mechanisms will result as Bessler has described.
But if five mechanisms were introduced, then with more than a 72 degree portion of the full rotation for each mechanism, you would get the required overlap and an accelerating and continuous rotation.
This argument presupposes that the reader accepts the possibility of a gravity driven wheel - as I do! ;-)JC
On 6th June, 1712, in Germany, Johann Bessler (also known by his pseudonym, Orffyreus) announced that after many years of failure, h...
Apologies for putting this up again only I seem to have caught a cold, not covivid-19 hopefully, and I’m not up to writing a blog. I’ll...
Following a question abut Karl's birthday card I decided to post images of the only item I have which I assumed the posted comment refe...
It was confirmed in writing on several occasions that Bessler’s wheel could lift a chest of stones weighting 70 pounds from the Kassel cast...