Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Johann Bessler - A Man Before His Time.

Johann Bessler's timing was unforunate; Thomas Newcomen installed the first working steam engine at a coalmine in Staffordshire, England, in 1712, the exact same year that Bessler produced his first working gravity-enabled wheel.  When Newcomen died seventeen years later, over 100 Newcomen engines had been built throughout England and Europe.  Bessler had sold none.

Newcomen's engines were proven; loud, dirty, inefficient but reliable, and using coal in a coalmine made fuelling them easy, even if consumption was high.  Bessler's wheel was an unknowm quantity; even though Newcomen kept the details of his machines secret everyone could see what they were capable of.  Bessler also kept the details of his machines secret, but their power appeared to be extremely limited, in comparison.

In addition he promoted a principle which even then, was loudly rejected by the scientific community whereas steam power had already undergone a series of proven inventions by Denis Papin, who published a study on steam power, including a number of new ideas.  So Bessler's invention was ignored for the same reason it has been ignored ever since; it's premise that it acquired its energy from gravity was proscribed.

But ..... if Bessler had been born today and posted a youtube video of his machine working, with all the parts visible in detail - surely he would have been in the same position as we find ourselves in today, if we were able to replicate his wheel?  It seems curious that he made the discovery back in 1712 when Thomas Newcomen was about to ignite the Victorian industrial age.  Bessler's wheel was far more suited to today's world, than the early 18th century, in my opinion.

It's almost as if he was out of time with his invention;  300 years premature!  Even if the scientific community of Bessler's time had accepted his claims to have used gravity to drive his wheel, the competition from Newcomen would have killed his invention stone dead.  

Despite various claims that Bessler's wheel is too limited in its ability generate usable energy, I do not accept this view.  To me it seems obvious that his wheel can be scaled up to provide sufficient energy for many modern uses.  We have discussed this before on this blog, so I'm not necessarily inviting discussion on this point, but I wanted to reiterate the importance of not dismissing Bessler's wheel as a useful and practical invention at the start of the 21st century - and that it's time is now.


Monday, 9 January 2017

Why I'm sure that 2017 will reveal Bessler's Wheel.

When I  look back at the posts here and on the Besslerwheel forum, at this time of the year I note, with some sadness, how each new year we are optimistic that this year will be the one!

The truth is, we want it to be this year, whatever year it may have been, but wishing is never enough, even when you have devised a new mechanical arrangement.  Something new, a novel principle or an additional element that has so far been lacking is needed, then we may see our wishes fulfilled. I am as guilty as anyone for forecasting success, and yet despite numerous setbacks (failures) I remain optimistic that this year will see success.

So what's different about this year, why now and not before?  Ever since I began this search roughly 55 years ago, I have ignored Bessler's advice and concentrated on creating an over-balancing wheel, totally dependent on having its weights further out on the falling side and closer in on the rising side.  A few weeks ago I asked the question, "is over-balancing a side-effect of some other principle?"

This was an obscure clue to something I'm working on at the moment.  I suddenly realised several months ago how Bessler's wheel could do all that it did without conflicting with the well-known argument that gravity-driven, or as I prefer, gravity-enabled wheels, violate the laws of gravity.  I'm convinced that the dream  Bessler had, which encouraged him in his persuit for a solution, revealed to him the same principle I discovered.

Although I'm not ready to share the information yet, until I've tested it, I can say that there is confirmation of a sort in Bessler's text in his Apologia Poetica.  The passage I refer to is the one where he begins, "For greed is an evil plant"' etc. (chapter XLVI). He mentions various substances and the effect gravity has on them, and includes other types of force.  If the confirmation I referred to sounds a little vague it is because a Bessler is deliberately vague, but there is something about the words he uses which struck a chord with me and I related it immediately to my own discovery.  I doubt anyone could make the connection in reverse, you have to understand why he included it and have the principle in your mind before the words make sense.

So even if I am unable to incorporate the principle in a working wheel, I will share the information widely, and that is why I remain more optimistic than ever before because this year there is a new element to include in the wheel's design which has never been there before.  Someone, maybe not myself, but someone will make the wheel work this year, of that I'm certain.


Friday, 6 January 2017

An Abridged Addition to the Legend of Bessler's Wheel

Here, very much abbreviated, is the first portion of some additional information concerning the life of Johann Bessler that has not been published yet.  This isn't the kind of thing I usually post but I thought it might be of interest, I hope you enjoy it

Bessler relates how he was forcibly inducted into the army where he worked as a medic.  During his time there he met and fell in love with a very attractive girl who happened to be the daughter of the Mayor of Annaberg. This man, Dr Christian. Schuhmann, was the head of a family which shared the Mayoral position in alternate years with the head of another powerful family.  Schuhmann was also the town physician and held a number of other influential positions within the local community.  His wife, Barbara Schuhmann, a person we shall be meeting again much later in Bessler's life, and who became a veritable thorn in his side, was involved with the local ancient practise of conjuring ghosts to help find buried treasures.  A superstitious belief in such things was not unusual then. Her maid, was Rosina Kuntzmann, also known as Angerin, someone we know from existing accounts of Bessler's life, and her malicious gossip about him. She assisted her employer in all kinds of sorcery which included the use of dead bodies to conjure ghosts, casting spells and forcasting the sex of unborn children by tasting the mother's urine!

Some local people spread the news that Bessler and the mayor's daughter, also called Barbara, had been seen kissing, under a tree in the mayor's orchard -  Barbara and her sisters were the subject of much gossip in the town, and are described as having a fairly liberal attitude to sex.  Indeed Barbara is believed to have accepted an invitation to spend the night in the nearbye army barracks.  Whether this was with Bessler I do not know, but it is possible.

Some children playing in the cellar of an abandoned house in the town, discovered the body of a dead new-born baby, which immediately set tongues wagging and rumours spread that it belonged to either the mayor's wife or one of her daughters.  In time an official investigation was launched and continued for fifteen years, attempting to prove that the mayor's wife was guilty of infanticide and that she took part in black magic ceremonies which required a child's body as part of the proceedings.

One of the chief sources of gossip was Rosina the maid, and Dr Schuhmann, irritated by the constant accusations decided to take action against Rosina, and arranged to have her imprisoned in the deepest, darkest cellar at the town hall and told her that she would not be released until she had learned not to gossip. The mayor also used his position to frustrate and prolong the official investigation into the infanticide thus protecting both his wife and himself from arrest.

Rosina wrote piteous letters from prison, to her former employer, begging for forgiveness and promising never to gossip about her employers again.  These letters still exist and subject to the resolution of some difficulties in storing them in good condition they can still be read.  Eventually Barbara Schumann persuaded her husband to order Rosina's release and she was duly allowed to return to her duties as Barbara's maid.

Predictably, further accusations against the mother, Barbara, ensued, involving her and the increasing number of reports that the town's people had begun to suffer from hallucinations, laughing and dancing insanely, frothing at the mouth and vomiting in the street.  Naturally the gossip pointed the finger at Barbara Schuhmann, accusing her of doing a deal with the devil, hence the strange behaviour of the local people. 

Finally Barbara's daughter also began to suffer similar symptoms.  It was at this point that Bessler appeared on the scene.  He claimed that despite Dr Schuhmann's best efforts, only he, Johann Bessler, could cure her of her malady and as a reward he requested permission to marry Barbara, and of course receive a dowry.  How much of this part is accurate or whether it has been romanticised by Bessler himself, is unclear, but there is a suspicion that the daughter was pregnant, possibly by Bessler, and that therefore Dr Schuhmann had nothing to lose if Bessler cured her, and took responsibility for the unborn child.  He may have thought that Bessler could not possibly cure his daughter, and therefore there was no problem in agreeing a deal that he might not have to accede to.

But Bessler's experience as an army medic and assistant to a quack doctor, had allowed him to confront a number of illnesses for which there was little information. He had, however had the good luck to learn the cause of this strange affliction which was affecting the town of Annaberg.  We know these days, of the problem of a fungus which, under certain conditions, usually damp,  grows on rye and related plants, and can cause ergotism in humans.  Ergotism can cause convulsive symptoms including painful seizures and spasm, diarrhea, itching, mental effects including mania, or psychosis, headaches, nausea and vomiting.  These symptoms are easily diagnosed these days but in the 1700s a belief in witchcraft was still prevalent and many believed the sufferers from convulsive ergotism to be possessed by demons.  A similar hypothesis has been advanced to explain the actions of the townsfolk of Salem, Massachusets in the late seventeenth century, many of whom suffered accusations of witchcraft and stood trial and many of them were put to death.

Bessler had come across such afflictions before and had learned that the cure was very simple; with-hold rye bread for several hours and the symptoms disappear.

to be continued...


Saturday, 31 December 2016

2017 - Happy New Year!

Confidence is high - I think in this coming year, things will be revealed which will prove that Johann Bessler deliberately left clues that will lead to the correct solution to reconstructing his wheel.

I will publish my own thoughts on what the important dream revealed to Bessler which galvanised his search for the solution.  I had my own revelation in 2016 and it is that I will share which I hope will lead to success either in my hands or someone else's.

I have had other revelations over the past years, some led to a dead end, others pointed the way but not the solution.  I know many of us have had breath-taking, astonishing revelations, some of which  it is believed, have remained as key steps towards victory and some have disappeared in the cold light of dawn - or reality has blown them away.

It never fails to amaze me how often, immediately following a hands-on experiment that demonstrates the faulty logic in its design, the human mind creates another design which seems even more promising than the recent failure.  Of course years of experience of such revelations generates extreme caution in the mind of the researcher leading to a more careful approach to publicising them - mostly!

The building work in our house is approaching the end and I am immersed in building a log cabin which will be my new workshop.  The garage which was the workshop has been reduced in size by about half to accommodate the kitchen dreams of my better half, but I am more than content with my new Bessler research centre!  It should be ready within a couple of weeks when I can return to the fray.

In my next post I will reveal in much abbreviated form some of the unknown parts of Bessler's life from just after his first realisation of his dream of Perpetual Motion up to his marriage to Barbara Schuhmann.


Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas to All Perpetual Motionists!

I just want to wish all of you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

I was slightly concerned that some readers might not celebrate Christmas as many of us do, because of religious differences.  So in wishing you a traditional Christmas greeting I am including all the good things associated with this greeting, such as happiness, peace and well-being, regardless of the  religious connotations.

As some may know, I am an agnostic, but I still celebrate the seasons as if I were a committed Christian, because I support the values associated with Christianity, even if I am unable accept the teachings it espouses.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Is Over-balancing a Side-effect of some other Principle?

Having spent the last 50 years or so trying to discover Bessler's secret I realised some time back, that the solution must be something really simple, but not at all intuitive - not intuitive until you know but then instantly obvious.  It took Bessler about ten years to find the beginnings of an answer and even then, some very intense work to finally get a movement which proved to himself that he had found the correct principle.

The brief motion he discovered was so convincing that he dropped everything and went out into the world to earn some much needed funds to finance the building of a demonstration wheel and a place to show it.  He also persuaded a town mayor and physician of somewhat dubious political standing to allow him to take his daughter in marriage and accept her dowry.  This action sounds like a plan he had devised if and when the wheel worked.  To me this adds support to the idea that simply finding that basic principle and then deducing how to use it provides enough evidence that full test rigs and lengthy runs loaded and unloaded are unnecessary to prove the point, to ones self. But  I realise of course,  that such tests are a vital ingredient for anyone in the enviable position of having got to that penultimate stage that Bessler achieved prior to his search for funding.  You can only actually prove your wheel works by demonstrating it in action.

So first we have to find that simple concept which was so obvious that when Bessler discovered it he was encouraged to attack the problem with renewed enthusiasm.  I think that this concept was unarguably a vital part of the wheel's design. But Bessler admits that it took immense effort to find a way of making use of this principle, which suggests that even though the answer is perfectly logical it requires some considerable mechanical arranging to discover a way of utilising said principle. In my opinion this kind of trial and error method is an ideal way to hit upon the correct mechanical arrangement once you have the principle that allows the wheel to be driven in the presence of gravity.

This principle which I believe Bessler discovered must obviously be the light at the end of an extremely long tunnel, and yet even once discovered would take lengthy experimentation to find the correct mechanical arrangement to make it work.  Such a principle rules out the simple over-balancing wheel, according to Bessler, and yet an over-balancing ingredient seems to be implied in Bessler's description, although couched in the most ambiguous of terms.  It seems that action due to the operation of the prime principle leads to an overbalancing situation but the latter is more of a side effect than the primary cause of continuous rotation.  It is as though we have omitted a step in trying to generate continuous rotation through seeking to cause over-balancing, when we should be looking for some additional feature which then leads to overbalancing.


Saturday, 3 December 2016

One-way wheels and two-way wheels - the best way forward.

I thought it might be useful to rehearse my own thoughts here as I have not written about this subject for a long time, although it's in my mind constantly.

Bessler's largest wheel, the Kassel wheel, was approximately 12 feet in diameter, and 18 imches thick.  It turned at 26 RPM unloaded and 20 RPM when lifting a heavy box of stones.  It could turn in either direction if given a slight nudge in one direction or the other, after which it accelerated to its full speed in 2 to 3 turns.  This wheel's predecessor, the Merseberg wheel, was of a similar size but thinner at only a little over 11 inches thick.  It could turn at 40 RPM and was also able to turn in either direction.

These two wheels were designed and built to answer the accusation that the earlier ones were driven by clockwork.  The earlier ones were able to begin to spin immediately their brakes were released.  This fact suggests that they were in a permanent state of imbalance - or that a weight was always able to fall at the exact point that the wheel reached a balanced position thus continuing the imbalance.  In the Merseberg and Kassel wheels I visualise there being two sets of weights -  one for each direction, a kind of mirror image arrangement.  The two-directional wheels obviously would not turn without a nudge in one direction, because the weight which fell as soon as balance was reached was counteracted by the weight which fell into position to turn the wheel the other way.

Once the wheel was turning, howver, one of the weights would move backward and therefore have no positive effect on rotation, while the other continued the imbalancing process. That's the theory; of course designing an arrangement of weights which fulfills the theory and works is another matter.  

It seems clear that there were several variables which could be applied to the design of the wheel, which could make it turn faster or slower, using weights of varying size.  Bessler claims such in his Apologia Poetica, and his demonstrations seem to prove that.  The obvious variables include weights of different sizes and more or less of them; thinner and thicker wheels and large diameter wheels and potentially more mechanisms.

In my opinion the first one-way wheels hold the key to success, assuming that the internal mechanisms in the later ones were based on the earlier ones.  Although we know that the Kassel wheel produced about eight bangs on its falling side, we have no knowledge of how many noises accompanied the spinning of the earlier ones - just that a loud noise was produced.  I mention this because it might be wise to leave aside any assumption that there would need to be eight bangs to somehow include in the earlier more basic wheel.  Bessler implied that he was able to barely induce a wheel to turn with just one cross-bar inside it, which could mean one pair of weights operating within a single but complete mechanism.

So I, at least, continue to work on producing a one-way wheel, but with five mechanisms which I believe Bessler indicated, is the most that can be fitted into the wheel.  That indicates to me that the more mechanisms the better - and five seems to me to be the answer, or part of it.  So four would not produce as much torque as five and three even less.

Many people work on the theory that because there were about eight bangs on the side towards which the Kassel wheel turned, that fact can be assumed as relevant to the other wheels, but I believe that the earlier ones were simpler with less mechanisms inside and therefore fewer sources of noise.  Being of a simpler design they should be easier to replicate - why try to build a two-way wheel when a one-way wheel would prove the point.


Karl, the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, Found Bessler’s Wheel was Easy to Understand.

When I began my biography about Johann Bessler, I had already completed several years research into his life, acquiring many documents, as ...